Lemala Mara-Ndutu: Our full report
Lemala’s camp in the Serengeti is a seasonal camp that moves twice in the year: as Lemala Mara Camp it is ...... based from June to October in the northern Serengeti by the Mara River, before closing for two weeks in November and then re-opening as Lemala Ndutu Camp in the southern Ndutu plains, where it stays from December to March.
Lemala Mara and Lemala Ndutu are part of the Lemala family of camps, which include Lemala Ngorongoro, Lemala Ewanjan and Lemala Manyara.
The camp has 12 tents including one family tent, all of which have been upgraded in 2018. Each wooden floored tent has two queen size, or one king size bed, with the family tent accommodating up to two adults and up to three children. At the end of the bed is a large wooden lockable storage trunk and a metal rail for hanging clothes. The neutral coloured interiors are given a splash of interest by the stripy rugs, and orange blankets on the beds. A quirky writing desk made out of old leather suitcases sits in one corner. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with a small outside seating area - a good retreat at the end of a long and exhilarating day watching game viewing!
The wooden floor continues into the en suites, where there's a flush toilet and bucket shower, plus 24-hour solar lighting. To one side of the bathroom is a dressing table and golden-framed mirror, plus a gold sink with plenty of mineral water for brushing teeth. The overall layout and style of the camp is very similar to other tented Lemala Camps.
The main areas of the camp have a separate living and dining area, with a central bar area joining the two. There's a tiny curio shop, a small library, and an area for charging cameras and phones. Expect leather sofas, chandeliers, chunky wooden furniture and quirky cow-skin rugs strewn over the floor, all fairly stylish but certainly without losing that bush-camp feel. Outside is the campfire, where pre and post dinner drinks are taken, and tales of the day's sightings are shared. From the main area, it is possible to see the Mara River from Lemala Mara, so lucky guests may even spot a river crossing.
You'll most likely visit Lemala Mara or Lemala Ndutu with your own private guide but it is also possible to fly in and use the camp's own vehicles and guides.
Lemala Mara-Ndutu is a good quality semi-permanent tented camp. Staying here will give you excellent access to the area of the Serengeti where the wildebeest migration should be at that time. The camp is comfortable, stylish and well run by friendly staff - and the communal dining aspect lends it a real bush-camp feel.
Country manager: Tanzania
- Serengeti Migration Area, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- Stay here for 3 - 4 nights to explore the surrounding area and wildebeest migration.
- 30 minutes to Kogatende Airstrip (when the camp is located in the north).
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- The food at this camp is of the same standard as other Lemala properties.
Meals are communal affairs, allowing you to get to know the other guests and their sightings of the day! breakfast consists of a small buffet of cereals, yoghurts, pastries and fruit, with hot items cooked to order.
Guests usually opt to take a boxed lunch out with them, but if eaten in camp this is usually a light two course meal.
Dinner is a three course set menu, and the food is are hearty and tasty, if not gourmet, but there's certainly more than enough to go around. On our last stay in October 2018 we had green banana soup and chapatti to start, followed by beef and roasted vegetables and finishing with a chocolate and hax=zlenut cake with a mango puree.
- Dining style
- Group Meals
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- If requested and pre-arranged
- Drinks included
- Most drinks are included apart from premium wines and spirits.
- Attitude towards children
- The camp accepts children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions here.
- Special activities & services
- Lemala Cubs children's programme runs across all of the Lemala camps and offers fun and educational activities for young guests including tracking prints around camp, archery and toasting marshmallows.
- Generally recommended for children
- Due to the wild nature of this camp, which is not fenced, we would not recommend it for children under the age of 12.
- Children should be under parental supervision at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Lemala Mara-Ndutu
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Lemala Mara-Ndutu have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- Back up generator for emergencies only.
There are no charging points in room. Batteries and electronics can be charged in the main central area.
- There is intermittent wifi in the main tent. There is no phone service here.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV or internet here.
- Water supply
- Transported in
- Water supply notes
- Flush toilets and safari ‘bucket’ showers.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There is a first aid kit on site, and staff are first aid trained. In case of serious emergency the camp will call the flying doctors.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- The camp is watched by 5 guards and an armed ranger.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are located in the main area and the kitchen.
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Full Laundry Service – Included. Underwear is not accepted.
- Lemala Mara-Ndutu accepts payment in UK pounds, Tanzanian shillings, Euros and US dollars cash.
- Accepted payment on location
- Payments in cash only - credit cards are not accepted here.
Other lodges in Serengeti Migration Area
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Comfortable, friendly and relaxed, Olakira Camp moves between the Mara River and the southern Ndutu area, in line with the wildebeest migration.
In the northern Serengeti, near the Mara River, luxurious Sayari Camp offers excellent wildife all year – boosted further by the wildebeest migration.
Nomad Serengeti Camp
Serengeti Safari Camp is a well-appointed tented camp that moves several times a year to follow the predicted path of the migration.
Dunia Camp is well located for the migration from December to March, and has excellent game viewing for the rest of the year.
Namiri Plains Camp
Namiri Plains is one of the best camps in the Serengeti and its remoteness ensures a fantastic wildlife experience away from the crowds.
Set high in the kopjes with fantastic views, Lamai Serengeti offers top service and guiding and good migration sightings from Jul-Oct.
Ubuntu Camp has several locations in the Serengeti, following the wildebeest migration, so it is often in a great location to see the herds.
Kati Kati Camp
Kati Kati is a small, very simple bushcamp, which is well-positioned to explore the wildlife-rich Seronera area.
Ndutu Safari Lodge
Large and economical, but not luxurious, Ndutu Safari Lodge is well located in the southern Serengeti, so book early to get space.
Serian Serengeti is a mobile tented operation run by Alex Walker which moves between two locations following the wildebeest migration.
Kimondo Camp is based in the remote Lamai Wedge in the northern Serengeti from Jul–Oct, and on the southern Kusini plains from Nov–Mar.
Klein's Camp, in a private area of the northern Serengeti, sets high standards. Activities include walks, nights drives and Maasai village visits.
Serengeti under Canvas
Two of the three Serengeti under Canvas camps move through the Serengeti National Park every few months to follow the wildebeest migration.
Grumeti River Camp
Grumeti River Camp offers a laid-back atmosphere combined with top service, first-rate food, expert guiding and an excellent location.
Lemala Nanyukie is a comfortable and stylish tented camp that opened in 2018 in the central Serengeti.
Lemala Kuria Hills
Lemala Kuria Hills is a luxury permanent camp that is ideally located for wildlife all year around, but especially during the wildebeest migration.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge
The large Lobo Wildlife Lodge has simple, functional rooms in a stunning location. It's a good base for exploring the north-eastern Serengeti.
Lemala Ewanjan is a comfortable and stylish tented camp in the Seronera area of the central Serengeti National Park.
Kusini Camp is permanent, luxury camp located on a beautiful kopje in a quiet, wildlife-rich corner of the south-west Serengeti.
The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is a large, hotel-style lodge and a good family-friendly base from which to explore the central Serengeti.
Kubu Kubu is a contemporary, tented lodge, well located in the central Seronera area of the Serengeti National Park.
Mbalageti is a well-run lodge in a quiet part of the Serengeti's western corridor – an ideal location during the Apr-Jun migration.
Serengeti Walking Mobile
This fairly simple camp offers only walking activities, but it's very well done and combines well with more conventional camps or lodges.
Serengeti Migration Camp is a smart tented camp, good for the wildebeest migration from Jul–Aug, or to explore the Lobo Kopjes any time.
Faru Faru Lodge
On the north bank of the Grumeti River, Faru Faru is a small, chic hideaway in this exclusive corner of the Serengeti.
Serengeti Green Camp
Serengeti Green Camp is a comfortable camping experience, in your own private safari camp and at the heart of a great wildlife area.
Singita Mara River
Singita Mara River Tented Camp is a luxurious camp in the isolated and rewarding Lamai wedge region of the northern Serengeti.
Serengeti Sopa Lodge
Serengeti Sopa Lodge is an international-style hotel offering good-value accommodation in the central Serengeti, with lovely views of the plains.
Kirurumu Migration Camp
Kirurumu is a rustic tented camp which moves around the Serengeti twice a year to follow the wildebeest migration.
Mkombe's House Lamai
Mkombe's House Lamai is a fully staffed private house in the Wogakuria Kopjes district of Serengeti National Park.
Sabora Tented Camp
Sabora Tented Camp is a smart tented camp – one of the most luxurious, professional and stylish properties to be found in Tanzania.
On a hill looking over the Serengeti plains, Sasakwa Lodge is grand, luxurious safari camp, one of the most opulent properties in Tanzania.
Seronera Wildlife Lodge
Seronera Wildlife Lodge is large hotel-style safari lodge in the heart of the Serengeti, offering good value and a great location.
Serengeti Bushtops is a permanent luxury camp in the northern Serengeti, with spacious and private tents with their own hot tubs.
Ndutu Kati Kati
Ndutu Kati Kati is a seasonal tented camp, based in the southern Serenget from Dec-Mar, ideal for the migration as it passes through.
Lake Masek Tented Camp
Ideally located for the wildebeest migration from Dec–Apr, Lake Masek Tented Camp is a good, mid-market safari camp.
Olduvai Camp lies between Ngorongoro and the southern Serengeti plains. It's a good base for the southern plains during the rainy season.
Mwiba Lodge is a luxurious property located on a private concession on the edge of the southern Serengeti.
Four Seasons Serengeti
The Four Seasons Safari Lodge is the only hotel in the Serengeti offering international facilities such as a gym, spa and children’s club.
Serengeti Pioneer Camp
Serengeti Pioneer Camp is a luxurious tented camp in the central Serengeti, styled on African explorers' camps of the early 20th century.
Mara Kati Kati
Mara Kati Kati is a simple bush camp in the northern Serengeti, based from Jul-Oct near the Mara River for the wildebeest migration.
Mara Mara is a smart tented camp in the northern Serengeti, situated on a small hill close to the Mara River.
Nimali Mara is a luxurious safari lodge in a quiet region of the northern Serengeti with good access to the wildebeest migration.
Opened in July 2017, Nimali Serengeti is a smart, permanent tented camp located in the Seronera area of the central Serengeti.
Taasa Lodge is a slightly quirky option offering guided walks and night game drives, which are not permitted in Serengeti National Park.
Set high on a hill, in the Serengeti's western corridor, Kirawira is a relatively large tented camp in the Serena group.
Mbuze Mawe is a comfortable tented camp in a convenient, central-north location when driving through the Serengeti.