Tanzania contains some of Africa’s most inspiring natural wonders, from the towering Mount Kilimanjaro to the seemingly endless Serengeti. Though its landscapes are extreme, it has no shortage of plush lodgings available to enjoy them from.
1. Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro
This spectacular safari lodge teeters on the edge of the must-see world heritage site, Ngorongoro Crater. Disguised in a suit of sinuous vines and fashioned from local river rock, the lodge is an architectural accomplishment, and is completely invisible when viewed from the crater floor some 600 metres below.
Surrounded by towering walls, Ngorongoro is the largest volcanic crater on Earth. Large mammals make themselves at home, allowing visitors to revel in the sights of huge bull elephants crossing the plains, rhinos bathing and lions sun-baking in the afternoon heat.
Inside the lodge you’ll find colonial-style décor with traditional grass roofs, antiquities and African art. Separated into three camps, 30 stilted suites each have their own living area with viewing decks looking across the crater and private butlers on hand. Share stories around a roaring fire, enjoy dinner with a view in the panoramic dining room or relish in some alone time in your room’s gigantic free-standing tub.
2. Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Serengeti
The vast plains of the Serengeti stretch to the horizon from this beautiful old-world lodge. It’s one of three Singita lodges situated in a giant private space so exclusivity is guaranteed. The wildlife is plentiful and the property is conveniently positioned on the world-famous migratory route which every year sees over a million wildebeest traverse its plains.
The grand Singita Sasakwa harmoniously blends colonial European styles with East African tradition. Fashioned to mimic an Edwardian manor, the lodge can accommodate up to 34 guests in its private cottages. Each cottage sports a private infinity pool, a regal four-poster, a fireplace and two bathrooms, while hints of leather and grass pay homage to their African roots.
3. Jongomero, Ruaha
Tanzania’s largest national park, Ruaha spans a unique area that includes the intersection of the Southern and Eastern biomes. This means that the wildlife in the zone is extraordinarily diverse. Half of the whole country’s birds can be spotted at the park, as well as herds of elephant, buffalo, giraffe zebra, hippo, big cats and wild dog.
Invitingly isolated and set upon the banks of a seasonal river, Jongomero drops its visitors slap bang into the wilderness. Guests can choose from eight generous and comfortable tented suite rooms, each one designed with its surroundings at heart: the roofs are traditionally thatched and the interiors are furnished with reclaimed dhow wood from the area. Why not enjoy breakfast from the comfort of your own covered veranda as the daily elephant procession plods past?
4. Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, Manyara
Lake Manyara is a land of heavenly landscapes. Forest, wetland, woodland and great plains all combine around the picturesque lake, where hundreds of bird species flourish.
Blendingly seamlessly into its idyllic surroundings, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge sits amid a dense mahogany forest. Wooden pathways and tree branch railings continue the theme on the outside, while indoors presents an enchanting mix of thatched roofs and gnarled wood.
Each tree house sits high up in the canopy, raised on tree-like stilts. And each suite invites the sights and sounds of Africa in, boasting panoramic views and private terraces overlooking the bush. After an intensive game drive, relax in a generous bathtub as the smells of traditional African cooking wafts up from Manyara’s open plan kitchen.
5. Serena Safari Lodge, Ngorongoro
Also situated on Ngorongoro’s jagged crater rim, this lodge takes its inspiration from Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, a prehistoric ravine that’s now considered one of the most important archeological sites in the world. Its walls are adorned with prehistoric-style cave paintings and lit by fiery torches, while timebered decks and arched stone passages continue the theme. A glowing fire burns constantly at the rocky heart of the lodge.
Each room has its own rock-enclosed balcony with uninterrupted views over the sprawling crater. The beautiful Kimba Suite is one of the finest accommodations in Tanzania. The spacious bedroom features a luxurious king-size bed with stylised leather headboard, while its living room enjoys panoramic views complimented by natural stone and brass furnishings.