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“An outstanding experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp

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Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp
2.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Ngorongoro Crater Rim, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Howell, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“An outstanding experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011

Lemala Camp is located at the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, the tents are spacious and comfortable, the food is good - but the staff is what makes this camp an outstanding experience. They were incredibly warm, hospitable, and made our stay extra special.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2011

Good accomodations. Tents, but spacious. Good beds and bathrooms (hot water by appointment, also showers, but they work just fine). Friendly staff. Prepare remarkably good food in small kitchen. Fun to sit around the fire for pre-dinner cocktails and wine. At 7,300 ft, it's cool in the evenings and mornings. One day is plenty to see the Crater. This is a much better spot to start than outside the Crater as this is on the rim and very close.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

Everything the previous reviewer who stayed in February wrote I would echo. I'd also add that the food was the best of the four camps we visited (which, interestingly, were each of a somewhat higher luxury rating). The staff, especially the camp's general manager, went out of their way to make us comfortable and happy. And we were!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2011

We had a wonderful one night stay here. We loved being in "tents" (especially our 10, 12, and 13 years olds who got their own). I say "tents," because these had wood floors, flush toilets, comfy beds, and showers/sinks all inside....defenitely not the kind of tent I was used to.
This was our first of three tent camps, so I was a little worried that the kids would be worried on their own and with the knowledge that they were not supposed to leave their tent alone at night (especially the youngest). But, kids went into tent after dinner, smiled at us, and said "bye!" and zipped up the door.
The location is great, we saw elephants come up to visit and lots of birds. We were also first into the crater the next morning to discover many more.
Given the choice between this tent and the big Lodge that folks at home keep asking if I stayed in, I'll take the tents!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2010

Lemala Ngorongoro has an unbeatable location right inside the gates meaning that we were one of the first into the crater. It is really amazing being right in the African bush but still enjoying the luxuries of the spacious and well appointed tents! The service was great with staff really trying hard to please. Only slight complaint would be that the water pressure of the hot shower is quite weak but then again you are right in the African bush so...Had a great nature walk as well which is recommended for the breath taking views. Def recommend Lemala!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2010

Very nice experience here. The location was the best. Staff was very warm, friendly, and accommodating. Food was adequate, not at all like the food at Ewanjan Lemala in Serengeti with their superior chef, Bacari. Camp could use a bit of a sprucing up. A bit on the shabby side and problems with sink and toilet that constantly had to be adjusted--leaks and lack of running water in sinks. Staff very responsive when we asked for help in fixing things. Best reason to stay here is the superior location, right there at road that leads down to Crater floor.

the camp owners would spend a bit to spruce things up, and the staff remained the same, this would be a truly superior place. Since it does get rather chilly in the early AM and at nightime, the in-room heaters and the wonderful, cozy hot water bottles in the bed at night were a blessing. Staff tried very hard to make us happy.

I would recommend this camp without reservation to all safari goers. Kudos for the best packed lunches of all camps during our 2-week safari.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2010

Our group of friends stayed a Lemala Ngorogoro in July for 3 nights (and for three nights at its sister property Lemala Mara). We had a fantastic stay.

The first thing I must say is that I was completely blown away by the natural setting of Ngorongoro. Having read about it for years and seen countless pictures, I wasn't prepared for just how magical it is. The crater sits high on a mountain, which itself is above the escarpment of the Rift Zone, so when you drive from Arusha you have the feeling of climbing through about seven different climate zones. You in fact climb several thousand feet from the Lake Manyara area, first up the Escarpment and then up the walls of Ngorongoro itself. You go from arid savannah, up into to a lush zone with amazingly fertile farms and finally up into the temporate rain forest (more of a cloud forest in July) that surrounds the rim of Ngorongoro. The rim is at 7500 feet, surrounded by clouds that break every so often to provide jaw-dropping views into the crater. As we drove around the crater rim (Lemala camp is on the North side, so its about 45 minutes away from other lodges), looking first into the crater, and then down the outside walls, it was like we were driving on top of the world.

We came of course for the animals and we saw an amazing array. Just on our first drive into the camp, a leopard -- with some small prey in its mouth -- jumped into the road in front of us. Ran down the road for 100 yards, then disappeared into the dense jungle. That was in our first 5 minutes at Ngorongoro.

The game is plentiful in Ngorogoro and so are the safari trucks, but because Lemala camp is located on the rim next to the quickest descent road and across the crater from the larger resorts we had a couple of hours of relatively quiet viewing each morning. Our guide Arnold was terrific, knowing just where to position us, when to wait and when to move on. In fact the whole staff -- cooks, dining room manager, our Massai guards -- were all fantastically friendly and professional. On our first morning, a herd of animals greeted us on the crater descent road just as we left the camp. On our second morning, we encountered a pride of lions -- two male on one side of the road, two females and cubs on the other. We sat with them for the better part of an hour just observing these amazing animals. In between and around, there were black rhino, gazelles, wildebeast, zebra, hippos, cranes, ostrich. Amazing abundance.

The camp itself is beautiful, situated with a view not into the crater, but off toward the highlands to the northwest. The situation is superb, and it is often cloudy on the rim at night and morning, we didn't miss the 'crater rim view.' The tents are very tastefully done, using Massai prints or kuikoi cloth as accents. Great beds are made even better with a hot water bottle at night (its cold at 7500 feet even on the equator!) that magically stay warm at night. Safari showers were hot and water was more than enough for two of us.

Food in the camp was well done, surprisingly light and healthy. You don't get a lot of exercise sitting in a safari truck so it was great to have an array of fruits and vegetables, and portions that didn't weigh you down. And there was always extra when you wanted it. Its hard to believe they could make such delicious meals on a few camp burners.

Ample lunches were served in the crater, at the lunch spot used by all of the outfitters. By comparison, the Lemala set up for lunch looked more comfortable and complete than most, but not as ridiculously fussy as the most elaborate.

That pretty much summed up our experience at Lemala: Luxurious, but not fussy; comfortable without being isolated. They get out of the way of enjoying the magic of Ngorongoro.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp

Address: Ngorongoro Crater Rim, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
LEMALA NGORONGORO is an intimate camp set in a delightful ancient acacia forest on the rim of the crater, next to the quiet Lemala access route. The camp has 12 spacious canvas tents to ensure intimacy and minimal impact on the pristine forest environment. The tents accommodate two queen beds with winter weight duvets and hot water bottles. The tents are warmed in the evenings by a gas heater, ensuring a cosy night's sleep. The roomy en-suite bathrooms contain a dressing area, flush toilet and a large safari shower. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lemala Ngorongoro Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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