Reviews of Lemala Ngorongoro
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lemala - Great location for the crater
We stayed one night at Lemala camp before we visited the Ngorongro crater. We arrived a little late in the evening and there was a lack of chairs by the fire. The arrival briefing was a bit tedious, whilst they made you welcome they were quick to point out restrictions to the drinks menu, which given the price of the camp felt a bit 'cheap'. The tents were excellent, proper flushing toilets and hard floors. We had been warned that it was cold here and it certainly was.
Dinner was very nice atmosphere with an international feel. There were guests from the USA, Holland, Germany and Austria and everyone mixed really well. We discovered that the Dutch family were also staying at the same hotel in Zanzibar, so it was nice to make friends with them here. We thought the food was OK, however given our experience of the Nomad camp I would downgrade this to "average". Our Dutch friends, who stayed with a number of their other camps, told us they were served the same food each evening for the whole trip.
The location is excellent, there had been Buffalo in the camp during the night so the Masai "warrior" was very welcome. Something strange happened with our lunch though. I suspect we were given the wrong one as there was only enough food for three people in a party of five. Breakfast was also a bit slow given that we were trying to get into the crater early and avoid the crowds. The location is excellent for an early drive into the crater and the road down is a lot easier than the main track.
Cold nights at Lemala Camp
We stayed at Lemala Camp for two nights. While the position is good for an early start down into the crater, the gates open at 6am so people staying outside the gates weren't far behind us. I think that the word Luxury in the camp's name gives rather high expectations which are disappointed by the appearance of the camp (which is quite functional) and the position which didn't offer any sweeping views of the crater, just the surrounding trees.
The people were lovely, Francis is a good manager with high aspirations for the camp, and the staff were friendly and helpful. The shower water was delivered quickly and hot, which is just as well as showering has to be a brief experience when it is so cold in the shower tent. (The brochure says there are chemical toilets but we had a flush one)
Every effort had been made to make the tents attractive inside and the calor gas heaters and hot water bottles made us as comfortable as we could be but our over-riding memory is how cold it was. We had been warned but we thought it would be 'cold for Africa' rather than cold for people coming from a cold place, I don't think that you can over-emphasise this to let people know what to expect.
We didn't have time to take the opportunity to visit a local Masaai village which was a pity. We visited Lake Manyara on the way to Ngorongoro but it was the most disappointing part of our trip as it felt more like a UK safari park than a national park and was very crowded with people trying to spot wildlife.
Lemala Luxury Camp Ngorongoro review
This was our first camp and we really enjoyed it. The food was great, everyone - staff and guests - very friendly. Being escorted to your tent at night by a maasai was unexpected!
It was cold in the morning and evening but luckily we'd taken a few jumpers. Liked having the trunks to put all our stuff in as it kept the tent tidy.
Location was fantastic - we were in the crater very early in the morning before other vehicles.