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Plantation Lodge

When To Visit The Ngorongoro Crater:
When To Visit The Ngorongoro Crater:
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"Yet another great lodge in the Karatu area! Perfect for exploring the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara, Plantation is great value. One of our most popular Tanzania lodges."


The Plantation Lodge is privately owned and operated. The original farm building was constructed in 1997 by Udo and Renate Marahrens, and it resembles the properties of the German colonial era. We usually recommend staying here for two nights, which is sufficient for visiting the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. The lodge has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor! Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, parking, WLAN internet access.


The lodge can be accessed via 20 minutes’ road transfer from Lake Manyara Airport and a drive of 3½ hours from Kilimanjaro International Airport. It’s situated close to the town of Karatu, at an altitude of 1,600 metres and within landscaped grounds covering approximately 10 hectares.


There are four types of guest accommodation – standard room (15), suite (7), family unit (1), and family suite, also known as the garden house (1). All are dotted about the grounds. Every room and suite is individually decorated and adorned with its own name, such as Bamboo, Blue Mountain, and Cassia. The standard room option is pleasantly spacious, featuring a comfy king-size bed or twin beds with mosquito nets, a seating area with cosy fireplace, a tea-and-coffee station, and well-appointed en-suite facilities. Some of these rooms have a private veranda too. The family unit is made up of two interconnecting standard rooms, while the family suite comprises four rooms in addition to a lounge and dining room. Each suite offers more floor space than the standard room, and a more secluded location too. This option boasts a separate lounge with wood-burning stove, a mini-bar, and a full en suite. If you are looking for something really special, we recommend the Zanzibar suite, which has a lovely corner plot and a seriously sumptuous bathroom!

The communal lounge, dining rooms, and bar at The Plantation Lodge are found in the property’s farmhouse, which is approached from the guest suites and rooms along well-kept stone paths through the gardens. The interiors feature high ceilings set with sturdy beams, above bright white walls adorned with interesting artefacts and black-and-white photos. A few straw mats on the floor lend an authentic farm feel. The lounge contains plenty of comfortable seating around coffee tables, while each of the two dining rooms offers separate or group table configurations complete with classic campaign chairs. Guests are also welcome to tuck in to delicious food and drink in the farmhouse’s shady courtyard, and the elegant bar is a great setting for getting to know your fellow travellers! Beneath the bar, there’s a well-stocked wine cellar, where tasting sessions can be arranged. The lodge’s souvenir shop is fun for browsing between activities, or you can spend some time relaxing on the terraces and marvelling at the garden views. There’s also a swimming pool, complete with chaises longues and complimentary towels! In-room massages and mani–pedis are available.


  • The Plantation Lodge offers a few on-site activities.
  • These include guided walks amidst the coffee plantations and visiting a nearby farm to gain insights into the working lives of the local people.
  • You can also wander around the lodge’s own gorgeous gardens, and have fun spotting some beautiful birds!
  • Among the feathery friends you might see are Speke’s weaver, Fischer’s lovebird, and lilac-breasted roller.
  • There’s plenty of birdlife to enjoy in the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park too.
  • The gate into Ngorongoro is only half an hour by road from the lodge, while the drive to Lake Manyara takes just 45 minutes. Both areas contain a real wealth of wildlife!
  • The Crater is home to all of the Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – in addition to numerous smaller predators and herbivores.
  • Highlights of Lake Manyara include the tree-climbing lions and vast flocks of flamingos.

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

For further information on either region, please get in touch with a member of our team.

The Ngorongoro Crater

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