Reviews of Lemala Ngorongoro
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lemala Ngorongoro review
Lemala camp is ideally based for early access to the crater, however it is in among the trees offering no views of the beautiful surrounding area and was very cold at night during our 2 night stay.
The staff were very kind and helpful and the food was good.
A cosy stay at Lemala Ngorongoro
Although a more basic camp, we were thoroughly relaxed at the Lemala Ngorongoro tented camp. The staff were extremely welcoming and it is in a great position for early access to the crater.
The bucket showers (talking showers!) were great fun and arrived promptly when requested. The tent was very well equipped and cosy, with a heater for the cold evenings, hot water bottles and a flask of hot water for tea. The food was good but spicy - typical of local food. Wildlife visited the camp during the night, so the Masai guards escorted us after dark.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here
A warm welcome on top of the cool crater
Even we are within the national park where animals could roam around. We felt very safe as there are massai guide around. At night, they will escort us from the tent to the main tent.
In September, the temperature is already cool in the morning and at night. The presence of heating Inside the tent plus the hot water bottle they put Under our duvet kept us nicely warm. Not to forget to mention is the food which is great.
On the negative side, I requested vegetarian meal for the trip and the camp is not aware of it. However, the next day, they has already take note and presented my vegetarian option discreetly.
jump off for the Crater
Wonderful place to stay when spending most of your time in the Crater. Common tent was dark but we only used it for breakfast and dinner.
Excellent service and great campfire circle in the eves. No view since it is in an acacia forest but you will not be there much in daylight.
Big five sighting at Lemala Ngorongoro
Another great Lemala camp at Ngorongoro. Excellent comfortable tent again with wooden floor, sofa, hot water bottles and this time a gas heater which was much appreciated in the chilly extremes of the day at altitude. Superb position with easy access to crater at 6am before anybody else. The staff were helpful and polite but seemed a little distant and less interactive than at other camps. Nevertheless, we would recommend this camp above all its competitors because of its location in the wilderness.
We encountered a number of travellers whom excluded the Ngorongoro Crater from their itinerary, for fear of too many vehicles, mass tourism and dust. This was not our experience at this time of year, when the maximum number of vehicles around a lion kill was no more than five, and all drivers were courteous to other visitors and respectful to the animals. At times, we were on our own in parts of the beautiful crater expanse which was an amazing experience.
The game viewing was excellent, despite no off-roading being permitted. 25 lion, 11 black rhino, numerous huge tuckers, hunting hyena and prolific bird life were encountered in this extraordinary geographical setting and was certainly not to be missed. Our morning departure was met with a leopard emerging from the forest on the crater rim road to complete a Big Five sighting!
Again, Ayub, our highly experienced guide for the week was outstanding for his overall care and professionalism.
Lemala Ngorongoro review
The Lemala camp enjoys a superb location on the Crater rim, inside the Park. We spent two nights there. Like everyone else at the camp, we had travelled there with our own personal guide.
The tents were very comfortable, with bucket showers on demand, and generally well equipped, although lacking a torch. It was quite cold at night, but we were comfortably warm in the tent with a gas heater and hot water bottles. The camp staff were friendly and helpful, although on occasions needed prompting, for example restocking the camp fire after dinner.
The camp's location enabled us to be one of the first people in the Crater, before the crowds arrived. The setting of the Crater floor is spectacular, and it was certainly worthwhile to spend one day there, but we have had better game viewing elsewhere. The vehicle density at sightings was uncomfortably large.
Disappointing stay in excellent location
Lemala is in an excellent location, right on the crater rim. However, everything else was below standard from what we have come to expect in African lodges.
It is worth staying there for the location alone and early morning access to the crater. However, go with modest expectations.
Expert Africa comments
We sent these comments off to the team at Lemala, who were very disappointed to hear these comments. They stressed that they were very focused on ensuring that traveller’s experiences meet their high expectations, and as a result of some of the more detailed feedback this traveller sent through – they are looking into their training and management in more detail, and providing more on-site training where necessary.
We’re heading out to Lemala Ngorongoro ourselves in November 2014, so we’ll be sure to thoroughly investigate the issues raised here.
Lemala Ngorongoro camp
We arrived in thick freezing fog which had chilled the camp right through as it is situated (as are most of the lodges and camps) high on the crater rim. We were thus not in the best of moods. The hugh tent held three double beds and they took up most of the room. The showers are hand filled bucket showers which I would imagine on a warmer day would be great- I have had many such showers in warmer conditions and they are a great safari experience. The dining tent was fine but really freezing- other guests were dining in four layers and wearing gloves! There were heaters but for some reason they were not in use on the really cold day despite our asking for them to be put on although strangely they were on the second, warmer day.
Not the best of experiences but perhaps not the camp's fault.
Once again Expert Africa did not leave a section to mention that from Manyara airstrip we were met by a Tanzanian safari company, Asilia who provided us with a vehicle and driver, Harry, who drove us on a game drive around Manyara before taking us to Lemala. He (not Lemala) then took us around the Ngorongoro crater the next day. He was experienced and knowledgeable including in birdlife and was also witty and fun to be with. The whole Asilia experience was faultless and they sound like a thoroughly modern company who have excellent policies, ethics and train their staff well- they all loved the company
The camp is very well organised and although it can be really cold (take gloves and wooly hat for trip into the crater) they provide hot water bottles and a gas heater in your tent. The tent is spacious and well equipped. It is nice to have the same staff member looking after you and your tent during the whole of your stay. It is a brilliant location at the top of a quiet road into the crater - great for getting in before most others, campfire is excellent too. We had a totally fantastic time there.Read more about the whole safari
Lemala Ngorongoro - A Haven of Luxury
After a 24 hour (3 flights and a drive on the rough roads from Kilimanjaro Airport) journey, the camp staff were waiting for us with warm towels, a refreshing drink and a very warm welcome. This level of service, attentiveness and friendliness did not waiver during our 2 night stay. The tents were very spacious, spotlessly clean, extremely well appointed and the beds really comfortable (my daughter likened it to sleeping on a cloud), complete with hot water bottles. In the evening and first thing in the morning the tents were warmed by calor gas heaters.
Our fellow guests were a good mix of nationalities - Belgian, Australian, Scandinavian and English - and we chatted with them over campfire drinks and dinner in the evenings. The food was all delicious (we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at the camp and also had both a packed breakfast and lunch during our stay).
I graded the location as "good" simply because there is no view from the camp other than trees. However, I would really recommend Lemala Ngorongoro to everybody - it really is 5 star service and luxury camping in a very secluded and intimate setting.
The game viewing in the crater is fantastic - so many and such a variety of animals that it reminded me of being in a supermarket, with an enormous range of produce! The downside was the number of other customers - at one stage we counted 33 other vehicles jamming up the road looking at some rhino....and according to our guide, February is quite a quiet time of the year for visiting the crater!!