Reviews of Lemala Ngorongoro
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Prime location at Lemala Ngorongoro
We picked this camp for its location on the Crater rim and quick access to the Crater floor for the day's game drive. Recommended. 'Rustic'. Slightly uneven wooden floor in the tent, but I see from your latest brochure that the tents are being upgraded this year. We had 2 nights here. Larger tents than at Kirurumu. Small and friendly camp. No view of crater but a very pleasant location anyway. chilly! Smallish mess tent with one long dining table and comfy sofas at the other end. Pre-ordered bucket showers. Phil said the hot water arrangements were a bit haphazard!
Pre-dinner drinks around the fire - blankets provided. Entertaining fellow travellers to talk to makes a difference, but of course you can't pick them - its just pot luck! We had 2 friendly German couples travelling together and a delightful Indian family - parents lived in India, 2 daughters and one son-in-law lived in America and they all met up in Arusha for a special family holiday together. We asked the German group where they were going next...they knew which area they were going to, but had no idea which camp...just reckoned it would all be in their paperwork somewhere and presumably their driver knew!
Dinner the 2nd night came with a 'surprise' dessert!..a cake made for the 36th wedding anniversary of the parents in the Indian family group, so we were all serenaded by the staff around the table. This turned out to be the first of three of these impromptu celebrations! During dinner the gas heaters in the tents were turned on and hot water bottles put in the beds. The heaters were then turned off from outside the tents, shortly after we returned to them. Cosy!
It was a very early start the next morning .. on our way with Alfred by 6am for our trip down to the Crater.. a quick and easy access from the camp. Good bush breakfast and lunch provided by the camp.
We had pre-ordered our hot water for the shower ready for an early morning start the second day - it lasts for about 10 minutes as long as you don't run it too fast (there is just a lever to pull - a voice outside the tent tells you when the bucket has been filled up! ), so we managed a shower each from one bucketful. Alfred ready and waiting for us at 6am, after our Weetabix breakfast! .. next stop Sayari Mara camp.
I would not recommend this camp
Two nights in the Lemala camp was too long and too cold. I believe most people stay in lodges outside the park and I can see why. The tents are not that nice and because of the temperature and wind, they stay closed up. The food was okay, but dinner was very late and we were too hungry and cold by the time they served the meal.
Ngorongoro is interesting geologically, but not at this time of the year. It was a dust bowl with too much traffic. It simply was not that enjoyable.
Overall, we were not impressed by Lemala Camps.
Lake Manyara could have been avoided all together. It was not worth the day trip to see. Bottom line, it was a rain forest and a hippo pool.
Lemala Ngorongoro review
A nice camp on the rim. Well located for getting a good start on game drives in the crater.Read more about the whole safari
Lemala Ngorongoro review
Brilliant location on the road into the crater, so we were virtually the first vehicle in the crater in the morning.
We enjoyed the slightly simpler accommodation, which gives more of a feeling of being in the wilderness. The service was very friendly and helpful, but didn't quite have the smooth efficiency of some of the other lodges.
Lemala Luxury Camp Ngorongoro review
Tent with nothing in the bathroom working.
Difficult - impossible to re charge everithing (baeries, mobile..)
Excellent camp with helpful staff
A conveniently located camp, for quick access to the Crater, in pleasant surroundings.
The staff were helpful, efficient, and welcoming
Lemala the start of a tanzanian adventure
On arrival at Arusha our party of 9, with ages ranging from 7 to 77, were warmly welcomed by our two guides and their safari vehicles (including plenty of cold drinks and ginger biscuits). How amazing for the two littlies (7 and 11) to see baboons along the roadside, giraffes crossing road in addition to the many Masia children herding their cattle. Our picnic at Lake Manyara was memorable and although we were all tired from our journey from the U.K. not an eye was closed as we witnessed all the animals, birds and scenery.
On arrival at Lemala - what a welcome and our tents (such fun) Loved the hot water bottles and the warming stove on return from dinner. Food was tasteful and nothing was too much trouble. The situation of the camp was perfect for an early start into the crater which enabled us to appreciate the magnificance before the hordes arrived from further afield. On leaving the Ngorongoro, whilst our guide was signing out a baboon jumped into the safari vehicle, knocked a packet of tissues out of the way and stole a packet of ginger biscuits.
Cannot give enough praise.
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.