Tailor-made Africa-specialist Lukey knows a thing or two about safari camps, having spent a year working and having adventures in Sub-Saharan African camps, before devoting her expertise to WF. She offers us a lowdown on safari camps in Northern Tanzania, from the greenest, the best for family fun, to the most interactive with local culture. Opportunities to stay in these inviting enclaves of nature are available on our Tanzania Northern Explorer tailor-made holiday.
Best for: Giving Back
Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge
I loved this place; found in the heart of the Karatu Valley, within driving distance of Ngorongoro Crater and Manyara National Park. The lodge is run in conjunction with the neighbouring Rhotia Valley Children’s Home and more than 20% of their revenue goes into running this home for orphaned children of the Rhotia Valley. Guests may visit the orphanage with a staff member at a set time daily and also learn about other local initiatives including a bakery, local restaurant and a water programme giving clean water to all of the Rhotia Valley. It’s inspiring, utterly charming and well-priced too with spectacular views and characterful tented rooms. Most people rush through enroute to the Crater, however if time allows spend two nights, as it has a lovely pool and the morning walks to local villages are well worth it.
Best for: Cultural Interaction
Set on the Ngorongoro Conservations Area to the west of the Crater, here you are in the heart of Maasailand. A small seasonal tented camp, Mysygio is a great place for Maasai led walks and each evening the camp organises a cultural encounter of some kind, it may be an Olpul – a massai meat festival, perhaps some local dancers or a visit to the local village or school. Sensitively staged with an authentic feel, these offer a fantastic insight into a vanishing lifestyle.
Best for: Families
Tarangire Safari Lodge
With over 50 rooms, this is larger than I would usually recommend, however the view alone sets the lodge apart and more often than not elephants can be spotted from the terrace. In the heat of the day with your game drives finished, parents can relax and enjoy the panoramic views over the Tarangire River, while children can enjoy a swim in the lodge’s swimming pool.
Best for: Super Luxury
This lodge has the wow factor in spades (and a price tag to match), but for those looking to splash out it’s pretty jaw dropping. Vast rooms, stylish guest areas and a gorgeous swimming pool all subtly blend into the environment with incredible views out to the escarpment and Kenya beyond.
Best for: Location Location Location
Lemala Ngorogoro Camp
For an early morning visit to the Crater, Lemala is my pick. A traditional tented camp with nine comfortable large tents, the camp itself does not particularly stand out, the locations is its drawcard. On the quieter eastern rim about 5 minutes from the gate, you can be on the Crater floor soon after sunrise and watch as the mist rises. By 10am, the Crater gets very busy, so Lemala is worth it alone for time spent by yourself in this incredible wildlife filled Caldera.