How can I even begin to convey how truly incredible our trip to Lamala Nanyukie was? Every aspect of our trip was perfect, I couldn't have asked for anything more. Apologies for the long review, but I want to give as much detail as possible for those looking to stay.
My Mum and I (50's and late 20’s) travelled to the Serengeti whilst visiting family in Dar in Feb 2020. We arrived via Seronera airstrip in the heart of the Serengeti after a 2.5hr flight from Dar. We booked last minute in Dar (around a week before) and travelled with Coastal Holidays. Even the friendly pilots were highlighting the sights as we came in, including Kilimanjaro. From there, we were met by Hassan, our guide who shown us to the safari open air jeep and sorted our paperwork. He gave us our own water bottles which were ours to keep. Hassan took us on a drive around the central Serengeti and within 15 mins we had sight of a Leopard up a tree and saw Hippos and Cheetahs. We noticed the central Serengeti was much busier than where the camp is with lots of vehicles. It took us around 1.5-2hrs (or more depending on what wildlife you see) to drive to the camp. The roads are bumpy, but the Jeep was surprisingly comfortable with a cool box packed with drinks and snacks. We had the Jeep to ourselves for the whole trip which was a lovely surprise.
The camp itself is LUXURIOUS. As we arrived, we were greeted by staff at the entrance who took our bags, gave us cool towels and shown us to the dining area where we had lunch. Staff escort you around camp at all times due to it being open. Food was excellent throughout the stay, even for a fussy eater like me! The attentiveness of the waiters/waitresses was second to none.
After dinner, we were shown to our room (number 7) which was phenomenal and included lovely touches such as luxury toiletries, bug spray, robes and a mini bar (which they restock according to your preferences). I'd got a bit of mud on my top during the drive and the staff offered a free of charge laundry service. There is no air-con in the rooms so they were a little warm in the day, however there is a ceiling fan and it can get rather cool at night/early morning so I was glad of the robes in the end. The bathroom was well equipped with a flushing private toilet, shower, double sinks and freestanding bath. There was even a private outside shower! The plunge pool was ideal in the heat and it was so relaxing listening to the sounds of the Serengeti on the balcony. That evening, we went on a short drive around the local area and had time to relax.
The second day consisted of a long game drive. We set off around 7.30am. As we aren’t breakfast people, the staff had made us a fresh fruit hamper to take with us. This was honestly one of the most incredible days of my life. On the drive, we saw lions, cubs, LOTS of cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, antelope, buffalos, vultures, loads of wonderful birds and the great migration including Zebra’s and Wildebeest. These plains were much quieter than the central Serengeti and we met max 4 Jeeps at any time so got really good views of all the animals. We were so lucky and so grateful to Hassan for making the drives so amazing. He allowed us all the time in the world to look at the animals and got us so close. He was very knowledgeable and you could tell he really cared for the animals as you could hear the passion in his commentary and this made our trip! One moment I will never forget was towards the end of the day, and having not seen any elephants (the one animal we hoped to see), we came up over a hill and Hassan said “ahhh Elephants”, and as if in a movie coming into view in front of us were about 40-50 elephants. He went off road through pretty bumpy terrain so we could get a closer look and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful to him for that experience.
As if that wasn’t enough, as we got back to camp, we were asked if we wanted to join the staff/guests for sundowners. I honestly thought we were going to go to the camp fire and chat about our day (which I think is a lovely touch). However, we were taken on a “mini trek” (a little walk in my flip flops and dress) up the nearby rocks. To my absolute amazement, at the top were two bean bags, a rug, a table of drinks, the manager/waiter and the most INCREDIBLE view of the Serengeti at sunset. Just for us! It was so lovely to chat to Jackson and the staff. We were led back down once the sun had set to our own private dining table next to the pool surrounded by candles. The waiter even came to sit with me whilst my mum used the bathroom and shown me the billions of stars. I honestly wondered what we had done to deserve this… I’ll never forget it.
On leaving camp the next day, we said goodbye to staff who waved us off at the entrance. I almost teared up! On the way back to the airstrip, we saw finally saw giraffes and even more elephants! Hassan surprised us at the end with little lunch boxes to take on the plane (again we skipped breakfast) with freshly made food and helped to check us in.
Things to be aware of:
- Biting flies! I HATED them. Usually around the long grass areas outside camp (but crucially NONE in camp). Keep covered when these are around, their bite does hurt a little. Avoid blue/black colours as they are attracted to them. The short grass plains were fine.
- Use bug spray (in jeeps/rooms/around camp) in general. Hardly got bit, but maybe that’s why.
- Obviously there’s no toilets on the long drives, be aware/prepared for that
- Lots of flies (non-biting) around the migration. Didn’t harm us, just didn’t expect so many. Didn’t affect us at all (and we both hate insects).
- Our 3 day trip was so busy we didn’t get to fully enjoy the lodge itself. Think about booking an extra night just to relax. We tried once we got there but the flight home a day later was fully booked
- Dress code is relaxed. Shorts/tops are fine, just beware of the biting flies. I tended to put the blanket around me at these points. Its cool in the mornings so I’m glad I borrowed my uncles fleece but they do provide blankets in the Jeep. Gets warm in the afternoon and even though you're shaded in the Jeep, the sun may catch your arms etc.
I hope this gives you some insight into our 3 day trip! I’d 100% recommend to anyone, children, elderly.. anyone! I want to sincerely thank all the staff at Lamala Nanyukie for allowing us to have such a magical experience. We understand we were so lucky to see all the animals we did, including the migration and not all people get to experience that. You are all a credit to Lamala and the Serengeti. We will definitely return.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC