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The Highlands Tented Camp

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

Highlights

- Superb elevated location, fabulous views
- Game drives, nature walks
- Cultural visits
- Asilia Portfolio

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Overview

The luxurious Highlands Camp, newly opened in July 2016, is set in a private, forested area within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. This high-altitude, tented camp belongs to the high-end Asilia portfolio and nestles against the Olmoti Volcano, with spectacular views of the surrounding area. The Ngorongoro Crater, just 40km away, is home to a vast array of animals from lion, leopard and serval, to black rhino, elephant, buffalo, wildebeest and a plethora of birds. The camp is located some 2 ½ hour’s drive from the Manyara airstrip; do be prepared for a bumpy ride as you approach camp since the road’s surface is somewhat uneven, as might be expected in a location as wonderfully remote as this.

The property’s unique design is distinctly contemporary, yet inspired by the traditional Maasai Boma. All tents are dome-shaped and sumptuously furnished. The attractive main area houses a welcoming indoor fireplace with comfortable seating, a library and a bar. There is 24-hour solar power with back-up generator.

The range of activities on offer is unrivalled in this area. The Olmoti nature walk starts directly from camp and follows an ancient Maasai cattle trail, climbing through grasslands and rocky outcrops with fabulous, rewarding views at the top. A half-day excursion is also possible to the nearby Empakaai Crater, famed for its soda lake and pink flamingos, and cultural visits to nearby Maasai communities are a must. Game drives in the Ngorongoro Crater are a true highlight, and the camp’s excellent location makes for a relatively short 45-minute drive to the crater floor.

The accommodation comprises 8 stunning glass-and-canvas domed suites, including a honeymoon suite (complete with hot tub), a family suite, and 2 triple rooms (available on request). Each suite has an en-suite bathroom with hot running water, shower and flushing toilet and there is a good distance between tents to ensure privacy. Note that the rooms are located downhill from the main areas so sturdy footwear in the evenings is imperative. Although rooms are certainly cosy, each with an in-room wood-burning stove, do bring warm clothing since it can get chilly and weather at this altitude is inevitably unpredictable.

Children of 5 years and up are welcome. The family tent accommodates 2 adults and 2 children very comfortably and has 2 separate bathrooms with flushable toilet and outdoor shower. Unusually for this area, there is a good range of activities for children, including game drives and community visits, although trips to the Olmoti and Empakaai Craters are not suitable for children under 16.

The Highlands Camp offers a true wilderness experience coupled with a cosy, indulgent feel. Newly opened and luxurious, there is a price tag to match but the camp’s spectacular location and superb range of activities make for a wonderful stay.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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