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“As Good As It Can Get!”

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Chem Chem Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 10, 2013

We had the good fortune to spend 3 days at Chem Chem
in June. The Lodge was built with all the love and attention
to detail that Fabia and Nicolas could muster and it certainly
shows. The location is ideal and the facilities perfect. Every-
thing blends just right so the Lodge doesn't overwhelm the site.
Our room was spacious and private and contained everything
we could want. We had to remember that we were in a "tent."
The food was really great and was served by Jacob, a delightful
young man who worked hard to teach my wife a few words in
Swahili. Chantelle and Steve, part of the management team,
ensured we had a marvelous sundowner experience and were
well versed on the history of the Chem Chem and the surrounding
area....thank you both. Jimmy, our Tandala guide, showed us the
animals in the surrounding parks and we have many wonderful
memories of these sightings. Oh, did I mention the entire place
was spotless? Again, we needed to remember where we were
as every surface was dust free. The staff is amazing. They are
efficient, personable and talented. And, oh yes, can't forget having
diner down the path in a private setting and lunch and a drink in the
"tower" while watching the animals below. Just about perfect except
the days flew by too quickly. Certainly hope to return one day.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joefish925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 - 82 of 144 reviews

Reviewed May 2, 2013

ChemChem,
This extraordinary lodge is an establishment which has accomplished its challenge! It enabled me to taste, feel and ecperience the perfection of hospitality in the middle of Massaïland! Their Goal was to be the best in the best place! And they are! My first impression was the feeling of beeing in Paradise! The service was higher than anyone's expectations can get for a lodge in Tanzania! The dining was a perfect mix of light and delicate plates with this special touch that gives an extraordary place it's signature! And the facilities where organised, built and decorated with impressive attention to details!
Liebe Fabia, Cher Nicolas,
Thank you for this amazing trip!
We where impressed by you and your professionalism! You built a place that goes beyond of what you could expect from a Four Season's, One and only or Aman! I promised myself I would come back to see you! I fell in love with this country and its beauty! Thank you again!
Margaux

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank MARLIYLIE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

I'm not sure what I can say that hasn't already been said. This place is simplify magnificent and if you have an opportunity to stay with Fabia and Nic, TAKE IT!! I cannot say enough about the staff at Chem Chem and to superb service we received from the moment we arrived on their doorstep to the day of our departure.. The tents (if you can call them that) are beautifully decorated and very spacious with wonderful views of the surrounding area.

I would highly recommend sundowners at the lake and the walking safari both were unique experiences that are highlights of our trip to Tanzania. If I am ever back in Tanzania, I will stay here again. My only regret is that we did not spend more time at Chem Chem.

If you are planning to visit Chem Chem, I would suggest you check out their Facebook page as I enjoyed the pictures they posted during the months leading up to our trip. I would also encourage you to visit http://packforapurpose.org/ before your trip so you can take supplies for the local school that Fabia and Nic support.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank bosaknm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

As a family of 6 we had always planned a safari trip. During the last summer we carefully selected the destination Tanzania and where then looking for suitable lodges. Chem chem was cleary on our list and we left it for our last stop in Tanzania. We stayed there from the 2 to the 6 of January and in retrospect we should have stayed longer. Chem chem is on an private concession and as a result Fabia and Nicolas the owners of the lodge can offer a stay which other lodges can't match. Nicolas picked us 6 up at the airport nearby and we had already a great journey to the lodge as Nicolas explained already a lot on the way and had surprisingly another guest in the car a little gecko he saved from the street. We arrived at the lodge and where overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the lodge. Chem chem has just in front of the lodge a water whole and when we arrived a dazzle of zebras was just enjoying it. We had a refreshment and the gecko found a new living space around the lodge. Similarly Fabia showed us our three tents and we unpacked our travel bags and enjoyed a shower outside our respective very nicely decorated "tents". The tents are very comfortably and spacious and have a great view towards the lake, where a journey of giraffes was just passing by.
After this refreshment we had lunch on the large dinner table. The cuisine was light and perfectly cooked by the cook called Buffalo and the patissier called "good luck". The choice of starters and main courses is excellent and this was the best food we had so far on our trip. After lunch we took of with one of the Masai guides for a walking safari on the vast property. We approached a group of wild dogs, saw giraffes and zebras from very close and climbed all six of us into the inner of a magnificent baobab. We started to experience what chemchem calls slow safari.
Back to our lodge at around 17:30 we went back to our tents and relaxed enjoying the evening light from our rooms. Before having dinner we had a drink with both Fabia and Nicolas and planned our next days with them. We had the wish to spend a full day in Tarangire and use the other days visiting a school project Fabia and Nicolas support in a village near by as we'll as a visit to a Masai family. Thereafter we had dinner and the kitchen spoiled us again. The service is perfect and the Buffalo made again a superb 3 course dinner. The wine was excellent as well. While we had our dinner a kind of mongoose? came to get a fresh egg from the kitchen staff. The little animal calmly had its dinner and then left into the dark again. After dinner we were accompanied back by the rangers to our tents and enjoyed falling asleep in the very comfortable beds with their exquisite bed sheets. You have to travel a long way to sleep so comfortably. On the next morning we left with Nicolas after a short breakfast forTarangire National Park. It is a superb experience having a guide who has spend over 20 years observing animals in Tanzania. Before Nicolas has started with Fabian ChemChem he spend his time observing the animals in the various regions of Tanzania and as a result he is very used to approaching the animals both by foot or by car. Compared to our Serengeti experience he takes a different approach an we saw a lot of animals and somehow didn't see a lot of other Landrovers while being on Safari. Nicolas found us a spectacular place where we had lunch with a spectacular view onto a parade of elephants which was enjoying the green grass of the season. Nicolas is always up for an extra adventure but would never take an unnecessary risk. As we were traveling during the rain period the river was rather full an before risking getting stuck Nicolas just tried the depth by walking through it. He asked us if we are up for it and then carefully drove the Landrover through the river.
Back a the lodge we had a evening swim and my wife had a fantastic massage in the Amani spa. Given her description of the spa experience I decided to get one straight thereafter . Our kids relaxed a the pool overlooking the plain and seeing lots of animals while cooling down. There were some other people at the lodge but we somehow only met them once or twice and we had the feeling that this was our "new home". It changes a lot from our home in central Paris! Our children ranging from 21 to 11, two girls to boys enjoyed the time and the tranquility of the lodge. Fabia and Nicolas spent some time with them and Nicolas showed them around the "back stage" of the lodge to show them what is needed to create such a luxury environment in the middle of no where. He showed them how to catch a scorpion as well as the mechanics of his gun, which he carries on the walking safari in order to 100% ensure his guests. Given that Nicolas speaks apart from English and French as well Swahili and Masai he can communicate with everybody we met during our safari. We planned before dinner to visit the school the next day as well as a Masai village nearby.
We all used the time before dinner in order to get changed and met back later in the library where we played back gammon and had drinks. My daughter who started at the beginning of our trip to learn Swahili ordered dinner or drinks in Swahili and asked the staff for more and more words and sentences. We had great fun with them and enjoyed the evening in front of the open fire before we had late dinner.
Next day we had first a walking safari where Nicolas surprised us with a bush breakfast which was perfectly hidden behind some trees. We had an amazing start of the day an unforgettable breakfast and a lot of fun with Nicolas and his staff. My daughter had the wish to go for a jogging with a Masai while our junior wanted to get a bow and arrow and spend some more time near the lodge with the Masai. We returned back to the lodge and got very close to the giraffes as the wind was blowing in the right direction. Our little son approached them an got really close, fully endorsed and watched carefully by Nicolas.
Back at the lodge our second daughter got ready for a run. The first Masai saw her but as she is very tall and does some 15 of sport a week he rejected running with her and Nicolas needed to organize a "replacement" . The other very tall Masai came and the left for a run of around an hour. Given the time of the day and the altitude of chem chem that was a more challenging jogging than planned. Both my daughter as well as her guide came back exhausted.
We spend more time at the pool before lunch and our trip to the Masai village. Lunch was again fantastic and we learned from Fabia that the kitchen staff gets every year a special training from a reputed chef from a Europe. The last training they got was from the chef from the Adlon in Berlin. This turned out to be a great idea.
Our visit to the Masai village was a fantastic experience. We spent the entire afternoon there and showed the children games and played with them. The eldest from the village enjoyed watching this rather mixed group.
When we went back to the lodge where we discussed with Fabia and Nicolas our trip the school and Nicolas explained to our children the challenges in organizing a school for some 240 children in the middle of the bush. Our children appreciated his explanation and started to talk to him how they could help him in developing the school project. All of the had some ideas and now back in Paris are starting to explore how to help. The school trip was fantastic and we all were very happy to see what Fabia and Nicolas had already archived in parallel to their own lodge.
Chem chem is a very particular place and a fantastic experience. We have travelled a lot and have seen a lot of fantastic places. My oldest son wrote into the guest book, that chem chem can easily match other places and he named the Reethi Rah on the Maledives and the Amangiri in Utah USA where we have been as well. We certainly had a fantastic time at the Chem Chem and will spend more time at the chemchem and rather skip the trip to Zansibar, when we will come back next time.

Room Tip: There are only a few tents and we had 3 out of 8 of them. They are all having a spectacular view
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Roland L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Chem Chem is the place to go!
The best place in Tanzania! The spirit of the team is fantastic. And they created a paradise
in harmony with nature...
The rooms, the service, the surprises they organise, everything is here to spend wonderfull holidays with children.

We love Chem Chem

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Virginie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Our stay at Chem Chem could not have been more magical. Our trip to Africa would not have been the same without our experience here. The location/activites, the decor, the food, the staff - everything was outstanding. They catered too our every wish including spending time with local Masai warriors, contributing to the community and special food requests for our kids and me as a pescatarian.

Location/activities - loved Lake Manyara area. Fabulous wildlife and not very crowded. Tons of elephants and girraffe. Plenty of animals around the lodge - zebra, girraffe, wildebeast, monkeys and the cutest wart hogs! eautiful flamingos on the lake, which is walking distance (but we drove for our sun downer where we enjoyed watching the sunset over the lake with a fire, drinks and wildlife all around). We ask if it would be possible to intereact with some of the local Masai, and they came through with a walking safair trekking garaffi's with 2 Masai warriors. Kids loved it, especially the demonstaration on how to make a fire with zebra poop and sticks. For our sundowner, the warriors showed all of us how to throw spears. We also arranged to visit the local school associate dwith the camp to hand out school supplies that we brought with us. Our girls also brought soccer balls and played a game with the local kids - a highlight of our entire trip. Please consider bringing school supplies for local kids when visiting places like Africa.

Decor - I have stayed at some of the nicest, most interesting hotels/lodges in the world, and this is right up there with them all. The tented rooms were outstanding and so luxurious and private. The common area was stunning with amazing views. Loved the modern, comfotable decor with touches of old world Africa. Nothing kitchy here.

Staff - We can't praise the staff enough, especially our safari driver. If you stay here, defintiely use their drivers and open air jeeps.

Food - We loved the food - even our 12 and 14 year olds. I only eat fish (no other meat) and worried if I would have trouble with the food. Boy was I wrong. The meals were all outstanding. They served us breakfast in the bush one day, which was so fun. Our pinic lunch while out on safari was the envy of everyone around us.

Chem Chem has our highest recommendation.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank JenniferV999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

A lot of very positive reviews have already been written about Chem Chem so the lodge’s excellent food, service, accommodations and wildlife are already well documented. We spent 2.5 weeks in the northeast section of Tanzania staying in many first rate places (we chose our lodges after much careful research) but Chem Chem was far and away the nicest place we stayed. Our first reaction after arriving was to say to ourselves, “Why don’t we just live here? Permanently.” Remembering that everything is absolutely excellent, I want to comment on less tangible things.

One of the distinguishing features of this lodge is that it remains owner occupied. That is absolutely key if you are looking for a place where no detail goes untended to, where everything is (really) perfect. The owners, Fabia and Nicolas, are personally, emotionally and financially invested in the success not just of Chem Chem but of the surrounding wildlife, its people and the landscape. They are “all in” as we say in the United States, one hundred percent committed to Tanzania and the area they have chosen to build. Their commitment shows in every aspect of the lodge and the experience you will have there, becoming apparent to us even before we’d arrived at the camp. We self drove through Tanzania and got a little (and sometimes a lot) lost trying to find our lodges. When we didn’t show up at the appointed time to Chem Chem we received a text message from Fabia who, after receiving acknowledgment from us that we were indeed lost, proceeded to guide us to the lodge with detailed navigational instructions. No other lodge even noticed when we showed up hours late. Upon arrival we were greeted by Fabia and Lizzie and others who seemed genuinely delighted to see us, followed by one of the most memorable (sophisticated food and service, spectacular setting) meals we had on our entire trip.

Next is the shear beauty of Chem Chem. After checking in, guests arrive at a spacious open hall framing a spectacular African landscape. At its center (and very close to the lodge) is a large watering hole that attracts an array of wildlife including zebra, giraffe, dik dik and large troops of baboons. The permanent tents (built on masonry foundations) are well spaced out and seem to disappear into the landscape. Once inside it is like stepping into a room at a fine hotel, only better. The tents (and you immediately forget you are in a tent once inside) are very large with lovely setting-appropriate (African-inspired) furniture, immaculate crisp clean high quality sheets (always a plus for me), an indoor and outdoor shower and two outdoor seating areas. The zebras were just feet from our screened in porches.

Something else that felt special to us about Chem Chem was the warmth and enthusiasm of the people that worked there. We found Tanzanians everywhere friendly and nice but at Chem Chem it felt like a family (albeit a well behaved one). We were traveling with our 15-year-old son who quickly made friends with many of the young men at the hotel. We were all made to feel welcome in a very personal and individual way.

If you can only stay in one first class lodge in Tanzania make it Chem Chem.

Room Tip: I believe all rooms at Chem Chem are equally wonderful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Ellie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chem Chem Safari Lodge

Address: Vilima Vitatu | between Tarangire and Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range: $1,360 - $1,620 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Chem Chem Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chem Chem Safaris consists of two leading luxury eco-properties: Chem Chem Lodge and Little Chem Chem. 20,000Ha of private land within the Burunge Wildlife Management Area between the Tarangire National Park in the east and lake Manyara in the west. Privately owned and managed by Fabia Bausch & Nicholas Nerge who hosts thier guests personally. The Concept "Slow Safari" was born at Chem Chem Lodge. The ethos of a safari being a tabgible, sensual experience beyond the confines of a vehicle. The camps combine perfectly together creating an in-depth understanding of this diverse area, both with in their own reserve and the surrounding National Parks underpinned with genuine Maasai experiences. More on Chem Chem Lodge: Chem Chem Lodge is situated within a privileged Wildlife Management Area between Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara known as the Burunge Wildlife Management Area. The Lodge itself can be found nestled on the picturesque western side of the wildlife concession and consists of eight secluded tent-style suites with an opulent main lodge, all evoking the spirit of a vintage safari lodge. The permanent structure of the lodge reflects the form of a flamingo with its wings spread wide for landing. One wing holds the full service gourmet restaurant and an outside fire place, the other wing offers a bar, lounge, fire place and fully stocked library. The lodge also boasts a viewing deck with awe-inspiring views over Lake Manyara. Outside, a pool is hidden in the trees to cool off in and escape from the afternoon heat and the Chem Chem Amani Spa offers a new meaning to utter relaxation. Eight stylish, secluded tent-style suites have been exquisitely decorated to offer 5-star accommodation, each with spectacular, private lake views. Each suite (100m²) has been created from a combination of canvas, lava-stones and wood, and are set a minimum of 80 meters apart to ensure complete privacy. Every tent boasts a luxury bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers, a reading corner, dressing room, dressing gown and slippers, yoga mats and private patios complete with a luxurious day-bed. The family suite consists of a full suite connected to a vintage-style tented room (50m²) with two single beds, a rocking chair, small desk, with its own bathroom (indoor shower) and dressing room. The two rooms are built on the same platform and are connected via a small wooden bridge. It can sleep up to four children or two adults. ... more   less 

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