Simba Campsite A
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Simba Campsite A Ngorongoro Reviews
A Field of Dung Sep 13, 2011
There are two Simba campsites. Simba A is a public campsite, while Simba B is a special campsite. I have covered the difference between public and private campsites in my review of Dik Dik Campsite in Serengeti National Park:
We stayed at Simba A, the public campsite. Just like in Serengeti National Park all the public campsites in Ngorongoro National Park are owned by the government and charge $30 USD. This campsite is located on the rim of the Ngorongoro crater, so it is rather high in elevation and has some great views, but can get rather cold at night, at least during the dry season when we were there. It's a bit hard to find in the dark, so try to arrive in daylight if you can.
I was not all that impressed with this campsite. It's not a particularly flat area and has a grassy slope to pitch tents on. It's not a major slope and you can orient your tent accordingly. The grass makes for a nice under cushion to compensate. However, there seemed to be a plethora of dung everywhere too. While not particularly odiferous, it did limit the location to pitch a tent and created a bit of an obstacle for walking around, as you had to watch where you stepped. This was particularly problematic at night.
Mind you, I am ok roughing it when need be, and the slope and dung aside, I just thought the place was generally pretty dirty. There was a lack of trash cans for disposal and the toilets, while not extremely dirty could have been a little cleaner. I didn't even think of taking a shower here after seeing the stains in the grout of the toilet area. It is a below average place I think and if they cleaned it up better, it might provide a more positive experience. There may be better places to stay.
We pitched our tents and set to making some dinner in the darkness. There was a beast that roamed quite near our campsite, which I think was a cow of some sort and probably the source of all the dung scattered about. I captured it in a photo and you can see it in my photo selections. This place is apparently protected by rangers, so is probably quite safe from anything dangerous. There are signs, however, warning you where not to go beyond a certain point. I didn't hear anything during the night here and it was quiet.
My overall impressions are that it's in a nice location, and you can't always expect spic 'n span toilets and showers in a campsite, but what's with all the dung? You'd think they would clean it up or keep the cows from grazing in the campsite area. I have to give it a lower rating for this reason. I don't mind a pile or two, but it was everywhere. This is especially problematic for navigating to the toilet in the dark. Hate to do it, but 2 stars for this reason. I waver a bit and it's maybe 2.5 on a good day. When we were leaving there was no place to dispose of trash, so we threw it on the ashes of a nearby campfire pit. Some large birds began attacking it. I have a hard time to recommend this place.
Part of the Under African Skies (Sep. 5-19, 2011) travel blog
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