The Plantation Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and northern Tanzania, Tanzania
At a Glance
Spacious and airy rooms
Beautiful gardens and lawns
Dine in the wine cellar
Relax by the swimming pool
Great family rooms
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Tanzania is a large country, with a varied climate. Generally, the long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high. June to October is the long dry season, and the short rains are in November and December, much lighter than the long rains. January and February are again dry (the short dry season) so this is another good time to visit.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to The Plantation Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Serengeti and northern Tanzania
The Plantation Lodge is set in wonderful coffee plantations between the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara which makes it the perfect place from which to explore this area of northern Tanzania and then retreat back to the lodge and relax in the gardens.
Plantation Lodge is located just outside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and surrounded by coffee plantations, giving its guests both the excitement of a safari and the comfort of a charming lodge.
Each of the 25 rooms has their own individual style, all designed to give maximum relaxation after a dusty day out in the bush. Each room has its own veranda and bathroom and has been specifically designed using local African-safari antiques, arts and crafts. The rooms are in groups set amongst the pretty gardens and there are plenty of lounges and areas to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings when not out on safari.
Plantation Lodge also offers delicious meals with menu choices ranging from European specialties to exotic dishes prepared in the Swahili kitchen. Only the freshest ingredients are used which are taken from the lodge’s own vegetable garden. Together with the meal guests also have the choice of a selection of fine South African wines from the lodge's wine cellar.
Daily safaris begin from the Plantation Lodge heading either west, crossing the legendary Maasai territory of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, towards the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater or east, through the rolling hills of the Ngorongoro Highlands, to Lake Manyara. Guests can also enjoy a tour of the coffee plantations, and visits to the colorful market town of Karatu to get a flavor of local life.
There is a lovely swimming pool here, and the verdant gardens provide home to an array of pretty birdlife.
There are 16 standard rooms, seven suites, a family unit and a garden house which has 4 double bedrooms, which is perfect for a family or group traveling together.
Children of all ages are welcome to come and stay at The Plantation Lodge. However, there are no specific facilities available for them.
There is a swimming pool which offers a wonderful respite after a dusty day on safari, as well as plenty of chairs in the shade or sunshine dotted around the gardens where you can unwind with a good book.
There are a number of activities which you can partake in during your stay. You can go on game drives in the surrounding national parks and reserves, enjoy a spot of bird watching or visit a local farm and coffee plantations to name a few. If you are staying during market day (ask your safari guide), it's worth visiting the market town of Karatu nearby, watching locals selling and buying produce.
If you would like to relax, the pool at the lodge can prove to very refreshing. You could also arrange a massage if you are feeling like indulging in a bit of pampering.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
Plantation Lodge is a wonderful spot, perfect for those wishing to explore either the Ngorongoro or Lake Manyara areas - it's a relatively easy drive to both so works as an ideal base. The lodge itself is set in beautiful gardens dotted with mature eucalyptus trees and coffee bushes, and many flowers - it's a really lovely spot to just sit and relax with a coffee - from the local plantation of course - and enjoy the views. The rooms are well appointed and set apart from each other in the gardens, and there are also four suites, much more private and secluded.
While it is a perfect spot from which to explore further afield, the lodge itself holds interest - take a tour of the coffee plantation and learn about the coffee process, or visit the flower farm, or the nearby town or Karatu, where you can buy bright paintings at the local stalls.
For those looking for a really special evening, ask for your dinner to be served in the wine cellar with its glass roof - quite amazing!
Camilla Whitworth (Staff)
Plantation Lodge is a lodge from where you can explore the incredible Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara, or simply relax by their beautiful swimming pool - a welcome sight in the Tanzanian heat! The lodge has extensive gardens so ideal for those with children as there is plenty of space to let off some steam in between game drives and excursions. Accommodation is varied and spacious, enabling families to stay together or couples to have a large suite with outdoor terraces. If you are looking for somewhere with space and facilities that can be combined with days game viewing then this is an ideal spot.
Empakai Crater Day Trip
While a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater is an incredible experience, it is hard sometimes to escape the crowds there. Instead, explore on foot and discover the Empakai Crater, walking down the forested slopes to the lake shore below a birder's paradise.
Flamingo Watching on Lake Manyara
Harder to predict than the Great Migration, the Flamingo migration is equally incredible to witness as they descend on Lake Manyara in their thousands. An amazing photo opportunity or simply the chance to witness these spectacular birds in their element.
Game drive in Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara is a tiny gem of a national park in Northern Tanzania, famed in particular for its flamingos. Go on game drives here in search of tree-climbing lions, elephants, waterbuck and hippos.
Game drive in the Serengeti
Explore the vast grasslands of the Serengeti with your safari guide on game drives in the early morning and late afternoon. This is one of the most famous national parks in Africa, and it's easy to see why.
Ngorongoro Crater game drive
Explore the dormant volcanic caldera of the Ngorongoro Crater in a safari vehicle - this is a unique location for a game drive and the dramatic scenery really adds to the magic.
Search for the migration herds
One of Africa's most iconic moments - the migration of two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles around the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem.
Walk to the Ngorongoro Crater Rim
Head off on an adventurous walk to the Ngorongoro Crater Rim guided by a naturalist and rangers from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Classic Northern Tanzania
Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti & Zanzibar
from $8800 pp 12 nights
- Traveling with a private safari guide offers you total flexibility in your game viewing
- Explore three of Northern Tanzania's national parks - Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti for a truly diverse safari
- Staying in a mobile camp in the Serengeti ensures you'll be in the best location for the wildlife
Location & directions
Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and northern Tanzania, Tanzania
Plantation Lodge is a 10-minute drive north of the market town of Karatu on the lower slopes of Ngorongoro Crater, a short drive from Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks and a stone’s throw from the entrance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
How to get there
Arusha Airport is the closest to The Plantation Lodge, it is a 2-3 hour drive (about 100km). Kilimanjaro is a 1 hour flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.