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“Poor value”

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Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp
San Mateo, CA, USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Poor value”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

My husband, grown son and I stayed here with 3 other couples for three nights. This was our third African safari, and we have stayed in a wide range of camps, from pitching our own tent to high-end luxury, and enjoyed all of them. We knew what to expect from a mobile camp, yet this one was poor in terms of cost/performance and value. Food was poor and portions were skimpy. While many of the individual staff members were very pleasant and tried their best, management was not particularly welcoming or accomodating, In addition, the response of the owners to our concerns was totaly inadequate and inappropriate for a business that is competitive and service-dependent. With the variety of accomodations available in this area, we would not advise anyone to stay here.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Miriam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Topeka, Kansas
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2012

We spent two weeks doing the parks in Northern Tanzania the last 4 nights were here. This was our third Lemala camp and the best of the three. I had a trail camera set up on a tent post near the front entrance to our tent on successive nights it recorded within 10 feet of out tent a giraffe, a cape buffalo and an old elephant. No wonder they send a Masai with his spear to lead us back from dinner and to zip us in for the night. On the last day we were there the migration returned to the area and we could see hundreds of animals near the camp entrance road and the virtually drive river bed in front oft he camp. The last morning at breakfast we saw a cape buffalo wandering inside the camp and just outside 2 giraffe, several gazelle and several impala grazing. This while an enormous stork wandered around. The night before we could hear hundreds or maybe thousands of gnus in the night behind the campsite . We awoke to a hot air ballon gliding over the camp. Food was great , staff excellent. It exceeded even our high expectations.

Room Tip: They are all the same so best to stay close to the main tent.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank palmerjer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2012

I have been on over 20 Safaris, stayed at a wide range of camps, from very expensive, to camping in our own tents. Most of my camp experiences have been extremely positive but this was a huge disappointment . Bottom line do not stay here it is awful. We came with 3 couples who had never been on Safari but had heard about the amazing places one stays and were all looking forward to the camp experience.Nothing worked.The floor boards in the tents were broken, the toilets didn't flush,the faucets didn't work,there was no radio in our tent.The food , other than a decent breakfast , was inedible.The packed lunches were awful, lay in the jeep in the heat of the day until lunch and was virtually inedible.
2 of the group got food poisoning which was huge problem as the toilets didn't flush. The staff was the worst I ever eperienced in a Safari camp. Some of the staff was friendly however over all they were terrible and not concerned with our well being. We knew that mobile tents wouldn't have hot showers readily available, but the staff filled the tanks with hot water and that wasn't a problem
We loved the Southern Serengeti as far as the Game we saw, our guides hired privately through our tour operator are outstanding, but ultimately at the end of a long day of Game drives, one look forward to good service, good food and for things to work, unfortunately this was not the case a lemala.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank DANIEL E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
46 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2012

We stayed here for two days in February and loved it! Its a real canvas tent and its really in the middle of the "jungle. We heard Hyenas at night!

The entire place is well maintained. The food and service was very good. The staff were very well trained and very helpful.

If you want a tented camp experience and feel comfortable doing it, this is well worth it.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank sirijay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2012

let me begin by saying our safari in tanzania was amazing.. our guides and the game we saw were incredible...
our accommodations, however, left alot to be desired.
being a portable camp, we did not have unrealistic expectations.. having said that, coming back to our tent after a very long day in the serengeti, i expected the lights to go on, the toilet to flush, the water to come out of the sink and my pants to show up from the laundry the day before.
none of that took place.. there were many apologies and even more attempts to fix things, but for me, i honestly felt, it never should have happened.
Not only did they lose the future business of our group, but our safari agents at Hippo Creek were mortified, incensed, and frustrated and will not be sending any of their future clients to Lemala as well.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank nancy g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2012

The location of this camp is great. We loved the people helping us, and the facilities were really very nice. "Bush TV" every night is a treat. It is a fire bowl out from the big tent. The food was special. And after a dusty day in the bush, a warm shower is a delight.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Ann D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2012

This mobile tent camp was an excellent choice for visiting the southern part of Serengeti. The staff was very friendly ( Zuberi was our extremely nice tent steward). When there were minor problems with water these were promptly fixed. The rooms were well designed. We enjoyed the informality of the dinners and pre-dinner drinks and excellent snacks around the campfire. Godwin - the manager of the camp - is excellent. We particularly appreciated his gesture of bringing out champagne to toast two honeymoon couples.

The logistics of setting up a mobile tent camp are mind-shattering. This camp sets the standard for excellent organization and conception.

Room Tip: small camps where all the rooms are equal
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Antoinette B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp

Property: Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp
Address: Ndutu, Ngorongoro Bordering Serengeti | P.O.Box 14529, Arusha, Ngorongoro Conservation Area 14529, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched on the edge of a permanent marsh,LEMALA NDUTU is the ultimate amphitheater for the wildebeest migration between December and March. 12 Suite tents are relocated from the Northern Serengeti to this stunning Ndutu site to capture the boundless drama that accompanies the migration. The migration arrives in December and begin calving in February. The camp is situated inside the NCA, near the border of Southern Serengeti, in what is perhaps the finest location in the whole of Ndutu. ... more   less 
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