Highlands is a fantastic addition to the Ngorongoro area – especially for travellers who have been slightly put off by the price tag of older properties situated on the Crater rim! We love the futuristic feel of the domes and their sumptuous interiors.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The Highlands site is approximately 40 km to the north of the Crater, amidst mountain forest. In fact, this is the highest property in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area! Not only the Ngorongoro Crater but also the Empakaai Crater, the Gol Mountains, and, of course, the Olmoti crater rim, are visible from camp.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
To add to the wow factor, there is the unusual architectural theme of Highlands – domes! A large dome houses the communal areas, while smaller domes provide guest accommodation. All are constructed from canvas and glass. Within the large dome there is a luxurious lounge and bar area, with adjoining dining room. The lounge contains almost a full circle of cushioned seating and plenty of coffee tables within the ring, in addition to double doors leading on to a deck. The focus of the lounge is its central fireplace, which lends the room the impression of a traditional fire pit! The dining area features comfy chairs around separate tables, as well as doors on to a deck. The palette throughout is earthy tones, with sophisticated splashes of metallics in the very elegant overhead lighting!
Guest accommodation at Highlands comprises eight suites, each within a separate dome. All suites are doubles, but two can be configured as a triple room. The distance between the suites is 15–20 metres, affording ample privacy for guests. Floor-to-ceiling bay windows provide amazing views – and guests can also enjoy their surroundings from a private veranda with a table and a couple of chairs. Inside, furnishings include bedside tables, a storage trunk, a wardrobe, and a woodburning stove for chilly winter evenings! The en-suite facilities are located at the back of each suite, consisting of flush toilet, twin washbasins, and hot/cold running shower. This is very high quality accommodation, with some nice touches such as interesting artwork, snug rugs, and some seriously sumptuous fabrics!
The activities available from Highlands are game drives, nature walks, hiking, and a range of cultural experiences. Knowledgeable guides drive guests down into the famous Ngorongoro Crater to check out the wealth of wildlife that roams the acacia woodland and sprawling plains – all Big Five, plus cheetah, serval, caracal, golden cat, wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, hyena, hartebeest, baboon, warthog, and many more! Over 200 species of bird are also in residence here, while hippo and waterbuck thrive in the crater’s soda lake and its tributaries. Guests are invited to enjoy a picnic lunch with a lion researcher, to learn all about the big cats’ relationships and other dramas! Walks are possible in the Empakaai Crater, featuring the huge highlight of the fabulous flamingos flocking on the soda lake shores. Energetic guests relish hiking up the Olmoti volcano, following a trail etched into the earth by Maasai and their cattle over hundreds of years. Visiting the Maasai in their local village is great for those who appreciate a little culture – and this trip includes a tour of a school!