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“A hidden gem”

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Ol Mesera Tented Camp
Arusha, Tanzania
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
Reviewed 16 February 2014

We went back to Ol Mesera after a lengthy absence and wondered what took us so long! It is such a relaxing place, with the options of just sitting looking at the birds, going for a long walk in the bush, relaxing with a good book - whatever. Barbara is a wonderful host, she really takes care of you. We were delighted with the fresh produce of the new veg garden, and the great meals prepared Lukas. It's very handy for trips to Lake Manyara national park and for venturing into Mto wa Mbu. We will go back soon for sure.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Annie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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49 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

Having climbed Kilimanjaro and gone on safari on the Northern circuit, I was looking for somewhere peaceful to unwind for my remaining 5 days in Tanzania. Ol Mesera was just the place! The location was perfect- set out in the savannah, with great views of the Ngorongoro escarpment. I spent my first afternoon reading and listening to the far off sounds of cow bells and bleating goats.

Such seclusion didn't hamper the choice of activities available. Barbara, the owner, was more than happy to arrange a morning with the local cultural tourism program for me, in the nearby town of Mto Wa Mbu. Lucas, the chef, made packed lunches for myself and my guide, and Barbara drove me to the village and waited the couple of hours for me to finish my tour before taking me home. Ndina, one of the Maasai working at Ol Mesera, took me on a walking safari and taught me to count in Maasai. He also took me on a trip to a Maasai boma- one of the highlights of my stay. I loved meeting the villagers and seeing how they build their homes.

The tent I stayed in was very spacious, with a dressing table, shelves, twin beds and a built in bathroom. The shower was hot and the beds had mosquito nets. The tents are well spread, so everything remained private. I liked to spend most of my time in the main living/ dining area of the camp, drinking tea, reading and watching the kittens play.

The food was great. It was lovely to see Luka take pride in his cooking and he would often whip out a cake or snack (or several) in the afternoon. Breakfast included toast, pancakes, eggs, etc. Lunch was two courses and dinner, three. There was always fresh fruit. I remember the sponge and custard to have been particularly good!

The sustainability of the camp is something I particularly enjoyed. Everything is solar powered and water is sourced locally and filtered. Disconnecting from electricity/ the internet/ etc. added to the authenticity.

The best part of my stay at Ol Mesera, however, was the welcome I was given. Barbara, Arjan, Lucas, Ndina, and everyone else made me feel at home and I really enjoyed sharing their stories. They always went out of their way to arrange things for me, and made it an unforgettable trip. Hopefully I'll be back very soon!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Grace F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oegstgeest, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

Many people take the safaritour from Arusha to Serengeti and on route they stay at the obvious places along the road. Just a 15km in the direction of Lake Natron (a special attraction in itself) you will find Ol Mesera Safaricamp. Ol Mesera is the Masaai word for baobab and it is really special how two colossal baobab trees are integrated in the dining area of the camp.
there are five tents secluded, each with a great view of the Rift and the valley below the camp.
With five tents it is a small camp.
In the early morning you will be wakened by birds in stead of the hooting dalla dallas and buses along the Arusha - Serengetiroad in Mto wa Mbu.
Very relaxing and worth of a stay in itself not only for an overnight on the Northern Safariroute

Room Tip: all the rooms are good!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank TeeVeeBee54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
360 reviews
238 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 417 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2014

I was delighted with my stay in 2012 when it was dry and dusty and made a vow to return in the 'green' season. So Ol Mesera was a natural choice for our recent trip over the Christmas and New Year holiday times. We were not disappointed at all.
Booking is simple via EMail and always answered promptly by owner Barbara. Dates were set and it transpired we would actually be with her over the actual Christmas Day. This was no trouble and we looked forward to a Maasai "Turkey" with trimmings.
Our stay was actually for five nights and a good time was had. We took walks around the camp area and a full day trip into Lake Manyara National Park.
The tents are well laid out and very comfortable with a small porch for sitting and thinking or indeed just sitting. Food is excellent and Chef Luke is a real asset to the Camp. Meals are taken communally with other guests with Barbara in close attendance.
This is a lovely place in which to while a way a few days of downtime. There are no 'Luxe' facilities such as flower petals in the Bath and a personal Butler but then this is part of the charm of Ol Mesera and its owner.
Do visit. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank mfuwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nb canada
Level 5 Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We had a great stay here after our day in Lake Manyara National Park.

Our tent overlooked the beautiful Rift wall, and we enjoyed watching and hearing the Maasai bringing their herds home for the evening.

This is the only camp or lodge we stayed at that the chef came out and presented and explained our dinner menu to us, we really enjoyed this. He explained part of the preparation, and the plate presentation was a nice surprise.

If you are looking for a small camp with lots of personal attention I would recommend. Our only regret is it was only 1 night. By the time you arrive after a day on safari, then head out the next day after breakfast there is really not much time to enjoy. It would have been great to hear more stories from Barbra, and just sitting by those Baobab trees is a treat.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank NBlobsterman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Ol Mesera Safari Camp is in a peaceful and quiet bush location about 15km from Lake Manyara NP. The safari tents have beautiful views of the Rift wall and the dining/reception area is flanked by two gorgeous baobab trees. The accommodation, food and hospitality were lovely: the rooms were spacious and clean, with mosquito nets, soap and colourful rugs; the food was plentiful and delicious; and both the owner Barbara and the manager Arjan had interesting stories to share about life in Tanzania. A thoroughly enjoyable stay.

Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Yasmin O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ArjanTiessen, General Manager at Ol Mesera Tented Camp, responded to this review, 9 October 2013
Dear Yasmin, thanks a lot for your lovely words. It is a pleasure to have guests like you! Maybe next time the husbands will come along! :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2013

This was the first place we stayed during our 7-day safari. After a day at Lake Manyara, we drove the 14km down the increasingly dry and dusty road. We were rather apprehensive about what kind of place could be out there. However, our concerns were soon dispelled.
Ol Mesera is completely charming and comfortable. We were greeted by the softly spoken Barbara and her staff. The dining/reception area is spacious, clean and comfortable. Our tent was also clean, spacious and comfortable. We enjoyed the company of Barbara and Arjaan for dinner and were delighted with the delicious dinner (vegetarian needs accommodated).
The views to the rift wall and the expansive country are gorgeous. It was interesting to hear about the changes and developments that Arjaan and Barbara are starting. Best wishes with the garden!! I wish we had at least another night there and would have enjoyed a guided walk with one of the local Masai. I would highly recommend a stay at Ol Mesera for a unique experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ArjanTiessen, General Manager at Ol Mesera Tented Camp, responded to this review, 9 October 2013
Dear Julie! I hope the rest of your safari was equally exciting and comfortable! The vegetable garden is coming along very well; we planted some seeds already and by next week a big batch of different seeds will arrive. Hopefully you can come again and enjoy more fresh veggies! :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ol Mesera Tented Camp

Property: Ol Mesera Tented Camp
Address: Lake Natron Road, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Lake Manyara National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Lake Manyara National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WELCOME TO OL MESERA TENTED CAMP! - Situated in a true African Savannah, And our location is just perfect 15 minutes drive from Mto wa Mbu and yet far away from the busy city life, you will always feel alone in the bush and be awakened by the birds in the morning chirping around, only to discover the beautiful view of the Ngorongoro escarpment and see Maasai graze their livestock in the valley from your private balcony! Our authentic African camp is the perfect base and yet the only place to experience all the Maasai traditions! walk with our friendly Maasai staff to their real homes untouched by commercialism and learn many thing about their lifestyle, you can learn how to throw a spear, an arrow, make fire with sticks,about their tradition medicine, making of tradition honey wine,watch how they can take blood from the bull with a short of an arrow,milk their prized cow, or even go a day grazing with Maasai warriors with packed lunch or have goat BBQ in the bush with Maasai warriors! you can also have a goat BBQ in their boma(Village). Our Tour desk will assist you in renting a car at a reasonable price when visiting all the major national parks in the northern circuit which can be a day trip from the camp, you can visit Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Lake Natron, Engaruka Ruins, Ol Donyo Lengai( The active volcano mountain and mountain of god for the Maasai) Or a safari to the famous Serengeti National park and return the next day! we will love to hear your stories! Also activities provided by Mto wa Mbu cultural Tourism can be arranged such as farm tour, biking to Lake Manyara and climbing balaa hill! KARIBU SANA! (Most Welcome!) ... more   less 

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