Plantation Lodge is probably our favourite coffee plantation in the Ngorongoro Highlands. It’s tranquil, scenic and in a great spot for easy access to the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. The rooms are simple but luxurious and the food is particularly good as they make use of their fine organic vegetable garden. There are other great places such as Gibbs Farm in the area but we feel that Plantation is setting the highest standards at the moment.
Plantation Lodge - The Facts
This lodge is located just outside the small village of Karatu. It’s about half way between the Crater and Lake Manyara
making it the perfect spot for those looking for a safari
day in each and a lovely, peaceful place to go back to afterwards. It’s about a two and a half hour drive from Arusha. The lodge itself is situated amongst the lush sloping valleys of the coffee plantations.
The lodge has the feeling of an old colonial farm house that has had a fantastic renovation to turn it into the place that it is today. It’s a series of white buildings spread out amongst a beautifully kept grass lawn. The gardens and vegetable patches are all rich, verdant and plentiful.
The rooms are spacious and luxurious offering a host of home comforts and nice relaxing touches to make you feel at ease after a day on safari. As well as this, the swimming pool gives a valid option to relax and watch the world go by.
The food is also really impressive as they give you an option of a variety of different meals and drinks.
Overall we highly recommend Plantation Lodge as a fantastic place to stay. A great base in Karatu to make your own during your Tanzanian safari holiday. The location, rooms, food and service are all of an extremely high quality.
Plantation Lodge is a ‘drive in’ lodge which means you need to bring your own guide and vehicle from Arusha as the lodge only supplies the accommodation and not the safari activities. Typically a two night stay works well here spending the first day game driving in Lake Manyara
and the second day game driving in Ngorongoro Crater. You can also use the lodge for further excursions to see the Hadzabe tribe or nearby Lake Eyasi. There really is no need to spend more than two nights here, the Ngorongoro Crater is certainly very famous, but its small size means that one day game driving here will be more than enough.
A typical Northern Tanzania itinerary would start off with a night in Arusha. This is generally used as a stop over and allows some time to catch your breath or act as a buffer should your international flight be delayed. After staying at Plantation Lodge you would typically fly to the Serengeti, with your driver dropping you off at Lake Manyara airstrip. Depending on what time of year you visit, will generally indicate where in the Serengeti you will be visiting. From July - October the migration is in the North of the National Park in the Kogatende region. Here the famous river crossings occur which normally means some epic wildlife sightings! From November through to March the herds congregate in their largest numbers on the Ndutu Plains. In February the calving season occurs and over 8,000 calves are born per day over a number of weeks. Between April and June the herds then head into the Seronera and Grumeti regions of the park as they embark North again.
Any number of camps combine very well with Plantation Lodge . Its great value means that you can afford to splash out a bit more in the Serengeti if you wish to.
After a safari, there is nothing better then heading over to the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar to soak up some sun on a lounger and sip cool drinks by the pool. If you are after some more culture, the city of Stone Town makes for a great stop-over for a night or two before the beach with the luxurious Park Hyatt being the pick of the bunch for hotels in the city.
On Zanzibar, you have to be careful as many of the beaches are tidal, yet there are some hotels and lodges that have excellent beaches. Zuri in the North of the island is our favourite and with a non-tidal beach, glistening white sand and plenty of swimming pool beach bars, it is the perfect location to round of a Northern Tanzania holiday.
There are many deals to be had with Ngorongoro and Serengeti Lodges, especially when travelling as a group or on a honeymoon so it is definitely worth contacting one of our Tanzania experts to see what deals you could take advantage of!