Kitela Lodge has a lot going for it as a base for exploring the Ngorongoro Crater. We love the peaceful feel of the farmhouse, cottages and surrounds. Run by Tanganyika Wilderness Camps, which prides itself on offering an atmosphere of privacy and intimate isolation, this is certainly evident at Kitela, but the main lodge is great for socialising too – it is the best of both worlds!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Overlooking the eastern wall of the Ngorongoro, Kitela Lodge is located in the Karatu area in Northern Tanzania.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
At the heart of the site is the two-storey farmhouse-style main lodge, with its elegant central courtyard and plenty of areas to sit, dine and generally unwind. Comfy sofas and armchairs are arranged around a fireplace and in sociable groups in the lounge area – or guests can take a seat on the terrace and enjoy amazing views of the grounds and beyond! Dining takes place both inside and outside, while drinks are available from the cosy bar. The lodge’s gardens are ideal for taking a leisurely stroll, while the heated swimming pool in front of the main building is perfect for relaxing both in the warm waters and on one of the surrounding sunloungers! Food and drink is tasty and wholesome, with many ingredients sourced from the local farm gardens and a buffet often set up around the pool for a really convivial feel.
Kitela’s guest accommodation comprises 20 cottage suites, connected to the farmhouse by neat paths through the tropical garden grounds. All are very well appointed, with sturdy walls and a thatched roof. Configuration options are king, twin or triple – and four of the units have interconnecting rooms to accommodate families. All rooms have a cool and contemporary style – the beds are generously proportioned and pleasantly made up with crisp sheets and snug covers! There are mosquito nets too. Other features include a telephone, bedside tables, a dressing table and chair, armchairs, a fireplace, and doors onto a balcony with chairs and coffee table. En-suite facilities consist of flush toilet, washbasin, freestanding bath and walk-in shower.
Activities from Kitela focus on getting to know the local area, including game drives and walks in the awesome Ngorongoro Crater! All Big Five animals roam the 260 sq. km floor created by the eruption and collapse of the immense original volcano, while many other species gather to hunt or to graze on the sprawling plains – a few wild dog and cheetah, loads of wildebeest and zebra, plus hyena and ample antelopes. The soda lake is home to hippo, while golden cat wander the woodlands. Birding is brilliant, with over 200 types of feathered friends here! The quality of guiding, whether in the Crater or around the farm, is excellent – and the same standards are kept up throughout the lodge.
Back at the lodge, guests are invited to take a guided tour of the farm – lasting about an hour, this provides insights into how the farm is run as well as introducing guests to the vegetable garden and offering encounters with farm animals. There is also the Maasai Culture Walk, where guests can wander around the local villages with a guide, visiting the brickmakers and coffee farms. Both walks are very interesting!
For the ultimate in relaxation, spa treatments are available – and for guests who need to stay connected, there is internet access at the main lodge.