Before or after your safari, enjoy a serene setting among lush gardens filled with bougainvillea and jaracaranda surrounding a colonial German farmhouse at the base of Mount Meru. The original 1905 house was transformed in 1974 into a tranquil guest lodge filled with antiques, and it is still owned and run by the same conservation-minded family today. Long covered verandas offer views of Mount Kilimanjaro from overstuffed chairs, while indoors, a fireplace provides warmth when the sun goes down. Ten garden rooms front an expansive lawn across from the main house, with private porches for relaxing. Beneath the beamed timber ceilings, sink into a canopied king-size Zanzibar bed or two twins, with elaborate carved wooden headboards. A separate lounge area is appointed with colorful local fabrics and handmade ottoman sofa. Each room has a large en suite bathroom with tub, rain shower, dressing area and separate toilet. Meals at the main house are served in the dining room or al fresco on the shaded terrace overlooking the gardens and small lake. Menus feature homemade fare incorporating organic vegetables from the lodge garden and local small farms, fresh-baked breads and pastries, locally grown coffee that's roasted at the lodge, and more. The property generates its own hydroelectricity, and all drinking water comes directly from its natural spring, which also supplies fresh water to neighboring villages.
Do as much or as little as you like at Ngare Sero. Fifty acres of sprawling grounds invite a stroll through forest that's home to black and white colobus and Sykes' monkeys. The owners have planted more than 3,000 indigenous trees on the property, which shelter native wildlife and 200 bird species. Take a boat ride on the lake, fed by crystal-clear coldwater springs rising in the forest and inhabited by many different frogs, freshwater crabs and fish. Ride a horse through the woodlands as you look for abundant birdlife. Play a round of croquet, take a refreshing swim in the 100-foot pool, or rejuvenate with a massage at the open-air spa, enhanced with essential oils.