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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.

Nearby Alternatives

Entamanu Ngorongoro

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Our rating

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The Manor at Ngorongoro

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Ngorongoro Farm House

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Farm House Valley Lodge

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Gibb's Farm

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Tloma Lodge

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Escarpment Lodge

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Suggested Itineraries for The Highlands Tented Camp

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Superb 9 day fly-in safari featuring superb Asilia Camps in Tarangire, Ngorongoro Highlands and the Serengeti.

Tailor-made Luxury 9 days

Adults from $7,344 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $936 per person economy class from London

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 641 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • Everything was exceptionally well arranged and the whole trip, from checking in on line and printing out the outward journey boarding cards from home, until return to Heathrow, was completely seamless.

    Although arriving slightly earlier than scheduled, we didn't have to wait before being collected at Nairobi by Elijah, our guide and Samuel the driver. On being told that we had hardly slept at all on the outward journey, they took us to a small B&B place they use (sorry, I've forgotten the name of the place) and we were able to rest/sleep for some 3 hours before setting off on our adventure. This was very much appreciated by us as that first day was full on after that.

    They looked after us really well and both were very knowledgeable and good company and were flexible to our needs, with nothing being too much trouble for them.

    The accommodation you picked for us was spot on. We were particularly taken with Sunbird Lodge (I could have spent the whole week there if it were not for being on the move due to the nature of the trip), which was quite informal and extremely friendly. We then moved on to the Maji Moto Eco Camp, where again everything was fine. Having stayed in similar places before, at my age now, the one night suited well and I was surprised when Dan was so taken with the place that he would have liked to stay another night! I think the camp fire might have had something to do with it. The visit to the school was also well worth it from Dan's perspective.

    On then to Ilkeliani and I concur with what you say about it being so well priced for what it offers, that it is a good recommendation. This was slightly more formal at mealtimes than Sunbird Lodge but nevertheless, the staff were equally friendly. As adults, both my husband and myself enjoyed the food although the feedback I provided on their customer satisfaction questionnaire was that perhaps the evening meals could possibly have slight variations for children. We didn't see any signs of the suspended footbridge and as we didn't ask about it, I don't know whether it's still there or not.

    I have to say that the beds in both Sunbird and Ilkeliani were very, very, comfortable.

    The Mayfair Southern Sun was again a good choice although I think the room we had was perhaps a standard twin room. There were two what I call "three quarters" sized beds, i.e. larger than a single but not quite a double bed size, which meant it was a bit of a squeeze for 2 persons in one bed.

    Both the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary were ideal additions to the itinerary. We had a 10 year old who was reluctant to leave Kenya!

    MissingMartha Ann Eileen Curry reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 14 May 2018

  • The walking in the mountains was a fantastic experience, helped by our perfect guide Ibrahim. He was intelligent, kind, cheerful and looked after us very well. He could answer all our questions on flora, fauna, geology, history and local culture. He walked at a steady phase that suited all and made sure everyone was happy. We could not have asked for more.
    Our favourite place to stay was the Azzaden trekking lodge where we were welcomed warmly with slippers, dates, milk and a hand wash. The food was excellent and the breakfast was very impressive. The hospitality of Mohamed was second to none. The view from the balcony was amazing and when it got dark the stars came out in their millions. ( we did however not manage to find out in which bed Daniel Craig had slept).
    When we reached Kasbah Toubkal the weather had turned cold and wet so we could not enjoy the roof terrace and the outdoor area.
    Riad Tzara was excellent and Naima, Khadija, Abdul and Mohamed looked after our every need. We had dinner one night on the roof of Dar Hanane where the view over the city was great. We also liked the cozy roof terrace in Riad Tzara where the perfect temperature was in the afternoon after escaping from the noises and fumes of the Medina.

    MissingInga Olafsdottir reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Trek on 27 February 2018

  • The highlights for us were the accommodation choices - we loved each place we stayed and for quite different reasons.

    We found the food really delicious at all the places. We were really impressed. We ended up eating dinner every night at Dar Housnia, which was really tasty but a bit expensive but we loved the convenience of it and loved everything else about the place.

    My 9yr’s favourite place was Douar Samra - he liked the rooms and all the meals. We all like the communal meals there. It was good to get to know other travellers. But my husband and I really loved the Douria Suite at Dar Housnia as it was great to the have space and down time by ourselves there. We spent some hours just lazing on the terrace after walking around Marrakech for hours.

    We also thought Kasbah Ellouze was really lovely too. They were super helpful accommodating the kids. They made sure we could celebrate NYE dinner with the kids as they go to bed early. It was really kind of them.

    We had a Hussain as our guide for trekking and he went with us on the road trip. We really liked him: friendly & kind, and not too loud & talkative (our family is on the quiet side!). Hussain was great with our two boys. He made them feel comfortable, kept them safe on the treks (ie speed walking ahead with them when they wanted (our 4yr old loved this!) and holding them securely on mules over the rough terrain) and he played football with them too!
    We had two different drivers who were both good - helped out when our 9yr old vomited from car sickness and were happy to drive slowly as needed.

    Also we thought your organisation of everything and choice of accommodation & guides was excellent. We had no complaints. We had a splendid, relaxed and easy holiday - we didn’t have to think of anything & it was all great.

    MissingHelen Newman reviewing Morocco Family Holiday: Kasbahs, Mountains & Souks on 30 January 2018

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