A green oasis amid the red-brown hills of the Ngorongoro Highlands, Plantation Lodge lies at the center of a working coffee, flower and cattle plantation, surrounded by rolling green farmland and lowland forest. Its 17 individual bungalows provide superb comfort and amenities, each with a separate sitting area, wood-burning fireplace and private veranda overlooking lavish gardens and manicured lawns. The individually furnished rooms and suites are uniquely decorated with the owners’ fabulous collection of safari antiques and Tanzanian arts and crafts. The small size of this owner-run lodge, combined with its colonial-style charm, creates an intimate atmosphere where personal attention and a concern for detail are evident at every turn. The lodge enjoys a prime location for safari access: it's very near the entrance of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a quick hop from Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks, and a relatively short drive from the Serengeti.
Karatu / Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Gibb’s Farm occupies a serene spot on the forested slopes of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, offering guests easy access to the wildlife enclaves of Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park, as well as an inside glimpse into rural Tanzanian life. Built in 1929, this working farm offers visitors a window on a bygone era of genteel country living defined by formal English gardens, sprawling verandas and atmospheric log fires to take the edge off the evening chill.
The traditional farmhouse and 17 guest cottages lie the heart of this working farm. The farmhouse has changed little since it was built in 1929 and retains the gracious charm of a well-cared-for private home, with cozy lounge spaces, reading nooks, dining room, bar and gift shop. Outside, a broad veranda and flower garden overlook a panorama of the valley below. Organic coffee is grown, processed and roasted on the farm, while a 10-acre fruit and vegetable garden provides organic produce for healthy, home-cooked meals. Individually themed guest cottages feature richly appointed interiors with gleaming eucalyptus floors, hand-crafted furniture, two queen-size beds, a fireplace and private veranda. En suite bathrooms have twin basins, luxurious soaking tubs, and indoor and outdoor showers.
Activities at Gibb’s Farm include wildlife drives into nearby Lake Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Guided walks are also offered along forest trails to waterfalls, coffee plantations and local villages, as well a "medicine walk" guided by a traditional Maasai healer. The farm offers outstanding birding, with more than 220 species recorded on the premises. A 2-hour walk around the nearby village of Tloma offers a close-up look at daily life in rural Tanzania. A visit to a local grade school supported by the farm can also be arranged. Garden tours, coffee-roasting demonstrations, spa treatments and a visit to the farm’s artist-in-residence program round out the diverse activities on offer at Gibb's Farm.
Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
As the sun rises, you descend into one of the wildlife wonders of the world, the Ngorongoro Crater, home to all of the Big Five in a caldera only 12 miles wide. It is so rich that most travelers choose to take a picnic lunch with them to maximize their time viewing the wildlife. Watch hippos charge in the small pools or glimpse a lioness with her cubs as she emerges from the shelter of the tall grass. This is also a great place to see black rhinos as well as jackals and hyenas. Situated right on the rim of the famed crater, the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge has stunning views from all rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms and are heated to ward off the evening chill. The region is part of a Masai conservation area and we often have a chance to interact with these colorful people.
Activities: Day-long game drives in the wildlife-rich crater. Opportunities to visit a Masai village to learn about their interesting life.
Special Attraction: Sweeping views from every room make your time in the lodge almost as spectacular as the encounters with the 20,000 animals that call the crater their home.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Lemala Ngorongoro is a luxury seasonal camp located in a private reserve on the north side of the Ngorongoro Crater. Its optimal location near the less-traveled Lemala access road provides quick and easy entry into the crater, a mere 15-minute descent that maximizes wildlife-viewing opportunities by allowing for full days on the crater floor. Often, the first hours of a morning safari drive are enjoyed in solitude before others arrive. Set in an acacia forest on the crater rim, the intimate camp offers secluded accommodations under canvas in deluxe tents. Each of the nine spacious tents is outfitted with a gas heater, large single or king-size beds with warm duvets, wooden flooring with rugs, 24-hour solar lighting, and en suite bathrooms with a dressing area, flush toilet and safari-style bucket shower. The mess tent is lavishly furnished with grand sofas, lamps, chests, rugs, and book cases and corner cabinets in old wood. In the evening, guests gather around the campfire for sundowners before enjoying a sumptuous dinner. The camp works closely with the local Maasai community, members of which often offer dances and talks on Maasai culture, traditions and ceremonies, an engaging way for guests to learn more about their traditional lifestyles.
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