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“Location and atmosphere make this camp”

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Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2013

I stayed here 2 nights around Christmas. This camp is in the first gate down to the Crater and as the other access road down is closed for repair, if you stay here you basically are guaranteed to be first into the crater in the morning. This is a big plus as is the atmosphere at the camp. The views from the camp are limited and while the tents are new, this will be nothing like staying at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in terms of luxury. On the other hand, it's a lot less expensive. WHat a camp like this gives you with its communal dinners and atmosphere though is special. When we left all the staff took a picture with us - it was like they all were friends. I thought the service here was slightly better than Lemala Ndutu but Ndutu was special in terms of the location. The tents are new and slightly smaller than those at Ndutu.

Other than descending into the Crater there are not that many shorter activities in the area (there are some day trips further afield) so be prepared to spend time relaxing or reading in camp if you come back early from the Crater or arrive in the camp early the day before.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank ghfatw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear ghfatw

Thank you for posting your review about our camp on trip advisor. As you have said, when staying at a seasonal camp, it is all about the safari type camping experience which makes the experience so great. Even though we are a seasonal camp, we do ensure that our are guests are comfortable, warm and very well taken care of. It is also the intimacy of the camp and the sharing of stories around the fire or the banquet style dinner table that make for unforgettable memories. By being already inside the gate, access to the floor of the crater is only a ten minute drive away. This is certainly one of the things that our guests really enjoy - being able to be first down into the crater and have it all to themselves while others are still in queues waiting to get down. We do offer morning and afternoon walks (approx 2 hours) with a local Masai who will reveal the secrets of the forest and traditional ways of Masai life and culture. This is certainly well worth doing.

Safe journeys and best wishes

Tom Yule

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119 - 125 of 179 reviews

Reviewed December 30, 2012

Our teenage boys loved this part of our safari. They thought the tents and camp setup was especially cool. This camp is also a great spot for couples as well as families. We met honeymooners as well as families at dinner each night. The hot water bottles in the beds each night were a cozy, romantic touch, and we all slept very well here. Showering with water heated over a wood burning fire was another fun, "campy" feel. Excellent service, beds, foods- all around. And animal life and topography make for constantly stunning vistas.

Room Tip: We stayed in tents 1 & 2 near the mess hall, noise not an issue
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank MollyN162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear MollyN162

What a great review about our camp. Thank you for taking the time to post. At all of the Lemala Camps, our number one priority is guest experience. We take pride in being able to consistently deliver by providing guests with comfort, enjoyment, old fashioned safari feel camp, hosting at a personal level, great food and awesome locations.

I wish you safe journeys

Tom Yule

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Reviewed November 19, 2012

Hot water bottles tucked into the sheets at the foot of the bed on cold evenings and hot coffee or coco delivered to your tent for a wake-up call were only a couple of the things that made this my favorite place to stay during our two-week safari. Watching a white rhino stroll across one of the caldera's plains was amazing! We were able to stay in the crater longer than all of the other safari vehicles because we were at Lamala Ngorongoro. Heading toward the exit, we came across a young lion who sacked out in the middle of the road for a nap - it was too funny. I loved our stay at Lamala Ngorongoro - it even beat out Bilila Lodge, hands down.

The food, prepared amazingly enough on a wood stove, was phenomenal. The vegetable dishes were varied, perfectly seasoned and could serve as wonderful sides for meat entrees or stand as a meal on their own. The Maasai chef did some incredible things for us. Dinner and breakfast was always good as were the lunch boxes they prepared for us. Steven (sp?) was very attentive during our stay there and provide some thought provoking perspectives during our conversations with him. The Maasai security fellows, though very vigilant, were friendly.

Ali (sp?), our butler, was phenomenal and was the most outstanding person regarding attentiveness and service during our entire stay in Tanzania. From making sure there was more than enough hot water for everyone to have comfortable showers, to waking us up in the morning by delivering hot coffee and coco to the tent, to tucking hot water bottles between the sheets while we were at dinner so our beds would be toasty warm in the cool of the night, Ali was beyond compare. Thank you, Ali!

I would happily stay at Lamala Ngorongoro again!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank billfisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear billfisher

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on trip advisor. It makes us very happy to hear that you liked our camp best out of 7 lodges/camps you stayed at during your trip to Tanzania and is a great motivator for the staff to improve even further on service delivery to our guests. Our community outreach programme now also includes the selling of crafts and masai beaded jewelry which is made by the women from the nearby village. I will encourage future travellers to our camp to support our efforts in community upliftment by purchasing an item or two.

Safe travels and best wishes

Tom Yule

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Reviewed November 16, 2012

We truly enjoyed this tented camp and highly recommend adding it to a trip. It was a great complement to some of the more "permanent" camps that we visited. The staff was exceptional. Although our travel agent told us a family tent would suffice, upon arrival we found that it would not be ideal for our two teenagers (it would have worked nicely for younger children that that might easily fit on the convertible chair/beds). When seeing our hesitation, the staff immediately offered to move us into two regular tents that worked perfectly.

Dinner was fantastic. Shockingly good given the rustic setting. The fire pit was a great way to relax before and after dinner.

Given the elevation, evenings can get chilly. They offer hot water bottles which were great for snuggling and keeping warm during the night. A great touch that truly made climbing under the covers much more comfortable. Wake up service also including them coming into the tents to turn on the propane heaters, so the tents were warming as you got out of bed.

This is a great place in which to get into the crater earlier in the morning, thus avoiding some of the chaos. Also, the camp is surrounded by magnificent acacia trees.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank kbsNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear kbsNewYork

Thank you so much for your reviews about Lemala Ngorongoro. I am very happy that you all had a good experience and enjoyed the camp, the staff and the location. This is proof that our outreach programme, which includes employment of locals from the nearby village is paying dividends. Some of the staff from the nearby village now hold senior positions at the camp.

Regards

Tom Yule

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Reviewed October 19, 2012

Our group of 17 stayed here the last 2 nights of our 2 week dream trip on photo safari in Tanzania. We were all on such a high it is impossible to say anything negative about this place! I'm not giving it an EXCELLENT only because we stayed at other places that were slightly nicer for the money. The tents at Lemala Mara are HUGE! They are actually wide vs deep so are probably almost the same square footage as others but just feel bigger. Of course, the two queen beds were quite a treat! OH and the wood floors! WOW! And... how many of you have ever had a talking shower?! What fun! Morning wake up: hot chocolate, coffee,or tea delivered to your tent at the appointed time.
We pretty much filled the camp but there were a few other guests who had to put up with us! HA! We ALL had a good time together. The camaraderie out there is amazing... everyone sharing stories of what we'd seen on our game drives. For our group, the highlight was 45 minutes of wildebeest crossing the Mara river in their migration. UNREAL!!! What a way to end our magical trip! As we returned later that day, there were wildebeest surrounding the camp. Talk about up close and personal! I keep saying it but WOW and AWESOME!
Our travel agent's birthday was our last day and Richard's staff put together a wonderful surprise for her just before we left. CHEERS to all of them and a big THANK YOU, too!

Room Tip: A tent closer to the bar/restaurant area is preferable to one farther out. ALL are wonderful.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LauraJ48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear LauraJ48

Thank you for taking the time to post your views about our camps on trip advisor. I am pleased to announce that Lemala Ngorongoro has now been totally revamped and boast new larger tents which also have emperor size beds in the doubles and queen size beds in the twin rooms. They have all been stylishly furnished for comfort and convenience. The main area tent has also been replaced and now also has a bar area, beautiful lounge and spacious dining area. All of the tents are heated with large en-suite bathrooms.

Best wishes and safe journeys

Tom Yule

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Reviewed October 4, 2012

This was our least-favorite camp on our safari. While other camps have uniforms for the attendants, Lemala allowed employees to wear whatever they wanted – and most wore jeans, sweatshirts and worn jackets.

We found the food only fair at this camp and the service lacking. The breakfast buffet was set up poorly, behind the long table. This made going through the line difficult. Guests were only able to get coffee and refills by getting up and helping themselves – in spite of the fact that the attendants were standing around the dining area with nothing to do. Lemala is close to the entrance of the crater, but that is about all it has going for it!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Roams-A-Lot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded November 23, 2012

Dear Roams A Lot,
Thank you for your review about our property Lemala Ngorongoro. I am sorry to hear that you had a below par stay at our camp and that you found it disappointing. We have addressed the issues which you have voiced and can assure you that we are working hard to make sure that our standards meet the approval of our very important guests. Wishing you safe journeys.

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Reviewed September 23, 2012

We were hesitant about going to Ngorongoro Crater as we like to go where there are few people when possible. We are glad we went, as we had great wildlife spotting. There were definitely a LOT of vehicles (there was gridlock similar to Yellowstone when a bear is spotted along the road, and some unpleasant exchanges between occupants of vehicles when one violated the "queue" order...very ugly, especially in a place of such beautiful wildlife). And apparently the time we were there (Mid-August) is not peak season!
If you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible, this is THE place to stay. You do get a headstart into the crater.
We loved the camp. We had come from Tarangire (Treetops) which was a fantastic accommodation. But we actually liked Lemala better. Not as luxurious, but somehow perfect for the spot. Small enough to be intimate and get to visit with other guests.
The tent was very nice, clean, and comfortable. Showering FAST was not any big deal. Nights and mornings were chilly but the tent was cozy, especially with the hot water bottles.
Food was really delicious. Service was excellent. The only thing I can think of as a downside is that rum was not among their spirit offering (my cocktail of choice). Not by any means enough to spoil this special place, but just seemed sort of odd.
Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Diver-Hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp

Address: Ngorongoro Crater Rim, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $483 - $3,032 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
LEMALA NGORONGORO is an intimate camp set in a delightful ancient acacia forest on the rim of the crater, next to the quiet Lemala access route. The camp has 12 spacious canvas tents to ensure intimacy and minimal impact on the pristine forest environment. The tents accommodate two queen beds with winter weight duvets and hot water bottles. The tents are warmed in the evenings by a gas heater, ensuring a cosy night's sleep. The roomy en-suite bathrooms contain a dressing area, flush toilet and a large safari shower. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lemala Ngorongoro Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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