When the Retreat at Ngorongoro was first built, the hotel planted over 40,000 indigenous trees to enhance the remote landscape. With the trees, indigenous plants and flowers blossomed, orchard and vegetable patches flourished and a number bird species descended onto this oasis – hence why the Retreat has a contemporary bird-themed concept. The Retreat is committed to off-setting its carbon footprint. They harvest their own honey, roast their own coffee, serve homegrown fruit and vegetables in the restaurant, make their own jams and use firewood from the trees they planted themselves. Solar panels are used to heat water and they recruit staff from the local surrounding villages.
Though the property is more like a hotel than an intimate lodge, it is certainly comfortable, well placed to explore both the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park, and has a clear emphasis on nature and birdlife in the area.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The Retreat is situated in the Tloma area, approximately 140 kilometres south-west of Arusha. Travelers transferring by road from Arusha Airport can expect a journey of about 2 hours 15 minutes. Alternatively, flights from Arusha to Lake Manyara’s airstrip are available.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT THE RETREAT AT NGORONGORO:
All of The Retreat’s 28 cottages are positioned within the property’s beautiful gardens. Each offers 100 square meters of floor space, sufficient for a bedroom, an en-suite bathroom, a dressing area, and a private deck with wonderful forest views! The interior décor throughout is chic contemporary, very tastefully styled. Twenty-one rooms are twins, each with one king- and one queen-size bed to sleep a maximum of three adults or two adults plus two children aged under 12 years. Four rooms interconnect to provide accommodation for a small group, for example. Finally, the family suite consists of two double bedrooms and a shared living space! Features common to all rooms include a writing desk and chair, plenty of storage space, wildlife artwork, and a cozy fireplace. Sofa beds are available on request.
The Retreat’s communal facilities are found in the property’s central lodge, a large and rather majestic building. Guests can relax in the pleasantly decorated Nest Bar and Lounge, enjoying its bird theme and convivial atmosphere. The property’s Kipepeo Restaurant provides a delicious continental breakfast every morning, with elegant tables and chairs set up both inside and on an upper-ground-floor terrace. Guests have access to a gift shop too, as well as to a gym and a spa. Keen keep-fitters will love the 1,200-meter jogging trail around the grounds! The lodge’s gardens are also home to a swimming pool and a lovely lake. You can even take a stroll in the orchard and vegetable patch, or watch a cultural performance in the amphitheatre. Staff are on hand throughout your visit, to make sure you feel at home.
ACTIVITIES AT THE RETREAT AT NGORONGORO:
Things to do at The Retreat comprise lodge activities and excursions farther afield.
Activities around the Ngorongoro Crater- Excursions are available to the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, where you can go on game drives and spot lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – the famous Big Five! – in addition to numerous other predators and herbivores.
Trips to Lake Manyara- Lake Manyara National Park can be visited too – highlights here include vast flocks of flamingos and tree-climbing lions!
Nature walks- From the lodge, you can head out on a guided walk to Ngorongoro Forest and marvel at scenery including spectacular waterfalls.
Other activities around The Retreat- You can walk around the local village too, or cycle there if you prefer. The Retreat also offers trips to Lake Eyasi, which is situated just south of the Serengeti.
*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.