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“Who could want for more than this?”
Review of Ndutu Safari Lodge

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Ndutu Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 April 2017

We have several safaris under our belt, and on most, we have visited Ndutu -- both during the high season around February/March and in the "off" season in August. And Ndutu Safari Lodge has established itself as our favorite anywhere -- not in spite of its lack of "luxe" status, but largely because of it.

My usual preference is for tented camps. Canvas offers that sense that you're one with nature, separated only by a relatively thin layer of cloth. Ndutu Safari Lodge offers (scrupulously clean, cozy, and comfortable) cottages instead -- but the sense here of history, of authenticity, of proximity to nature and a reverence for both flora and fauna and a genuine respect for the awesome experience its guests are immersed in while living the small taste of what those fortunate enough to live in the wild experience every day.

This lodge has good and wholesome food, terrific staff, clean and comfy rooms, access to wifi and electricity for charging batteries and cell phones -- all the standard features of an adequate accommodation. But it has something which some other camps and lodges lack -- and it has this in abundance. It has heart.

Its main lodge, with the banquettes and rough-hewn tables is open to the elements, with views out to the lake, a birdbath frequented by birds and other wildlife at all times of the day and night, resident Kirk's Dik-diks which beg adorably for popcorn around the campfire. It has a resident owner and a manager both of whom exhibit obvious care for the lodge, for its staff and for its clients. As the first lodge or camp at Ndutu, it has genuine history -- and it retains the feeling of an old-fashioned hunting camp, but with a modern respect for wildlife and true interest in the lives and doings of the local animals. The lodge publishes a semi-annual newsletter rich in news about the area, the people, the animals of Ndutu. And they have won many, many loyal clients who, like us, return whenever life's exigencies make it possible.

They also have a family of Common Genets which graces their dining room every evening, watching from the wooden rafters as we fascinating humanoids point our cameras at them and wonder at their adorableness. Worth a couple of nights here if for nothing else but a close-up experience with genets!

There are, I believe, more luxurious options in the area -- but Ndutu Safari Lodge always books up very early for Ndutu's high season, and I can even recommend it outside those traditionally "productive" months. There have been days, for us, when sitting at the breakfast table watching the birds at the birdbath long after the table has been cleared, then sitting in the lounge -- or just outside -- enjoying whatever passes by has been as satisfying as a game drive. This is a place of sublime peace at any time of year, and we'll be returning -- circumstances and health permitting -- in another couple of years. Highly recommended, provided you're not looking for rose petals in your claw-footed bathtub.

Room Tip: All rooms are comfortable. As with most lodges, if you have mobility issues, ask for a room close t...
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  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank sandyleelee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 14 of 435 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2017

Stayed at Ndutu Safari Lodge for 3 nights - great place. Staff are friendly and very helpful. Need to highlight that we stayed here with our two year old and he absolutely loved it!

I see some of the other reviewers rating this place as average/poor - but one needs to factor in the remote location, difficulty in sourcing clean water to name a few.

Overall a great place to stay to view wildlife & good value for money and would highly recommend!

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Hegde_n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2017

Despite the dry and dusty pre-rains conditions,the Lodge remained immaculate in every way. Great food and service as always and we had the privilege of being in one of the newly refurbished rooms. Cheerful, friendly experienced staff

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank barazani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2017

This was my first visit to Ndutu and I loved it. The Safari Lodge is so comfortable – I felt like I was in someone’s home. It’s a great spot to break up the drive from Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti.

My room was quite small but more than adequate for what I needed. The beds are comfortable and the showers are good.

It was so nice to sit by the fire before dinner, having cocktails while surrounded by dik diks. Watch out for your popcorn! More than half of my group had various dietary requirements and these were all well catered for. Our meals were very tasty and satisfying.

We didn’t see much game during our drives in the area but it’s so beautiful that it didn’t really matter.

My group only had one night here but we all agreed that an extra night would be ideal.

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kellie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Afisa N, Manager at Ndutu Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2017

Hi Kellie
So glad you enjoyed your visit with us, and thanks for taking the time to write the review. We love our resident dikdik and they provide a lot of pleasure for residents and guests alike. Very happy also to hear that you enjoyed the meals and that your friends with dietary requirements felt well looked after.
I hope you can come again to Ndutu Lodge and stay longer!
Best wishes

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2017 via mobile

I wish I could give a 3.5 rating, it is certainly above average but not "very good" either. There are lots of pluses and some minuses.

The incredibly remote location and the animal life in its surroundings provided us with some of the best animal spoting moments of our 5 day trip. So just for that, it was worth staying here.

The staff was very kind and friendly - although I found that to be the case consistently throughout all the hotels we stayed at. Food was at par with similar hotels, nothing spectacular but not bad either.

What I disliked was the accomodation in itself, really basic to a bare mininum - although I reckon that may be intentional? Still I thought it was a bit below my standards: too small, too bare.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
Thank KooChoLondon_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Afisa N, Manager at Ndutu Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2017

Thank you for taking time to review our lodge in this forum. We are happy to know there were a lot of pluses for you and it is always good for us to know if we are not meeting our guests expectations so thank you also for detailing the negatives. We are not a luxury lodge and do not claim to be, our simplicity is not for everyone.
Best wishes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ndutu Safari Lodge

Address: P.O. Box 6084, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 36 Speciality Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ndutu Safari Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ndutu Safari Lodge, shaded by majestic acacia trees, is situated in the south-eastern part of the Serengeti. The Lodge has thirty four cottages, all built with local materials, with individual verandahs facing Lake Ndutu. Tucked away from the madding crowd, Ndutu offers peace and tranquility. Stay close to the lodge and enjoy our resident wildlife or go for a drive to explore the surrounding plains or marsh area. After sunset return to the homely warmth and hospitality of Ndutu Safari Lodge. Karibuni. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ndutu Safari Hotel Arusha
Ndutu Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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