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“Top of our list!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp

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Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp
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Lake Eyasi, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Skull Valley, Arizona, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Top of our list!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We toured a number of places in Tanzania in July, 2013. Kisima Ngeda was one of the most relaxing and fun places during our three week safari. We were there for three nights. One of the reasons we wanted to go to the Lake Eyasi area was to visit the Wahadzabi hunter-gatherers, the Datoga tribe and the Maasai villages. We also visited a local school as our daughter was the age of the children in the school. Were were graciously greeted everywhere we went. We also had an opportunity to go to the local market where hundreds of people laid out their wares on the ground to sell. This was another highlight of our trip to this area. It was so colorful and our daughter loved buying small things from the local people and seeing the cattle for sale at the market.

Kisima Ngeda camp is located on the shores of Lake Eyasi. The tents are wonderfully equipped, large and comfortable. They are constructed almost entirely of thatch from the large doum palms that surround them with keen attention to the use of ecologically sound materials. The monkeys playing in the palms were a joy to watch as they rustled around on the huge leaves. The entire camp is shaded by the palms and the lovely winds kept the temperatures down. The scenes surrounding the camps are stunning. We appreciated being able to walk around the grounds freely to stretch our legs and enjoy the scenery of the lake area. The swimming pool and the area surrounding it was top notch resort style. Although the water was cold due to the winter months we were there, we enjoyed relaxing by the edge of the pool on the comfy lounge chairs.

There is a small gift shop on the premises that offers handmade items by the local tribes. The staff is fantastic. We felt like we were treated royally by Nani and her entire staff. The feeling and mood of the camp is relaxed, yet there was always someone there to help us with anything that we wanted. The food was extraordinary! Some of the best in Tanzania. Hats off to the chef!

We look forward to staying at Kisimi Ngeda on our next trip to East Africa. We highly recommend this as a relaxing and comfortable retreat with great food and a friendly staff beyond compare!

Room Tip: I would recommend a room close to the main lodge.
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Lake Eyasi is a scenic lake at the base of a steep section of rift valley escarpment just to the south of the Ngorongoro Crater. We stayed for three nights in this beautiful lodge. Very friendly staff. The lodge is situated near springs, creating an oasis surrounded with dry and harsh environment.The lake was almost all dry and we could see from miles around. There is a small pool to relax back from visiting the tribes. We paid a visit to the bushman called the Hadzabe. We went hunting with them. They killed 3 small animals. They made a fire and had lunch while we took pictures. We also went to see the Irakwe and the Datoga tribes.
They run on Batteries so ask when the power is available to recharge the camera batteries. They have good showers, and the tents are very clean and well decorated. Awesome place!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Schiedam
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

We stayed for three nights in this beautiful, off the beaten track lodge. The very friendly staff made our stay unforgettable. The lodge is situated near springs, creating an oase in the 'desert'.
The food was excellent. When we were there, the lake was far away and the flamingo's and pellicans spots on the horizon. In the camp the water attracts kingfishers and around tent 7 many beautiful bee eters. At night the trees from the restaurant to the tents are full of the lovely small bushbaby.
The lovely Nani created just outside the camp a waterhole with a watchtower. There is a small light near the pool, just enough to see the shy night animals. There are camera's (photo and video) that record the animals that visit the pool. Every night one ore two civet cats, bus pigs and deer come to drink. Also the very difficult to see aardvark drinks here several nights a week. Unfortunally they are there around 3 AM. The watchtower has mosquitonets and even 2 beds to stay overnight.
Nani told us that there is also a dan of striped hyena near the lodge. From the hill beind the lodge you can look inside the dan. We saw the dan, but it was not the breading season.
A real must is a visit to the bushman. We went hunting with them in the early morning. A real experience and absolutely no tourist trap. The did there thing and ignored us completely.
Kisima Ngeda was our nr 1 lodge after 4 weeks safari in north ans south Tanzania.

Room Tip: Room 8 no view. All others do.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

Initially, we were hesitant to visit the place due to the comments regarding the dusty & bumpy roads, but we wanted to see the Hadzabe that we decided to go for this trip. Luckily we did!
No regrets. From the main highway which is asphalted (Kuratu Area, if I am not mistaken) was fine. The rough roads leading to Lake Eyasi were bumpy & dusty , but surprisingly manageable. I do get backaches and was worried with this, but I ended up fine, no backaches at all.
Upon making the turn leading to Lake Eyasi, it took us about another hour to get to Kisima Ngeda , where we were met by Nani, our gracious host who also took us around their family's property after we registered.
We found out that most of the produce, including the fishes were grown in their farm. THey have ponds in one area of the property.
The milk and meat came from their cows. Mostly, the food was organic & the servings were huge! Everything tasted very good & we really enjoyed it!
The tent we stayed at was perfect. Clean, nicely decorated, airy, spacious & quiet. This was located at the far end from the bar, dining & common areas where there was also wi-fi.
There was hot & cold shower. Lights were on from about 6-11pm & also for charging your electronics.
At night you can hear the rustling of the palm trees that makes you fall asleep. You wake up in the morning with a view of the lake and sunrise. Can't get better than that.
This was a nice break from our safari & an excellent place to stay at, even if you do not want to visit the Hadzabe & Datoga tribes.
The Hadzabe tribe is now just about 400 people left as mentioned by our guide, Sadi. I read somewhere in NatGeo 2009 that they used to be about 800.
This place is highly recommend. Check it out!

Room Tip: (There is no room service, sorry, i could not delete the rating I accidentally marked)
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

We stayed in a tent for four persons. What impressed me was that the space was used very thoughtfully and there was everything we needed - water, a lamp, a plug for each bed, comfortable beds and a great bathroom. The toilet is separated from the bathroom, the shower is also separate with a place where you can put comfortably your soup and gel. There is a washbasin with a plug and a small lamp above. This means that three persons could use the bathroom at the same time (for different purposes). As a woman I find all these details are important. As I learned later, the owner is a lady from Argentina who runs the hotel together with her husband :-).

My friends found the common spaces equally comfortable and well organized (I did not have the time to try them). The dinner was excellent. However, we were served wine without being asked whether we actually want it and the wine was not very good (at least for my taste, the wine is an individual experience). You have to know that in all lodges in Tanzania you have to pay for your drinks. The exchange rate is usually less advantageous if you do not have Tanzanian shillings (I do not know for this hotel as my friend paid but in all other hotels this was the case).

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Arusha, Tanzania
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp is an oasis. A perfect spot to relax, enjoy the lake and the birdlife, and be pampered. We spent the weekend with friends and the kids (ages 4 through 8) had a super time fishing in the ponds, running around on the mud flats, exploring the woods around, and playing with the monkeys. The views of the lake are stunning, and the facilities and staff are perfect. Totally worth the dusty journey in! Just wish we could have stayed longer! Will be sure to return.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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.
Denton, TX
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We can recommend Kisima Ngeda tented camp without reservation. We have stayed in six or seven different tented camps in Tanzania and Kenya. This is one of the best. Here is why:

The camp name, Kisima Ngeda refers to a "well surrounded by trees". About every 2-3 kilometers along the shore of Lake Eyasi is a spring. This is one of them and affords a lush, almost tropical, surrounding in the middle of a very dry desert. You enter the camp down a long dusty road, some of which more resembles a river bed than a road. Around a bend you dive into a dense grove of palm trees ending in a small parking area where one of the camp
owners, Nani, or (if she happens to be away) a member of the staff, will be waiting to welcome you and, after a few sign-in steps, show you to your tent. The staff is so helpful and accomodating, and always greet you warmly. They are also there to say goodbye when your stay is over.
The camp consists of eight permanent tents separated by enough room so you feel alone when you sit out front. The tents are large, very clean and nicely decorated with very thoughtful touches. The sleeping area is separate from the ensuite bathroom with really nice shower.
Screened sides and front allow the breeze to blow through at night
but can be closed if you wish. We stayed there about 6 years ago and everything has either been well maintained or improved. They have added a lovely in-ground swimming pool and a tall look-out platform where it is nice to sit and just look out over the soda lake. We spent several hours (and a couple of beers) there just looking at the scenery. The food is excellent (in fact is was some of the best we had on our entire trip) and is more than plentiful.

Our friends probably said it best when they said "Now this is what a tented camp is supposed to be like".

Overall you will feel very comfortable and looked after at Kisima Ngeda. The attractions in the area are the Hadza or bushmen who now number only about 850 and are slowly being squeezed out of their range by the ever encroaching population. If you are interested in this way of life the sooner you go the better since it is under pressure. Nani, her husband, and other people who care about the future welfare of the Hadzabe are trying to secure land rights which will allow them to live as they have for centuries and we hope they are successful.

One of the other attractions is the Datoga who work metal. They take old nuts, bolts, or other copper, brass, and aluminum items and melt them in a forge about the size of a card table. It consists of two sheep stomach bladders for bellows and a small pile of charcoal. A piece of car spring and the side of a large hammer serve as the anvil. This is how metal has been worked for centuries and it a good thing to see firsthand.

Another attraction is the whole area itself. Away from the immediate camp with its large spring and palm trees, the land is dry, dusty, and forbidding. Living day in and day out in this area must be hard and we found it interesting to witness. Desert has a beauty all its own if you take the time to look.

Each tent in the camp comes with its own group of vervet monkeys during the day and the almost constant breeze at night rustles the palm leaves to sound like heavy rain. We found it very soothing.

Nani, herself, seems to love what she is doing. She greets every guest whether they are coming or going. Her husband Chris goes down to meet and talk to every guest during the evening meals (your guide will eat with you - a nice touch, we thought). You feel taken care of. You just feel very comfortable. We can recommend Kisima Ngeda without reservation. If we went back for a third time we would stay there again.
Booking early is advisable (6-8 months) since this is one of the more sought-after camps. Don't miss this place!!!!

Room Tip: Any of the tents are perfect. They are all well-located and very private.
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  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp

Address: Lake Eyasi, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 31 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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