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Lamai Serengeti, Nomad Tanzania
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Reviews (347)
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292 - 297 of 347 reviews
Reviewed July 14, 2013

After a brief logistic hiccup on arrival, we had an incredible stay. The property is beautifully located in the Northern Serengeti. We spent one morning just watching the elephants and giraffes meandering in the meadow only a few hundred yards from our balcony. The rooms were incredibly luxurious and comfortable and yet also nicely embedded in the environment. The pool and physical layout of the lodge provide space to explore and relax for guests. The new host couple just transferred in from another property were still learning the site but had a wonderful attitude.

We experienced a full day drive to catch a herd of the great migration, saw lions mating and the three leopard brothers. Our guide Paolo was very helpful and good with the kids. We had wonderful meals in the bush and he managed the more strict Tanzanian rules (as compared to the more lenient policies on the Kenyan side) regarding driving only on existing tracks well.

The food was very good and included a mix of local and international options which we really appreciated.

We did have an uncomfortable arrival which we hope future guests will not repeat. Our initial guide John did not show up at the correct time for our plane leaving us alone at the airport for 40 minutes. We are relatively easy going and experienced travelers but this was a bit uncomfortable for us especially when the plane that had been waiting left as well. The pilot could not get a cell signal on the airfield and promised to come back if he could not get confirmation that we would be picked up but still... Finally, John showed up and immediately tried to shift blame first to the airline and then to the travel agent. He only apologized after he was directed to do so by the property manager over the radio. He also disparaged our choice of staying at Lamai saying that the grass was too long to see much wildlife and we picked the wrong season to come. We found out later that he had lied to the hosts about how long he kept us waiting. He was also gruff and unpleasant with our children who were somewhat scared of him after a short drive from the airport to the lodge. The host couple immediately responded to our concerns by switching guides and later delivered a complementary bottle of champagne to us with an apology. This response and gesture went much further than John's blame shifting efforts. Don't let this aspect of the review dissuade you from coming to Lamai but do absolutely request that you not be paired with John.

Room Tip: The family suite at the end of the path departing the restaurant was a fantastic two bedroom unit with a shared bathroom. Parents and kids have privacy and space. A wonderful set-up.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank mwsk_h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

An amazing, stunningly beautiful place, with sincere and warm personal attention, catering to our every desire and more. A surprise private dinner was arranged. A bottle of champagne arrived in our room to celebrate our honeymoon. Each and every meal was delicious, with the freshest and expertly prepared ingredients. I will long remember the chocolate tart, and my husband was transported back to New Orleans Kay Paul's restaurant upon eating pork fingers with spicy mustard. Our guide was fantastic. Having spent his life tracking and living with wildlife, he had a keen insight into their behaviors and habits. After listening to the cries of a wildebeest slowly being drowned by crocodiles, many of the group of onlookers from their Range Rovers stated that oh well, that's nature. The rest of the herd had moved on, already. I heard our guide wish to himself, in a tender hushed voice, that the lone baby wildebeest, that I presumed had also just witnessed the death of its mother, succeed in its journey struggling safely across the Mara river.

The next evening we heard lions singing about their evening repast. A warthog trotted past out porch. A handsome pair of leopards delighted us at the end of our first evening safari. I thoroughly enjoyed the sounds of nature around us. I would have liked a radio, only because once in your villa in the evening, there is no way to contact an escort to go back to the lodge. I felt no danger whatsoever, but I could see how someone who has anxiety about proximity to predatory animals could have a problem, and would perhaps have felt at one of the more heavily human populated safari sites. I couldn't have been happier with the high staff to client ratio, and proximity to nature.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sandyga1l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

The camp enjoys a stunning location with amazing views of the Serengeti. The whole place is beautifully designed and maintained, and the huts are spacious with impressive decor. Food was tasty, fresh and well presented. Our guide (Emmanuel) was extremely skilled and we experienced with him the best game drives of our whole two weeks stay in Tanzania. Still our overall experience was negative compared to other camps/lodges. The manager of the camp was away on holiday, and the replacement management, a couple from the US I believe, seemed to run the place as if it was their own house and they were under no obligation to take seriously guests' complaints/worries which, in their view, were silly. There was, by their own admission, a leopard wandering around the camp premises. Call me a sissy, but I did not really enjoy the idea of coming across it during the 10 min walk on our own to our hut which was at the very end of the camp (silly!). In the evening, as in most camps, you are prevented from walking around on your own but are supposed to be escorted by a security guy. In other camps we stayed you could contact the staff using a walkie talkie. Not at the Lamai (too cool for walkie talkie!). They pick you up for dinner at a prearranged time and once you are escorted back to your hut you are literally stuck. On our last night (a tour agents dinner was on so management was well busy) , once in bed we started hearing some disquieting animal noises coming from the roof and the terrece of our hut. Perhaps it was a baby monkey rather than a leopard, still we did not know it and the only barrier between us and the wildlife was a mosquito net. This is of course the beauty of a safari in a tented camp. The difference with other camps was however that we were completely isolated. No security in sight (too busy escorting the tour agents?) and no way to contact the staff. It was not so much the fear of a wild animal entering the room making us feel uncomfortable but rather being completely isolated. There was actually a way to call help in case of emergency: you could blow an emergency trumpet (a bit like those supporters use at football matches). Eventually we did blow it, one, two, three, four times. After what seemed an eternity (at least ten minutes from our first blow), management and security came around. Management said we were perfectly safe in our hut. I am glad we were because if this was not the case, and we had to rely on their prompt intervention, we would have been in real trouble. The day after, when we were leaving, management made some cheeky remarks such as they survived us and we would have definitely enjoyed the second part of our holiday by the beach best (perhaps this is a surviving camp only for the very brave?). It
may well be the case that this place is perfectly safe and we were being silly, but we did not feel safe (as opposed to other camps, as the Orakira) and the snobbery of management was irritating. If I am spending over a thousand dollar per night I expect that, should I need anything during the night, someone to reassure me that no leopard is breaking through my window or a glass of water, someone provides it to me and with a smile.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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12  Thank Hic_sunt_leones_83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NomadTZ, Marketing Manager at Lamai Serengeti, Nomad Tanzania, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2013

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to your concerns. I am delighted that you liked the location and style of Lamai, and that the guiding was top notch.

We are however very sorry that there were aspects of your stay that you felt could have been better and we've taken your comments to heart. Every guest is walked to and from their room between dusk and dawn by one of our watchmen, who then patrol throughout the night, when indeed there are sometimes nocturnal visitors. We do provide the horn as a means for summoning help should you feel insecure, and it is very unusual for this not to be heard first time. We have made sure that the watchmen are positioned so as to ensure that they can hear the horn.

We are in a particularly wild area of the Serengeti, which is one of the beauties of the camp, and we do take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our guests - our priority at all times. While all guests are perfectly safe in their netted rooms (otherwise we would not be allowed to operate), I am sorry that you did not receive the reassurance that you should have done from our relief managers - both of whom are highly experienced bush people. Animals are very much in the habit of avoiding interaction with people, and it sounds as though our managers should have taken more time to explain this to you so that you could rest easy. We do remain totally confident that the measures we have in place are entirely adequate, however we will do more to ensure that our guests FEEL completely safe.

Please do feel free to get in touch on amanda@nomad-tanzania.net should there be any other concerns you would like to raise and I would be happy to address them. In the meantime, I do hope that you have mostly good memories of your African adventure.
Kind regards
Amanda

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

My wife and I had the most fantastic experience at lamai Serengeti. The personal touches by Sacha included romantic dinners for two and a surprise sundowner on a rock in the middle of the Serengeti, G&T at the ready for my wife's birthday. Sensational, thanks Sacha and staff!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank Aussiegos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

The Serengeti is indeed a unique part of the world and no better way to see it than from the beautiful Lamai Serengeti camp. It would have been a treat to just sit outside the lovely and very comfortable room on the kopje (hill) or the pretty main dining/lounge area and contemplate the breathtaking view of the plains in front of camp and the hills (and Mara river) in the distance, but of course I was also there to see the animals - and the game drives were fantastic! We witnessed amazing sightings, including lion and elephant every day, but also antelope and smaller creatures and fantastic birds (a lot not seen before). The food was excellent and plentiful. What a pleasure being woken up either very early or slightly later with a cheery greeting from a room hand, bearing a tea tray and biscuits made by the pastry chef. Most of all - the staff, including the laundry man, chefs, waiters, kitchen helpers, room cleaners, guides and management, were exceptionally helpful and eager to make the Serengeti dream come true.. mine certainly did! Thank you Gabs, Tam, Sacha and everyone else. I miss being snug under the goosedown duvet with a hot water bottle and listening to the sound of whooping hyenas (and some nights - lion) in the distance! Never to be forgotten.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Jenny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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