I've stayed at Masek Camp for 2 nights in february with a group of friends, 10 people in total, including 4 kids of 6, 5, 4 and 3 y. o. respectively.
I am almost Tanzanian, I've spent a lot of time in Tanzania during the last 10 years both for business and pleasure and I speak Kiswahili better than English, I already knew the area well. If we were not with kids I'd have booked at Olakira which I like very much, but Olakira does not match with the needs of children. I've also stayed at Ndutu Lodge in the past which is definitely cheapper, but I was curious about this new camp I 1st heard about at WTM in London last November. All in all it prooved extremely good.
The location is really fantastic for February: right in the middle of the action, with big huge herds of wildebeests and zebras all around the camp which dominates Lake Masek from a gentle slope. Game is really abundant, cats were everywhere, I counted up to 27 lions in the same group! It was calving season so easy meals were awailable at any time, all predators looked very well fed. We also wihtnessed a successful hunting! Lions were roaming around the camp at night as well as hippos and ungulates.
Now, the lodge: it's brand new, they opened in Dec 2009. 20 big spacious tents in total, pitched over wooden decks with nice verandas offering stunning views over the lake and the passing game, enough space between tents. Each tent has 2 big cozy french beds (or one king size bed) with nets, we booked tripples (for the kids) and I can tell there's space enough for a 3rd bed (which is a proper, regular bed). Furniture vaguely recalls traditional east african style, yet it's lighter, more modern in design. There's an outdoor shower and a (rarther useless) big, immaculate bath thub. Plugs are everywhere.
The common area is spacious, with couches on the left hand side and the dining on the right hand side. It also has a half moon shaped deck overlooking the lake with 360° views over lake Masek and the bush.
Food is extremely good, fresh, generous and does not aim at being (ridiculously) sophisticated as it happens in some other lodges. Fresh veggies are abundant, considering that everything comes from Karatu by truck.
Staff is nice, genuinely friendly yet without being cheesy (nobody pretended to be interested in what we spotted during the day...a real plus... so fed up with "jambooooooo, how was your game drive? what have you seen today?") and they are attentive to kids' needs. The Maasai guards here are a nice bunch of guys, authentic, none of them spoke a single word of English (not even the guys who guide the walks) and were definitely different from the "models" I met posing at other lodges.
Overall a very good place to stay. It does not offer the same high specification you can experience in smaller mobile camps like Olakira, but if you're looking for a tented experience yet with some conventional comfort in this area it's the right place. I recommend it also to people on their 1st safari, as well as to families with kids who do not feel the need of being protected by bricks walls.
This area definitely needed a permanent facility like this!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestling between the prime wildlife areas of central and southern Serengeti. The area is witness of the Great Migration from December to March. This luxurious tented camp enables guests to be within reach of the Great Migration and to explore remote, beautiful corners of the Serengeti with excellent resident game. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Masek Tented Camp Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area