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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
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Thank Anindya M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We stayed 2 nights. Guide used Raphael from Good Earth was very good with a great well equipped vehicle, binoculars, fly swat, guide books and sand bags, lots of water. Very different to he Lemala camp guides ( see reviews of Lemala Ewanjan and Mara). Old tents, clean, nice staff, food good. Very cold at night and early morning. Fires usually put on about 7 pm but staff will light in tents earlier if asked. We did as it was bitter ever with hats, gloves ect. Lit fire in am when bringing tea and coffee.
The crater floor is about 10 -15 mins away so very good location. We were down by 6.15 and didn't see many vehicles for the first hour 2 hours but then far too many.One visit enough.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank pollydoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2012

We stayed at Lemala tented camp for 2 nights in July 2012. Although this was the simplest of our Tanzanian safari accommodation, we were happy with our choice given it's location so close to the crater floor. The staff were great - attentive and prompt with all our requests. Given that it is a temporary camp, the tents were well set up with a bucket shower - enough hot water for around 7 minutes - flush toilet, simple bathroom vanity and a separate bedroom area with gas heater for those cold nights. The beds are hard, but oddly we found that the case in most Tanzanian properties. The heater is turned off around 10.30pm/11pm and turned on again when your morning coffee/tea and biscuits are delivered as part of your early morning wake up call.

We actually found the food to be quite good - particularly so if you visit the tiny, dimly lit kitchen and see the extremely humble cooking facilities. One of our party is a chef and she could not imagine how they create the food they do given the facilities.

The nights in July are 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. After dinner we grabbed our wine, had more wood put on the fire and sat marvelling at the stars. Stunning.

The crater floor during July school holidays was frenzied. So many people and cars and after our two days we were happy to move onto our next location for a quieter game viewing experience. We normally have 3/4 nights in each camp. We felt 2 was enough given the time of year, that you can't go off road and every car competes for viewing space if there's something special to see. If you can - take that into account when planning your trip.

Room Tip: We had tents 8 and 9 but I think all tents have the same configuration.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank foreignshores
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2012

My husband and didn't know quite what to expect of a "tented encampment", but boy were we surprised. Comfy bed, flush toilet and running water to the sink and shower in the separate bathroom. The hardwood floors were also a nice touch although they could have been better supported with some type of subflooring. As older travelers it was a little uncomfortable to be walking around on uneven bouncing flooring.

As nice as this encampment was, however, it was not as nice as the Lemala Ewanjan in the Serengeti. The advantage is that it is one of only two or three encampments actually located in the crator. As such, you will be one of the first safari vehicles on the crator floor citing game. The advantage of this will be fully recognized by about noon when the crator is crawling with safari vehicles, practically running into each other. Since it can take an hour or more to reach the crator floor from outside camps (and only minutes from this one) you will probably have seen many of the animals before the others reach the floor. That alone make a stay here well worth it. It isn't the most luxurious, but it is very very nice.

The food is great and the staff extremely friendly and accommodating. We had a wonderful first night on safari and would return to this camp again.

Room Tip: The tents are essentially the same so I can't say one is better than the other. Do request a tent close to the dining/lounge tent if you have bad knees like my husband and I.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank MsAisha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

I specifically requested this tented camp from our tour company, Safari-Infinity, because of its location (on the dual access road to the crater) and the fact that it had heaters in the tents, since we would be there in late June when the temps would be very cold. The camp is situated in a beautiful forest, and while it has no view of the crater itself, it is in a lovely location. We were among the first to reach the crater floor the next morning.

It is a small camp, but the tents were very close together; unlike other tented camps we stayed at, our neighbors were within view. Guests gathered around the campfire before dinner and shared stories, which was fun. Snacks were served around the campfire as we watched "bush tv". Wine, soft drinks and beer from their basic menu were included in the price, and you could order other specialty beverages at extra cost. Dinner was very good, and we all sat at one large table. Guides were invited to dine with their clients, which is important to me, and also join the guests around the campfire. The dining room was heated during dinner, and they closed the tent flaps to keep in the warmth (it was cold the end of June!).

The propane heater in the tent kept us warm, as did the hot water bottles they put in our bed at night. The water from the bucket shower smelled horribly of campfire smoke (it is heated over a wood fire and then poured into the canvas bladder outside the tent when you ask for it), and it took 2 days and 3 shampoos for my daughter and I to get rid of the smell in our hair. The bathroom was cold, as it does not get heated from the heater in the tent. This made for a very cold 5 AM shower! We wanted the experience of a "bucket shower" but it is one I don't need to repeat.

But my biggest complaint is about the accommodations for the driver/guides: they had no heater, no hot water bottles, and no sleeping bags for the guides. Our poor guide, Thadei, from Safari-Infinity, FROZE that night! If I had known of his situation before the next day, I would have asked for something to keep him warm, or to sleep in our tent! It is just not ethical for any lodging or camp to not provide comfortable and warm places for the guides to spend the night. Unfortunately, this was the first time that Safari-Infinity had guests at this camp, so they did not know either. I intend to write to the manager/owner of Lemala Ngorongoro and request that they rectify this situation, as guides can have a major impact on repeat guests. As it stands, despite enjoying the location of this camp, I would not stay there again.

The rest of our experience here was fine, although this place was not the nicest place we stayed at (we did all tented camps, no lodges), even though I think it cost the most of the 5 places we stayed in during our 7 day safari. Because of our (very) early departure the next morning so we could get into the crater, dinner was our only meal, and we had almost no time to just hang out at the camp. Management and staff were friendly and helpful. But next time, I would look for another place to stay with better accommodations for the guides.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Kathy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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