The Highlands Lodge in Ngorongoro | Great Image Expedition Ltd
The Highlands Lodge

The Highlands Lodge in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro

 

The Highlands Lodge

                                  The Highlands

                   Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

The Highlands has redefined the Ngorongoro Crater experience, offering an array of activities afforded by the camp’s exclusive location and a combination of comfort and contemporary style.

 

The Highlands Lodge
The Highlands Lodge

ABOUT THE HIGHLANDS

The award-winning camp with its eight domed canvas and glass suites is situated on the edge of a forest that skirts Olmoti Volcano. The surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

  • Calendar

    Open: Year round

  • Airplane

    Closest airstrip: Lake Manyara, 3-hour drive from camp

  • 1 Families

    Families: children aged five and older

 

Take a look around

 

The Highlands Lodge

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation & Amenities

The camp feels remote, but is within easy reach of Ngorongoro, where guests can go on day-long game drives to spot lions, elephants and giraffes, with a midday picnic break under a shady tree. From camp, hike up to the top of Olmoti for staggering views, or take a half-day trip to the soda lake in Empakaai Crater, where thousands of pink flamingos congregate. Guests can also interact with the local community, learning about Maasai culture and walk the cattle back to the boma at the end of the day.  At night, gather around a crackling fire with a glass of wine or whiskey before sitting down to a delicious three-course dinner. 

  • Tents

    8 perspex-and-canvas domed suites (2 triples available on request)

  • 3 En Suite Bathrooms

    En-suite bathrooms

  • 13 Shower 2

    Hot-water showers

  • 24 Flushing Toilets

    Flushing toilets

  • 6 In Room Safe

    In-room lockable box

  • Complimentary Laundry Service

    Complimentary laundry service

  • 26 Solar&Generatorpower 2

    Solar and generator power

  • 30 Wood Burning Stove

    In-room wood burning stove

    Rooms

    The eight domed suites at The Highlands are made of canvas and glass and are surrounded by lush vegetation with views across the surrounding hills. There is one family tent with room for kids and one special honeymoon tent with a hot tub. Each suite has a king-sized bed facing floor-to-ceiling windows and a deck that curves around the tent. En suite bathrooms have hot running water, showers and flushing toilets. At night, wood-burning stoves keep guests cosy and warm.  

 

The Highlands Lodge
The Highlands Lodge

Location of The Highlands

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with good reason: it is a stunning landscape of mountainous forests, grassy plains and swampy marshlands. The Highlands perches at the edge of a forest that encircles Olmoti Volcano. It is the highest property in the area, affording sublime, panoramic vistas. Both sunrise and sunset are visible from camp. 

The famous Ngorongoro Crater lies 40 km to the south. The crater, the largest inactive, intact and unflooded caldera in the world, was formed when a volcano exploded and collapsed in on itself 2 to 3 million years ago. It is now one of the best places in Africa for wildlife viewing, with the Big 5 and an extraordinary concentration of predators in the area. 

On the northern flank of Olmoti Volcano, we might see buffalo, zebras, hartebeests, bushbucks, leopards and elephants (at certain times of the year), as well as nocturnal animals such as hyenas and porcupines. Empakaai Crater is known for the thousands of flamingos that gather along the shores of its soda lake (a highly alkaline lake). 

 

Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater

 

Redefining the Ngorongoro experience

Set on the lush slopes of Olmoti Volcano, The Highlands has sweeping views right across to the Serengeti. The eight tents are canvas and perspex domes – a design inspired by traditional Maasai bomas. At the heart of the camp is our library with its indoor fireplace that replaces the typical safari campfire. We gather here each evening to share stories of the day’s wildlife experiences over pre-dinner drinks.

 

The Highlands Lodge
The Highlands Lodge

 

A typical day on safari at The Highlands

We head out on game drives or walks first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon when temperatures are cooler. Exact times differ slightly with the seasons, but we aim to get you out and about when the animals are at their most active. If you have booked a private vehicle, discuss your own schedule with your guide. 

Start the day with an early-morning wake-up call and a cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy breakfast before you depart for a game drive or walk, or opt to take a picnic with you. By mid-morning, you’ll be back at camp with time to relax and freshen up before lunch. 

It’s siesta time for most of the afternoon. Take the opportunity to relax with a book, visit our library or have a nap. Then it’s on to afternoon tea before you depart for a game drive with sundowners. Round off another perfect day in the bush with drinks by the campfire and dinner with good company. 

 

Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater

Game drives

Explore the 300 km2 Ngorongoro Crater with our experienced and knowledgeable guides. We’ll pack a picnic lunch to enjoy under a shady tree, so you can make the most of your excursion. We have seven-seater closed vehicles with power points and fridges, so you don’t have to worry about your devices running flat or your drinks getting warm. 

 

Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater

Olmoti Crater climb

Directly from camp, follow an old Maasai cattle trail through mountain forests, across grasslands and over rocky outcrops. Spot birds and butterflies along the trail. At the top, you’ll be rewarded by a magnificent view of the crater below. 

 

Empakaai Crater
Empakaai Crater

Empakaai Crater climb

Descend into the Empakaai Crater with an NCA ranger and hike to the soda lake, famous for the pink flamingos that congregate around it turning the shores pink. Due to its location, The Highlands is the only property that can offer a convenient half-day excursion here. 

 

Olmoti Crater
Olmoti Crater

Community and cultural visits

Spend an afternoon with the Maasai in a neighbouring village to learn about their traditional way of life. Visit a market to support local traders or walk with the herders as they bring their cattle back to the boma for the night. Depending on the time of year, guests may also be able to visit a local school. 

 

Ngorongoro

 

Spa

Visit the spa for a relaxing massage after a long flight or a hot day in the bush. If you’d prefer, we can also organise treatments in your suite. 

 

Spa

 

Meals and refreshments

Our wholesome meals are made from fresh ingredients from the Karatu area, the closest source of locally grown crops. Meals are served in our dining room, outside on the deck or sometimes out in the bush. If you want to spend more time on game drives, we can pack a picnic breakfast or lunch to enjoy on the go.  

We can cater for most dietary requirements. Please just let us know in advance. 

 

The Highlands Lodge
The Highlands Lodge

What to expect during the year

Ngorongoro is a year-round safari destination, but we think the best time to visit is May to avoid crowds. July and August are when the Ngorongoro receives the most tourists. There is a fairly big difference in climate between the Ngorongoro Crater and the surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater is much colder than the NCA due to its higher altitude. Allow a drop of around 7°C per 1,000 metres (3.5°F per 1,000 feet). It also rains more around the crater rim and night-time temperatures can dip down to freezing, so pack lots of layers.

JANUARY – MARCH

January and February see a gap in rains between the wet seasons, though it’s difficult to predict exactly when this will fall. The migratory birds are in the NCA during these months. There are fewer tourists than in July and August (though, it can still feel busy).

APRIL – JUNE

The long rains fall in April and May, which is the wettest time of year. However, it doesn’t rain all day and there are plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities. May is the best time to avoid crowds and see wildflowers that bloom across the crater floor. Travel during this time to take advantage of low season rates. The dry season arrives in June.

JULY – SEPTEMBER

July and August’s dry season are peak months for travel, largely because of school holidays. This is also the best time for finding wildlife. The days are usually sunny and clear.

OCTOBER – DECEMBER

Outside peak season, there are fewer people in the NCA, though the crater can still feel quite busy. The migratory birds usually begin to arrive in November.

 

Explore at the pace of the wild, sync your pulse with the earth, and discover true freedom.
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