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“Location, location, location”

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Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp
London
Level Contributor
119 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Location, location, location”
Reviewed 2 January 2013 via mobile

It is difficult to write reviews of camps like this because it all depends on expectations. People expecting a Four Seasons will be bitterly disappointed - this is a camp that is seasonal with long supply routes, it can get muddy, there is only solar power for the tent lamps and they are dim, there is no wifi or the other things people paying a lot of money expect. But that is not the point - I stayed here for 2 nights. One day at lunch the Serengeti migration passed right through the camp, with thousands of wildebeest walking and running right by us. While we were having dinner, there were lions right near the toilet tent and that same night there were four lions who fell asleep where we did the campfire. 8 more lions were in the bush near my tent the previous morning. Being close to the action allows unique experiences. In one day I filmed lions mating six different times. I saw a number of the aftermath of kills -- lions and cheetahs eating. And there was a unique view of 12 wild dogs too. The staff here work extremely hard, there is a good camp atmosphere around the communal dinner table and the food is great. This camp delivers unique experiences. The days I spent around Ndutu are ones I will remember for decades.

Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank ghfatw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp, responded to this review, 7 January 2013
Dear gafatw

What an experience! Thanks for responding. It is exactly as you say - it is the experience you go away with. We are a tented camp, seasonal, running on solar and all water is trucked in. We are not a 5 star lodge and do not profess to be one. Our small camps will give you an intimate, Hemmingway style safari right in the middle of where the action is and in the best possible locations. I take my hat off to our staff who do a sterling job under tricky conditions and our guests not only take away fantastic memories but also take a part of Lemala with them in their hearts when they leave.

Safe travels and best wishes

Tom Yule
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Singapore
Level Contributor
155 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2012

Lemala management must have taken previous reviews to heart because on our recent stay we found nothing really to complain about. The camp is in a lovely setting in the Ndutu area during the summer, but I understand it moves to the north for the river crossing during migration, which is something I would go back for. Everything in our room worked fine, Samuel our butler was on standby as we showered to replenish water when it ran out. As it got cold at night we were thankful for our cosy beds and thick blankets and duvets. And for the wake up call with bed tea/ coffee.

Sadly we did not see any animals at camp but the location made it convenient to go for a game drive then back for a proper lunch before heading out again. Sundowners with bush tv were a lovely time to chat with our Masai guards. Felix and his team provided fantastic service. We also stayed at Lemala Ewanjan. We slightly preferred Ewanjan as it was a tad more polished, but the food at Ndutu was better. Amazing desserts prepared out of a coal fire!

Room Tip: Take a room further from the mess tent to avoid being disturbed by staff chatting, driving on servic...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BornVivant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp, responded to this review, 7 January 2013
Dear Born Vivant

Your feedback is most valuable and I thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am very glad that you have had good stays at both Lemala Ewanjan and Lemala Ndutu. With ongoing training, refurbishment of the camps, new menus and attention to detail, guest experience is the most important thing for us and we are working hard to achieve excellence all round in our services.

Best regards and safe travels

Tom Yule
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2012 via mobile

Do not stay here. This is the worst camp I have ever stayed in. My 20 Safari these include camping to 5 star in East Africa , Botswana , Zimbabwe and South Africa
The most disappointing in terms of staff, indelible food , broken floor boards, toilets didn't flush ,radio didn't work and one has to wait to be taken from tent so with no radio we ended walking in the dark unaided!
There are plenty of choices so go elsewhere

  • Stayed February 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kayedel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Mateo, CA, USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 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, travelled 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
Topeka, Kansas
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 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, travelled 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 7 April 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, travelled 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 4 April 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, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank sirijay
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
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 37 Speciality 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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