Boutique Accommodations in Tanzania
Africa scores high on everyone’s ‘bucket list’, regardless of whether they are 25 or 75. And while there are all kinds of levels of safari accommodation in Tanzania, don’t opt only for creature comforts and cheat yourself out of the experience of camping under the stars in the wild, even if it means a pit toilet at the back of your tent. We mixed it up and can honestly say that ‘roughing it’ in the Serengeti was equally as amazing as our more luxurious stays.
SPLURGEKISIMA NGEDA, Lake Eyasi www.anasasafari.com/kisima-ngeda This is ‘glamping’ (glamourous camping) at its best and one of the best places to stay if you are planning a visit to the nomadic Hadzabe people. Private permanent ‘tents’, complete with fully-equipped bathrooms and a turn-down service at night. Located on the shores of Lake Eyasi, this lodge whose name means Palm Springs, has its own fish farm on site, and even a pool! The ride on some rough roads is well worth it, though, and be sure to take advantage of the chance to have a sundowner from the lookout rock behind the lodge.
SPLURGEBABU’S CAMP, Mkomazi http://www.anasasafari.com/babus-camp Run by the same company as Kisima Ngeda, Babu’s camp is located in Mkomazi, a relatively new national park about 3 hours drive or so east of Arusha along the Kenyan border. Because the park was formerly a private game reserve used for hunting, the resident animals are much more skittish and hard to spot than in the Serengeti, but the location of the park, off the beaten track in an area surrounded by mountains, makes it a tranquil place to pamper yourself. After all, who would expect terry robes in the middle of nowhere, but that’s the level of service and luxury you can expect at Babu’s.
STAYNGORONGORO SOPA LODGE, Ngorongoro Crater www.sopalodges.com/ngorongoro Perched on the rim of Tanzania’s famous crater, the Sopa lodge offers a comfortable base from which to explore the wealth of animal life that a jeep ride through the Ngorongoro crater offers. Spacious rooms, large hot showers, laundry service, a welcoming restaurant and bar, and spectacular views of the famous crater make this full-service hotel an ideal space to spend some time without breaking the bank.
SAVEKARAMA LODGE, Arusha www.karama-lodge.com Rustic A-Frame cabins on stilts with mosquito-netted beds and individual balconies make this eco-friendly lodge a romantic and unique alternative to staying in the busier city of Arusha below. The hillside location is wooded and peaceful, with views of Kilimanjaro when weather permits, making it the perfect base before a safari or climb. The restaurant serves good food, the bar is a relaxed place to enjoy a sundowner or two, and there’s a good-sized pool to soak up some sun. Just don’t leave anything out on the balcony of your hut, because the local monkeys are likely to make off with it! Even at high season rates, this kind of Robinson Crusoe style of lodging is a bargain, as it includes a good breakfast in the price.
REALLY SAVEARUSHA NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUND www.tanzaniaparks.com I’m no camper, but when the rewards are well worth it, I’m game for anything. And with the safari company doing all the heavy lifting, going the campground route isn’t the hardship you’d think. Take advantage of this opportunity to overnight in Arusha National Park. Not only is it one of the few places to see the Colobus monkey (beautiful black monkeys with long white tails), but you’ll also have the rare opportunity to walk outside of your jeep, since there are no predators to speak of. Foregoing the wine glass is a small price to pay to walk with giraffes!
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