LEMALA NGORONGORO

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
GPS Co-ordinates: S 03º 07.561’ E 35º 40.124’

OPEN ALL YEAR EXCEPT APRIL & MARCH, 9 EN-SUITE SEASONAL TENTS, MINIMUM AGE: 6YRS

Lemala Ngorongoro is an intimate seasonal camp set in a delightful ancient acacia forest on the rim of the crater, next to the quiet Lemala access route. The camp has been re-furbished recently with new tents and furnishings and offers accommodation in 9 spacious canvas tents ensuring intimacy and minimal impact on the pristine forest environment.

The new tents can now accommodate two queen beds or a king bed which have warm duvets and hot water bottles. There is a gas heater to warm up the tents in the evening, wooden flooring with rugs and 24-hour solar lighting. The roomy en-suite bathrooms contain a dressing area, flush toilet and a large safari shower. Each tent can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children.

The mess tent is beautifully furnished with grand sofas, lamps, bookshelves and corner cabinets in old wood, chests and rugs. In the evening, guests gather around the campfire for cocktails before dining under chandeliers with the camp manager. House beverages are included at meal times.

The camp works closely with the local Masai community and often there are dances and talks on Masai traditions and ceremonies providing guests the opportunity to interact with the tribe.

Lemala’s major advantage over any other accommodation in the Ngorongoro area is the quick and easy access into the crater. Game drives from the camp may start as early as 6.15am and there is no time wasting at the gate as you can drive straight down to the floor within 10 to 15 minute. Lemala guests usually have an hour’s head start over others in the morning, which is crucial for photographers who demand the best light conditions. Another advantage is its close proximity to Ol Moti and Empakai craters, where one can trek to admire beautiful landscapes and habitats. Escorted walks are also available from the camp into the forest and along the crater rim with an armed ranger and a Masai to enjoy spectacular panoramic views.

If you care about spending quality time at the crater then you should seriously consider staying at this gorgeous seasonal camp in a lovely forest, filled with sounds of birds and wildlife. The camp is very popular so do book early.

 

OPEN: All year except April and March

SIZE: 8 Luxury tents and 1 family tent. Each luxury tent can accommodate triple. The family tent can accommodate 2 adults and 2 to 3 children.

LEMALA ACCESS ROUTE: This route can be used for entry and exit

OPTIONAL EXTRAS:

Game walk - min 2pax

Private lunch inside the crater - min 4pax

LOCATION: First turning to the left after the Lemala access gate

NEAREST AIRSTRIP: Manyara

APPROX. DRIVING TIMES:

From Manyara airstrip - 2.5hrs

From Lemala Ndutu - 3.5hrs

From Lemala Mara - 8.5hrs

From Lemala Tarangire - 4.5hrs

From Lemala Ewanjan Seronera Valley - 4hrs

From Arusha - 4hrs

RATES: Available on game package or drive-in rates. Children rates applies for 6-16 yrs. For complete inclusions and exclusions please see the rate sheet.


 

About Ngorongoro Crater

 

In the Great Rift Valley, that great schism in the earth's crust, lies the wonderful Ngorongoro Crater, one of the wonders of the natural world. It is an extinct volcano that collapsed in on itself around 25 million years ago thus forming a vast superbowl where the largest permanent concentration of African game is on display.

The central bowl, the caldera, has sides roughly 1,950 feet high and a flattish centre with a diameter of about ten miles. The views from the top of the crater wall are absolutely breathtaking. The crater walls are forested but four wheel drive vehicles will take you down into this primeval paradise of woodland, lake, river, swamp and plain that shelters around 40,000 animals. Many of these are the large grazing animals such as wildebeest, buffalo, gazelle and zebra who depend on the open grasslands in the crater. These attract the attendant predators, the black-maned lion, the leopard and hyena. The elephant found within the caldera tend to be the lone males who have left the herds in the forested crater rim.

When the water stocks are low elsewhere the animals within this micro-world turn to the swamps for fresh water and food. Elephants feed on the giant sedges and hippo wallow in the pools. The Fever Tree forests shelter monkeys, bushbuck and waterbuck and the few black rhino that have taken refuge here. A soda lake, fed by the Munge river attracts water birds, including flamingos and is a favourite place for predators to make their kill. Wildly beautiful as it is, it is not surprising that Ngorongoro Crater has been called a Garden of Eden.

The conservation area also encompasses several other volcanos, one of which, Oldonyo Lengai, is still live. You may struggle to the top, if you wish, to gaze into its open and sulphurous maw but many prefer to admire from afar. One of the most fascinating attractions in the area is the Olduvai Gorge, where an old river has carved away the rock to expose layer upon layer of volcanic soil. This is where Dr Louis and Mary Leakey found the remains of hominids "Nutcracker Man" and "Toolmaking Man". The "Cradle of Mankind" now has a visitor centre where you may hear a short lecture on the the work of the Leakeys and their successors and a small museum where you may see some of their finds, including a giant giraffe - it is hard to believe that they were once even taller!

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