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“Ndutu Safari Lodge” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ndutu Safari Lodge

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Ndutu Safari Lodge
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P.O. Box 6084, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Lexington, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Ndutu Safari Lodge”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

This lodge atmosphere has changed since I last stayed there. I know it is under new management and that is, perhaps the reason for the change. The genets are still hanging out in the rafters of the dining area and they are such pretty little cats. I like the lodge but with the new management it has lost some of its appeal.. If you are looking for luxury, don't go there. It is not about luxury, it is about loving the land and all that it offers. Rooms are adequate, showers are hot and I slept well. The birds are beautiful. Traveling in Tanzania and for that matter, traveling any where, you need to be able to adapt to your surroundings, accept some bumps in the road an just enjoy the beauty around you. Ndutu is a great place for wildlife viewing especially after the rains have come but always you will find a leopard and cheetah...zebra, antelopes ... It is a beautiful area. It is the only place I have ever seen caracal and serval cats. (I don't know if I have spelled those cats correctly.) Ndutu Safari Lodge is not a 5 star but it is comfortable and the food is not bad. I found the staff to be very accommodating .

Room Tip: All the rooms are pretty much the same. I prefer to be closer to the reception. It is very dark whe...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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238 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (34)
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Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Ndutu Safari lodge gave us everything as promised but nothing more. We didn’t experience the personal touch, relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff like in other lodges and camps. It was just good facilities in a remote area. We met a few nice people who try to make the best of it but overall our impression was that things were done because they had to. The restaurant was a bit overcrowded at times and especially diner was in a hurry. Their food was our less favorite of this trip. Laundry service was quick and for reasonable prices

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manama
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

This place is wonderful. You are surrounded by nature, beautiful birds and wildlife. The location is great , close to the migration in February. The food was really nice, and the staff are very friendly and proffisional. The rooms are very clean and not luxurious, they are rustic and done in a tasteful way. Internet is only on one computer and it's a long wait to use it. Hot water and electricity run for limited time, but that was ok. The only thing that wasnt perfect is that You can hear people walking outside the room.

Room Tip: Choose your room as far as possible from the reception, it's a bit disturbing hearing people wal...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We spent 2 nights at Ndutu as part of our 8 day safari and we were really impressed with everything. The unfenced lodge has a very rustic and peaceful feeling and that’s what we liked so much about it. Its situation enabled us to see lots of wildlife without having to travel far. Some of the most interesting and exciting sightings were within ½ hour of the lodge. The meals were set and, although it was more western style, the food was very good and the service from everyone was excellent. Breakfast was the one of the best we had on the whole safari. It was a combination of buffet (breads, cereals (hot and cold), yogurt, fresh fruit) and a la carte (eggs to order, toast, tomato). Tea and coffee and cookies were available all day if you needed a snack. The rooms were simple but nicely decorated and very clean. They are actually separate cottages and personally I think the simplicity of them is what best suits the surroundings. Electricity was only available in the morning and evening but the periods of time were long enough to allow you to re-charge your batteries (there are 2 charging stations in the lobby). We loved the fact that you could sit in the lounge or dining room and feel so close to nature. There was a bonfire lit every night where you could sit out under the most amazing starry sky I’ve ever seen and trade stories with fellow travellers. I would have to say that the only negative I can think of in the whole place is that the water is very soapy feeling (it’s very alkaline) so you never felt fully rinsed off but hey, that’s out of their control and if that’s the only thing wrong it’s pretty minor....at least it was hot and had good pressure. Overall a great lodge with a very relaxing vibe.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Myself and a friend spent 3 nights here in January 2013 as part of an 11-day safari. Of all the places we stayed, this was our least favorite.

The first issue is that the facilities themselves are very nondescript. It's not that there's anything wrong with it; it's just that there was very little style. In comparison, we found the public areas of Tarangire Safari Lodge to be quite striking. The grounds themselves are more attractive and do provide for occasional game viewing - we saw wildebeest, zebras, plenty of ground mice, bats and of course the resident love birds. But unlike a place like Tarangire Safari Lodge where there's a scenic overlook that takes in stunning surroundings, Ndutu Lodge offers a glimpse of plains with the Ndutu Lake in the background. It's nice, but not nice enough to completely take the focus off the lodge.

Service was also not so great. We ran into a few persons who were very friendly and outgoing, but otherwise we found much of the staff to be more standoffish. This was particularly noticeable at night, after dinner. We had the second farthest room from the dining room, thus requiring a long walk. Everywhere else, a staff member would walk with you with a flashlight. Here, you were on your own, which was a little disconcerting as you see animal eyes constantly, and very close to you, but you don't know what they are (we later learned just gazelles and dik diks - harmless, but in the pitch dark you can only see eyes). About halfway along the walk there were apparently staff near a room area flashing a low level flashlight about 20 or so feet away from us, apparently to assist us, but I thought it was a meager effort. Make sure to bring your own flashlight regardless - we had the ones that strap to your head and they were helpful. I have since been told on the forums here that we could have asked for an escort, but how would one know this when there?

The rooms themselves were fine, but lacking style. Beds were comfortable with adequate bedding. Mosquito nets were in the closet - do it yourself, but easy. We sprayed our room with bug spray before dinner after finding a couple of huge spiders and some mosquitoes in the room. That seemed to work. The bathroom continued along the path of adequacy, but the water pressure was decent (even if the slippery-feeling water was odd). As is the case with most places, there was no electricity or hot water except in the early morning and evening.

Food might have been my biggest issue with this camp though. Lunches and dinners were basically set, no choices. And they were generally poor - overcooked and unseasoned meats, terribly overcooked and mushy vegetables, but good news: plenty of it! It was worse when they tried to cook western-style food. A chicken with coconut curry on the other hand was the one solid meal.

One breakfast was a disaster, however. We had a very early morning and they gave us picnic breakfast boxes. They were full of ants, maybe hundreds. Even worse, I figured at least two pieces of bread inside tightly wrapped plastic wrap would be safe. Well, until I ate a third and realized ants were all over the bread too. I didn't get sick, but I was certainly disgusted, and frustrated.

Cocktail hour was enjoyable enough, chairs set up outside, popcorn and peanuts served, and a friendly, communal atmosphere. At cocktail hour, we would always use the time to also charge our electronics at the main charging area . . . the same as at other lodges.

So overall, other than the ant incident, it was a mostly average stay. I wouldn't say it was a poor stay and so I'm giving Ndutu 3 stars. But if I returned to the area, I would definitely try to stay at a nicer place in this general area. Again, great game viewing in the general area, but not a place I'd want to stay again for 3 nights.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Dix Hills, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

This camp was most balanced camp we stayed in. The location was good, there was a nest of love birds right outside the dinning hall. I thought the Gannets in the roof of the dinning hall was entertaining. The food was particularly good, it seemed home made, and not cheaply mass produced. The rooms themselves were ok. They were clean, but the bathroom was a little dark, and the water not so hot.

The gift shop was probably the best one among all the places we stayed. They actually avoided the standard carvings and focused more on quality things that you would like to take home. The lady that runs it has good taste.

I would stay here again for sure. I felt this place had the best blend of comfort and authenticity. I felt like I was in Africa here more than other lodges.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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St. Paul, MN, US
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We stayed at the Ndutu Safari Lodge as a part of a safari arranged by Dorobo Safaris (highly recommended!). It is very convenient to the Ndutu airstrip and a great location for seeing animals. Lunch and dinner were plated meals (no menu) with family-style side dishes but I'm not sure if that is typical or if it was because we were part of a group of 11. Breakfast was a buffet of cereals, breads and fruit with English breakfast to follow. All the meals were delicious! There is a nice selection at the bar and a lounge with great views. There are stand-alone and "duplex" rooms spread along a well-lit path. They were very, very comfortable - the nicest of all our lodges on our tour. There were mosquito nets available in the closet which we installed ourselves. I'm sure one of the many employees would help guests with this but it was easy to do ourselves. We did an afternoon game drive and another drive the following morning and couldn't believe all the different animals we saw on just these 2 fairly short drives. We saw a large pride (at least 12) of lions sunning themselves with 30 minutes of leaving on our first game drive - an amazing way to start our first game drive!! There were dik diks wandering through and a herd of zebra and a gazelle with a baby within view of our porch. The only regret I have is that we were only there one night and didn't have a chance to truly relax and enjoy the Ndutu Safari Lodge.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ndutu Safari Lodge

Address: P.O. Box 6084, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ndutu Safari Lodge, shaded by majestic acacia trees, is situated in the south-eastern part of the Serengeti. The Lodge has thirty four cottages, all built with local materials, with individual verandahs facing Lake Ndutu. Tucked away from the madding crowd, Ndutu offers peace and tranquility. Stay close to the lodge and enjoy our resident wildlife or go for a drive to explore the surrounding plains or marsh area. After sunset return to the homely warmth and hospitality of Ndutu Safari Lodge. Karibuni. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ndutu Safari Hotel Arusha
Ndutu Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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