Boutique Stays Interviews Safaris

Lemala Nanyukie . Luxury Tents. Middle of Serengeti. Perfection.

The luxury portfolio that has established Lemala Camps and Lodges in Tanzania as one of the best producers of boutique, beautiful and unusual luxury accommodations in the country has a brand-new addition. If nothing else, Lemala Nanyukie is a shining example of the lengths they will go to create special memories and occasions for their guests.

Opened on the 1st of October 2018, Lemala Nanyukie is a combination of a property of outstanding beauty, in both location and design, with a minimal eco footprint. Catering exclusively to the luxury traveler seeking escapism and immersion in the Serengeti.

Situated in the Serengeti National Park, fifteen lodges cluster together against a 360-degree horizon of unbroken savannah. Translated to ‘endless plains’ in the Maasai language, the Serengeti is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated wilderness areas.

Lemala Nanyukie is located 45-minutes east of the Seronera Airstrip in the park’s central region and is superbly located with outstanding views across these fascinating plains. The camp itself sits on a grassy savanna dotted with rocky kopjes and shaded by ancient giant acacia trees.  Here the sky stretches like a cosmic canvas overhead, producing the most amazing colours at sunset and sunrise with a nighttime sky so deep that you could fall into it if you didn’t cling to the ground.

“Central Serengeti is in the heart of Tanzania’s prime wildlife. The annual migration passes through here and it is also an area famous for a variety of big cats,” says, CEO Leanne Haigh.

“Oh, hello. Neighbours.”

An Enviable Standard

As the lodges are so close to nature and being in a protected area, Nanyukie was an opportunity not only for Lemala to create a crowning achievement, but also a statement of how luxury accommodation can be done. The first of its kind in Tanzania the structures are unique and have been built using recycled steel, canvas, wood and glass.  Floors are composite decking, and the property is completely off grid with a state-of-the-art power system.

“If we decide to leave in the future,” Leanne says, “There will be nothing left behind but our footprints.”

The Lodges

With canvas walls, cathedral-like tented ceilings and broad hardwood decks, guests at Lemala Nanyukie enjoy a light contemporary décor in a palette of dazzling whites and neutral colours. The interior is furnished with luxury upholstery, wooden furnishings and well-placed lighting to create a specific atmosphere.

The fifteen luxurious guest tents which consist of thirteen standard suites and two-bedroom suites are strategically positioned to ensure the maximum benefit of the view and the maximum privacy.

“This is an opportunity to indulge,” Leanne says, “Each lodge includes features such as an oversized bed, a spacious lounge and a generous bathroom with double vanity, shower and free-standing bathtubs. The landscape is spacious and endless and the space in the tents reflect this.”

And outside, the delightful wooden decks have sunken seating, outdoor showers and stunning plunge pools providing unimpeded views across the Serengeti’s magnificent grasslands.

The main area features a comfortable lounge and bar, outdoor viewing deck which leads to a refreshing swimming pool, and indoor and outdoor dining areas. Additionally, specialized meals are arranged, like bush breakfasts and lantern-lit dinners, and the campfire is perfect for a post-dinner drinks while sharing tales about the day on safari. For those wanting to indulge a step further, a separate spa tent among the trees offers secluded relaxation at the hands of their expert spa staff.

Activities

This area of the Serengeti is crossed by the thrilling wildlife spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration but also provides high-density game-viewing at all times.  While the lodges are completely safe, guests are genuinely in their neighborhood, surrounded by wild animals and open landscapes. There are few things more wonderful than hearing wild animals roaming free in earshot. In fact, any visitor to this area is always amazed at the sounds which range from deafening silence at high noon to a frenzied choir of animal, insect and bird sounds at dusk and dawn.

Lemala Nanyukie is open all year through both wet and dry seasons, and safari activities like game drives and walks are accompanied by Lemala’s highly-knowledgeable and experienced guides. Each opportunity to experience the wild is carefully constructed to get the best out of it. These designed safaris create days of wonderous activity and nights of deep, uninterrupted sleep. 

The Staff

Lemala Camps and Lodges employ 218 people in total, spread across such incredible sites as Lemala Kuria Hills and Lemala Mpingo Ridge Tented Lodges. Forty-four of them work at Nanyukie and while all the lodges share in splendid locations offering the kind of picturesque views that take your breath away, it really is the staff that makes the stay worthwhile.

“It is always down to the staff,” Leanne says, “This is a rule of hospitality and it doesn’t matter if it’s a hotel in the middle of a city, a motel on the side of a highway or a luxury one-of-a-kind lodge that is miles out in the wilderness. If the staff are not carrying the banner of the business and being its ambassadors and providing an “above expectations” level of service, it can sully a vacation.”

As expected, Lemala Nanyukie’s staff quality speaks for itself. From the safari guides in the vehicles to the chefs in the kitchen, everyone is fully trained for their roles, motivated and completely customer and guest focused. Leanne is also proud of where they source their staff from.

“We always employ locally,” she says, “We believe that it adds a credibility to our lodges and makes full use of the local talent available.”

The other important area is cleanliness. Leanne explains that guests immediately judge something on how clean it is, so they have check lists and managers that do room and main area checks, ensuring that all living areas have been cleaned thoroughly.

“Regular training is provided every couple of months,” she adds, “This gives us an opportunity to re-vitalize the cleaning routines as well as incorporate any new training. This approach of regular retraining also extends to other areas of the business such as the chefs, who have an ex group chef that comes in every three months to retrain.”

The Relationships

Building relationships is the founding stone of Lemala. People talk. And there is a known fact that if a guest is unsatisfied about a stay, they will tell more people than if they are satisfied. However, if a guest is amazed at a stay, they’ll never stop talking about it.

Leanne says that their aim is to leave their guests genuinely spellbound by their stay. She adds that part of achieving this is creating a really strong relationship so that a guest can completely relax.

“We speak with the guests during their stay,” she says, “And after their departure we speak to every guest to follow up on their stay. This is important because if you have the relationship right, they’ll give you an honest appraisal of what you’ve achieved.”

2019

This may not be the crowning achievement of Lemala Camps and Lodges either. Leanne reveals that there are many more things coming in 2019 but doesn’t want to spoil the surprise.

“Rest assured though, considering the places that are available so far, it will be very special,” she says.


PRICE.

$1800 a night for 2 guests.

Stay 4 nights and only pay for 3.

Valid in high season and inclusive of all meals and drinks, wifi, laundry.

ADDRESS: SERENGETI, SERONERA AREA (middle of nowhere)

TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255788734834

EMAIL: res@lemalacamp.com

WEBSITE: http://www.lemalacamp.com/nanyukie-tented-lodge