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“Sleeping with rats” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Natron Tented Camp

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Lake Natron Tented Camp
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1.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Lake Natron, Lake Natron, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Sleeping with rats”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

We stayed here one night during our safari. When we arrived, it was quickly clear that the staff wasn't very hospitable (only to the group of Germans who were giving large tips), that the place wasn't very clean, and that there were rats in the area (rat droppings in the meeting area, tent, ...). Also, drinks were rather expensive, and outside the gate, you couldn't walk without being surrounded (rather aggressively) with Massai women who wanted to sell their jewellery. However, we didn't mind too much at that time, since you couldn't expect a spotless hotel service in a semi-luxury tented camp in the middle of nature.

The next morning, when we woke up, a filthy surprise awaited us. Our bed was covered whit rat droppings. You can imagine that this was not a nice awakening. The thought of rats having spend the night in our bed... When we reported this to the staff, they confirmed that there was a rat problem, but that they weren't doing anything to get rid of it. In such a case, I prefer to spend the night in a small tent in a basic tent camp, where I wouldn't have to spend the night with rats.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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62 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    10
    33
    11
    2
    6
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

We stayed in one of the fixed army-style tent so I can't comment on the mobile tents and public washrooms. The tent was fine, clean, well maintained. Washroom facilities were also clean. Food was good and staff friendly. No complaints at all about this place. We did the waterfall trek with a Masai guide which was really nice. One piece of advice though don't wear sandals as the trek rocky and a bit perilous at times - not difficult but you could loose your footing without proper footwear.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

We recently had two nights at this tented camp. Earlier reviews had not all been very positive but the tour company assured us that the camp had improved. Whether it had improved or not we can't say, but we can say that it was one fo the best we stayed in on our 19 day safari.

The drive from Arusha through the rift valley is spectacular and the camp is situated just outside a Maasai village on the banks of a small river flowing into Lake Natron. Each of the luxury permanent tents has been recently renovated and they are delightful, hidden away iin the cool shade of the gardens, full of wonderful birdlife. The sunrises over the rift escarpment and the lake are spectacular.

Not as sophisticated as some camps maybe, but why come all this way to such a spectacular spot looking for that!, The staff are really friendly and look after you well. The atmosphere is relaxed and the kids enjoyed the pool too. We visited the village with a local guide who was great, as well as having a long morning walk out onto the lake edge to watch flamingoes.

A highlight for all of us was the afternoon walk up to a cascading waterfall and swim in the plunge pool.

Ignore the older negative reviews, they are definitely out of date. We would go back tomorrow and stay for a week.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Hannover, Germany
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2012

We arrived at the camp after a long hot and dusty drive. Our company had booked us a mobile tent there, so we cannot comment on the amenities of the fixed tents. However, we can comment on the quality of the public sanitary facilities. One word describes it all: disgusting (and we've seen and liked a number of lodges in Tanzania, and are not picky).
The whole place looks disgusting: the bar/dining area, the showers, the toilets, the wash basins. The bugs were unbelievable (5 minutes into what they call dinner, we had some creepy-crawlies in the soup, and a circle of dead insects around us, killed by the impregnation of our clothes). Even during daytime, flies are everywhere, on the food, on people's faces....

I did not dare enter a shower cabin, which was swarming with insects, so I asked one of the staff (all of which look and walk as if they'on drugs, which they probably are) if I could get a bowl so I can wash up a bit inside the tent. The rude answer was that there are showers and I should use them.

The whole camp had an unsanitary feel, we did not have a chance to look behind the mud wall behind which they were preparing the food, but the people serving it did not look or smell as if they had washed themselves for a very long time.

We fled that horrible place after only one night out of the booked two.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2010

This place was horrible. I am not an extremely picky person, and my husband is even less so. The drive to Natron was exhaustively hot and long and Lake Natron was definitely not worth the trip. Natron was our last stop in a 10 day safari around Tanzania and was an unwelcome end to an otherwise amazing journey through the parks. We enjoyed every previous lodge we had stayed at during our trip (Olduvai, Serengetti tented camp, Mawe Ninga) which amplified how shockingly bad the Natron camp was. The tent cabins were the worst we stayed in. The bathroom/shower was in the back of the tent, and there was no drain for the shower. The entire slab the tent was built on was sloped so that when we took a shower the water literally ran through the bedroom area and out the door! We had to make sure our luggage was off the ground so that it did not get soaked. Really funny, but super gross. There were also goats walking around the tents the whole time. You may be thinking "goats, how cute", but trust me, it's not cute, because a lot of goats bring a lot of goat crap. It smelled horrible. My husband also received a GI infection from the food at Natron which haunted him for months after returning home (including a very terrifying ER visit). The locals charged a toll of $45 to leave town (we call it the Mzungu tax) which left an unpleasant taste in our mouth after an already unpleasant stay.

Our wonderful safari guide Gideon was our saving grace during the Natron trip, as he arranged hikes with a local guide that were definitely the highlight of our 2 day descent into Natron.

Our stay was in late November of 2007. It's possible that things have improved since then. We did appreciate how our travel agency (Africa Travel Resource) responded to our complaints, and hope that things have improved. We however cannot recommend this camp and did not think the long drive was at all worth the add-on to the trip. Stay a few more days in the Serengeti or one of the islands instead (Note: Chole Mjini on Mafia is AWESOME!)

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Lake Natron Tented Camp

Address: Lake Natron, Lake Natron, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Lake Natron
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Lake Natron
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:1 star — Lake Natron Tented Camp 1*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wild and remote Lake Natron lies in the northeast of Tanzania in betweenthe Ngorongoro Highlands and Serengeti plains. Here it is the landscaperather than the animals that is the attraction - the area around the lakeinhabited by Maasai is dry, desolate and hauntingly beautiful.Situated at the base of Africa's only active volcano Oldonyo Lengai (Mountain of God), Lake Natron is one of the most alkaline lakes in the world. The lake is home to millions of tiny crustaceans, attracting literally thousands of lesser flamingo's and it is therefore one of the most important flamingo breeding grounds on earth.Unique in its setting, Lake Natron Tented Camp is set back in a grove of trees slightly removed from the dusty terrain of the lake. Clean safari tents offer showers, comfortable beds and a private veranda. A fully stocked bar and candle lit restaurant ensure you have a cold drink and delicious food at the end of an arduous climb or long days walking. ... more   less 

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