My mother, two sisters and I stayed at this camp in October 2011 as our first stop on our safari. We considered staying at a few places at the crater but ultimately decided that the African Safari experience would not be the same in hotel accomodation as it would be in a tent, best decision ever. While this camp does not provide the views of the crater that other hotels do, the service and staff more than make up for it. Having said that, one of the best things about this camp no doubt is it's location. With the crater ring road being quite long and rough to drive along, the fact that the camp is virtually at the entrance to the crater, makes for a very quick and easy drive into the crater. I remember feeling I was glad that after a long day in the crater, I didn't have to go for a long rough drive along the crater road to get back to my accomodation. We were back at camp in no time at all, glass of wine in hand to relax and unwind as soon as we returned. The food was very good, and I was surprised after seeing what they have to cook with. I particularly enjoyed the soups. The tents were nice, clean and comfortable. I was a bit worried initially about bucket showers as I had very long hair and was concerned that they would have to keep bringing buckets for me to get my hair washed but it proved not to be an issue at all, I was able to do it with one bucket. The staff were very nice and friendly and made our stay very enjoyable. They were always there to answer any questions or help with any need we had. The camp manager Godwin from Maasai background, sat with us during dinner one night and answered all of the many questions we had about the Maasai people and culture which made for a very interesting night of conversation over dinner. It was no doubt the most facinating and memorable dinner of our trip. With my mother being elderly (71 at the time), she was treated with great care and respect by the staff and was always carefully escorted to and from our tent from the main tent, something I know she very much appreciated. Our game drives in the crater were very successful and we were able to see an abundance of all kinds of wildlife. We also opted for the visit to the Maasai village, which also turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. My one sister and I opted to hike up to the village, while my other sister opted to be driven with my mother as she would not have been able to do the hike. The hike was about an hour long, all up hill, with low brush so wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring water. We saw elephants on our way up and being out in the bush amongest the widelife was a bit nerve wracking but part of the thrill and I am glad we did it. It was just my mother, sister's and I at the village so we got a private tour which was great. We were greeted by the entire tribe and treated to a performance of the woman singing, and men chanting and jumping. It was thrilling and overwhelming. One of the women was a real character and immediately starting adourning my mother with Masaai jewellry and got her singing and dancing with them, she absolutely loved that!! We sat in one of the huts with one of the sons of the chief and he talked alot about their culture and way of life, their needs, issues with medical care, schools for the children and hopes for the future. After we bought some of the jewellry and beadwork made by the women. They cover the cattle corral in what they are selling so there is great selection and I was happy to purchase directly from the tribe we visited. The only issue with the camp for me was there was limited access to electrical outlets for recharging batteries for the cameras and one night before dinner I had placed my battery on the charger in the main tent and a couple hours later went to get it, only to discover that someone had taken mine off the charger bar and replaced it with theirs. It was time to go to bed and I was not able to charge it over night and the battery was only partly charged. This made me upset as I was worried about not having enough battery to get me through the next day. I did have a back up battery but I found I could go through one battery/day easy and always had to move to the back up and I was worried I wouldn't have enough and miss photographing something spectacular. So I recommend bringing at least 3 batteries and leave one charging while you are out on safari during the day. Otherwise I think this camp is the ideal tented accomodation and I would definately recommend it. If I ever go back to Ngorongoro Crater, this would be where I would stay as it more budget friendly that many others and the staff, service and location was absolutely great. I am very glad we chose this more rustic tented accomodation over a hotel, it made the experience more true to the African Safari experience. There is a good chance you will hear the animals around you as you lay in bed at night. Thank you so much to all the staff at Lemala Ngorongoro Crater, what wonderful and forever lasting memories we all have from our stay in October 2011.
- 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