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“Great rustic camping venue” 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
New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Great rustic camping venue”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

We truly enjoyed this tented camp and highly recommend adding it to a trip. It was a great complement to some of the more "permanent" camps that we visited. The staff was exceptional. Although our travel agent told us a family tent would suffice, upon arrival we found that it would not be ideal for our two teenagers (it would have worked nicely for younger children that that might easily fit on the convertible chair/beds). When seeing our hesitation, the staff immediately offered to move us into two regular tents that worked perfectly.

Dinner was fantastic. Shockingly good given the rustic setting. The fire pit was a great way to relax before and after dinner.

Given the elevation, evenings can get chilly. They offer hot water bottles which were great for snuggling and keeping warm during the night. A great touch that truly made climbing under the covers much more comfortable. Wake up service also including them coming into the tents to turn on the propane heaters, so the tents were warming as you got out of bed.

This is a great place in which to get into the crater earlier in the morning, thus avoiding some of the chaos. Also, the camp is surrounded by magnificent acacia trees.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Dear kbsNewYork

Thank you so much for your reviews about Lemala Ngorongoro. I am very happy that you all had a good experience and enjoyed the camp, the staff and the location. This is proof that our outreach programme, which includes employment of locals from the nearby village is paying dividends. Some of the staff from the nearby village now hold senior positions at the camp.

Regards

Tom Yule
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94 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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English first
Oak Park, California
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

Our group of 17 stayed here the last 2 nights of our 2 week dream trip on photo safari in Tanzania. We were all on such a high it is impossible to say anything negative about this place! I'm not giving it an EXCELLENT only because we stayed at other places that were slightly nicer for the money. The tents at Lemala Mara are HUGE! They are actually wide vs deep so are probably almost the same square footage as others but just feel bigger. Of course, the two queen beds were quite a treat! OH and the wood floors! WOW! And... how many of you have ever had a talking shower?! What fun! Morning wake up: hot chocolate, coffee,or tea delivered to your tent at the appointed time.
We pretty much filled the camp but there were a few other guests who had to put up with us! HA! We ALL had a good time together. The camaraderie out there is amazing... everyone sharing stories of what we'd seen on our game drives. For our group, the highlight was 45 minutes of wildebeest crossing the Mara river in their migration. UNREAL!!! What a way to end our magical trip! As we returned later that day, there were wildebeest surrounding the camp. Talk about up close and personal! I keep saying it but WOW and AWESOME!
Our travel agent's birthday was our last day and Richard's staff put together a wonderful surprise for her just before we left. CHEERS to all of them and a big THANK YOU, too!

Room Tip: A tent closer to the bar/restaurant area is preferable to one farther out. ALL are wonderful.
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Dear LauraJ48

Thank you for taking the time to post your views about our camps on trip advisor. I am pleased to announce that Lemala Ngorongoro has now been totally revamped and boast new larger tents which also have emperor size beds in the doubles and queen size beds in the twin rooms. They have all been stylishly furnished for comfort and convenience. The main area tent has also been replaced and now also has a bar area, beautiful lounge and spacious dining area. All of the tents are heated with large en-suite bathrooms.

Best wishes and safe journeys

Tom Yule
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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
220 reviews 220 reviews
113 hotel reviews
Reviews in 113 cities Reviews in 113 cities
194 helpful votes 194 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

This was our least-favorite camp on our safari. While other camps have uniforms for the attendants, Lemala allowed employees to wear whatever they wanted – and most wore jeans, sweatshirts and worn jackets.

We found the food only fair at this camp and the service lacking. The breakfast buffet was set up poorly, behind the long table. This made going through the line difficult. Guests were only able to get coffee and refills by getting up and helping themselves – in spite of the fact that the attendants were standing around the dining area with nothing to do. Lemala is close to the entrance of the crater, but that is about all it has going for it!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
Dear Roams A Lot,
Thank you for your review about our property Lemala Ngorongoro. I am sorry to hear that you had a below par stay at our camp and that you found it disappointing. We have addressed the issues which you have voiced and can assure you that we are working hard to make sure that our standards meet the approval of our very important guests. Wishing you safe journeys.
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Arkansas, USA
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We were hesitant about going to Ngorongoro Crater as we like to go where there are few people when possible. We are glad we went, as we had great wildlife spotting. There were definitely a LOT of vehicles (there was gridlock similar to Yellowstone when a bear is spotted along the road, and some unpleasant exchanges between occupants of vehicles when one violated the "queue" order...very ugly, especially in a place of such beautiful wildlife). And apparently the time we were there (Mid-August) is not peak season!
If you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible, this is THE place to stay. You do get a headstart into the crater.
We loved the camp. We had come from Tarangire (Treetops) which was a fantastic accommodation. But we actually liked Lemala better. Not as luxurious, but somehow perfect for the spot. Small enough to be intimate and get to visit with other guests.
The tent was very nice, clean, and comfortable. Showering FAST was not any big deal. Nights and mornings were chilly but the tent was cozy, especially with the hot water bottles.
Food was really delicious. Service was excellent. The only thing I can think of as a downside is that rum was not among their spirit offering (my cocktail of choice). Not by any means enough to spoil this special place, but just seemed sort of odd.
Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Peter, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Lemala Camp was exactly what I had expected it to be and more. If you are going to compare this camp to the higher end, more expensive luxury tented camps, e.g. the amazing Kichwa Tembo in Masai Mara, why yes - you would be disappointed. If you researched and understand this is a quaint, cozy, rustic tent camp, you will love it. You will love the charm, location, staff, and overall vibe. I enjoyed every minute. I have in the past stayed at the other lodges at the crater rim. I have came home wishing to had a more true Africa experience. For the same cost approx I decided on doing the Lemala Camp. When we arrived we were greeted instantly with warm smiles and cold drinks. The tents are very well designed and equipped. The hardwood floors, decor, and heaters make the tents very comfortable. You have to take in consideration before you travel the season and climate of the crater. We traveled in late June/early July, so we were aware it was cool, evenings around 55F. Hotwater bottles were provide and the heaters were turned on before you fell asleep/ back on with hot tea when you were given your friendly wake up call.
The campfire before supper was such an "Out Of Africa" experience - this is exactly why you come to this incredible land. Sleeping under the acacia trees, sleeping to the sounds of the animals. This is what you think of and vision when you plan your trip to Africa. Why not then experience the magic. To make a lodge into a fancy and luxurious camp would only take away from such a true experience. The other guests you meet are fun to talk with in the evenings chatting and sharing stories, and the small intimate camp really make this a lifetime memory. It did for me. We had just finished climbing Kilimanjaro, so we needed these extra days to relax and take it all in. Highlight - the impromptu making of fresh Bloody Mary's before supper. Staff had fresh tomatoes, Tabasco sauce and on the spot turned it all into the best Bloody Mary's I ever had. Food fantastic. Walking safari, and all the extra benefits of being the first in the crater due to location. I had stayed in the other hotel lodges and remember the long drives to getting to the crater floor, this was such a treat to have it all right in your own backyard before anyone else. It was as if the park was only ours to enjoy. Would I go back to the Lemala again? In a heart beat! I can stay in a hotel room when I get home, a tent in Africa I can not ~!

  • Stayed July 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We were disappointed by this camp, largely because we had just come from the Lemala Manyara, which was similar but just a little bit better in every way. This camp sort of felt like the "B" version of the Manyara camp. Service was generally good, but the tent had a broken lamp, a crooked mirror, and a bathroom that was laid out poorly. Everything just felt a bit rundown, and not as well maintained. Location is excellent for an early morning crater start.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Our journey from Dar to our camp at Lemala Ngorongoro took nearly 10 hours (couple of flight changes, and then almost a 2.5 hrs drive from Lake Manyara airstrip). But once we reached the camp, all the tiredness or fatigue disappeared. The camp is set under delightful acacia trees overlooking the crater rim. We received a warm welcome from the staff at Lemala, who promptly apprised us about the camp, before leading us to our tent. The tent is extremely spacious and fitted with gas heater, large king-sized bed with warm duvets and ensuite bathrooms with large and nice safari showers - it can't get better in the bush !! We thoroughly loved our mobile "home". The nights were cold but the outside fire before dinner where guests meet and chat was a great place to warm up and get to know people before sitting down for a communal dinner. Hot water bags in bed were very welcome and ensured a good night's sleep.

Our game drive next morning started as early as 6 am with packed breakfast and picnic lunch baskets. "Good morning" says a pride of lions, fifteen minutes we were into our drive as we start descending down the crater road. We picked up the camp primarily due to its proximity to the Lemala access route, and it paid off as we were pretty much on our own on the crater floor much before it got crowded around mid-day. Over the next several hours, we were treated to some magnificent wildlife gaming extravaganza - lions over a buffalo kill, black rhinoceros, serval cat on a hunt, hyenas and hundreds of antelopes grazing all over the crater floor. Fascinating sightings. Back at the camp in late afternoon, we relaxed and enjoyed the sundowner. The crew at the camp have been extremely attentive, service was superb and the food specially the dinners were amazing. If you can bear the cold, do some star-gazing as well, it is fantastic !

We enjoyed our 2 night stay thoroughly at Lemala camp, and will certainly visit again as and when we make our next Tanzania strip.

To all my friends and crew at Lemala camp - You had been doing an excellent job, keep up the good work. Thank you and much appreciated.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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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
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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