- Convenient for Ngorongoro Crater
- Lovely Gardens
- Swimming Pool
- Farm Walks
Plantation Lodge is a lovely, independently owned property set in lush, tropical grounds near Karatu in the Ngorongoro Highlands, Northern Tanzania. The lodge is located near the entrance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and is accessible by road or plane, with the nearest airport a 20 minute drive away.
The main lodge is built in an attractive colonial style and houses two dining rooms, a large bar and a cosy lounge area complete with wood burning stove. Dining can be arranged indoors, outside on the terrace, in the pretty grounds or even the wine cellar. The gardens are a delightful feature of this property and there’s a lovely kidney-shaped swimming pool.
The accommodation comprises 15 standard rooms and 7 suites dotted around the gardens. Some rooms are fully detached while others are clustered together. Each standard room has a double bed (mattresses can be unzipped to make 2 singles) and an en-suite bathroom with shower. Every room has a veranda and the suites have separate lounge areas with wood burners for the cooler months. The Garden House has 4 bedrooms with a shared lounge, perfect for groups or families, and private dining can be arranged. Do bring warm clothing since the Lodge sits at an altitude of 1600m and temperatures can cool down as low as 8 degrees Celsius overnight in the winter months (May - November).
Like its nearby alternatives, Gibb's Farm and Tloma Lodge, we tend to recommend this property for a 2 - 3 night stay as a base for exploring the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara, with some time built in for relaxation in the lodge and gardens. Animal sightings are possible year-round, although in April and May the rains mean that roads may be unpassable. Guided walks to nearby coffee plantations or neighbouring farms are offered, and there’s also the lodge’s wine cellar to explore!
Families are well catered for, with accommodation available in the Garden House, or in the two-bedroom family suite with its own dining area, lounge and fireplace. Highchairs and cots are available. Although there is no age restriction at the property, children under the age of 12 are unable to participate in guided walks. However, the large pool and extensive gardens provide children with plenty of outdoor entertainment during down-time between game drives. Although parents can be reassured by the fence around the property to keep wildlife at bay, children must be kept under constant supervision.
Plantation Lodge is a characterful property offering a good level of comfort and plenty of rest in charming surroundings. This is an excellent choice in its moderate price range.
The whole holiday start to finish was just fabulous, the accommodation was perfect and to a certain extent stunning at the Dar Hosnia in Marrakech.
The transport, guides and staff at both locations were wonderful with a special mention to the Douar Samra team in Imlill. They were more than a bit special.
The food at both locations was excellent and the ambience and fun we enjoyed in Douar Samra was beyond all expectations.
We made many new friends whom I am sure we will keep in touch with way beyond this holiday.
You put together a perfect package it was much more than just a great holiday it was a richly rewarding experience.
Just finally to say a big thank you to you for organising one of the best trips we have had.
stuart w reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 15 April 2019
Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.
Laura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018
We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!
Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:
Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.
I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.
The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.
The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.
We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.
The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.
The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.
Gwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018