The Highlands Ngorongoro | Experience Ultimate Luxury at this Award Winning Camp

Nestled on the edge of a lush forest that enfolds the Olmoti Volcano, The Highlands is a luxury award winning camp known for its amazing location and heartfelt service. The Highlands is an elegantly decorated safari camp with dome shaped contemporary design that is depicted in its luxurious suites and facilities. The camp features African inspired décor pieces, magnificent designs, ornamental pieces some of which are locally sourced from the nearby communities and authentic wooden carvings and structures.

The Highlands is in proximity with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area which is one of Tanzania’s finest conservation areas known for its abundant wildlife and spectacular views across the Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation area is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The striking beauty of the Ngorongoro Crater with its spectacular scenery and abundance of wildlife has led to it being declared as one of the natural wonders of the world. The Highlands combines incredible wilderness experiences with exclusive comfort at the luxurious camp.

Accommodation at the Highlands

The camp features eight spacious tent suites that offer one the much needed privacy and exclusivity while on safari in Tanzania. The suites are uniquely shaped with an architectural element that emulates the form of a dome. The dome shaped design of the suites makes The Highlands quite different from other safari lodges and offers such amazing views of the surrounding areas through the panoramic glass windows. The suites are almost like sleeping in a tree house as the suite is bolstered up by strong mahogany wooden poles.

The suites at The Highlands offer different rooming provisions that include single occupancy, double occupancy, twin occupancy and family suites that accommodate family on safari together. The room type you choose is dependent on your preference. The rooms all feature great amenities and provisions.

Each suite at The Highlands consists of;

A comfortable King size bed or beds (in case staying in a twin/family suite) with clean linen bed sheets, a duvet and plush throw pillows with Maasai inspired pillow covers.

A spacious En-suite bathroom well stocked with bath essentials and featuring a shower, a flush toilet, clean towels, his & hers wash basins, and mirrors.

Hot and cold running water throughout the day.

Bedside tables with beside lamps.

Bathrobes and bathroom slippers.

A laundry basket in the bathroom and a hair dryer.

An in room safe.

A wood burning fireplace in the suite for cold nights as it gets rather cold around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area especially in the night. The staff always light up the fire for you.

Two wooden crated chairs with a coffee table.

A private deck encircling the dome shaped suite.

USB charging points and Wi-Fi in the room.

Facilities and Services

Dining Area – The dining area at The Highlands has such a warm ambiance with spectacular views of the landscape that can be enjoyed from inside the dining area or the outdoor wooden deck. The outdoor deck  is spacious with has comfortable seating sections, perfect for dinner under the beautiful African sky. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served daily with great tasty options. The food served includes Traditional Swahili cuisine and International dishes so choice of food is entirely dependent on you, the kitchen also caters to any dietary requirements. The dining area is close to the lounge and the two areas are connected by bolstered up wooden walk ways.

Bar – For premium wines, spirits and beers, the bar is definitely the place to get all this during your visit. The bar at The Highlands is really cozy with comfortable wooden chairs, cow hides on the floor and beautiful wooden coffee tables. The bar area also has a wooden deck with loungers and director’s chairs so you can choose to sit outside, grab a drink and enjoy expansive views.

Lounge – The  lounge is the first place you see when you start to get into the main lodge area, its right next to the restaurant. The dome shaped lounge features conjoined seats emulating a boma style design with a central wood burning fireplace. The seats have colorful throw pillows with Maasai inspired pillow covers, coffee tables made of cow hide are available as well. The lounge is a perfect place to sit whether it’s during day time or during night time, during the day there is enough natural light from the panoramic glass windows and then during night time there is great warm lighting from the lamps suspended from the top.

Spa and Sauna – The Highlands features a spa and sauna that is a recent addition to the camp. Rejuvenating massages are offered by the skilled therapists on site as well as holistic therapies and relaxing treatments. These can be done at the spa or in the comfort of your suite, you can always pre-book with the manager and choose what treatment you would like.

Complementary laundry service – This is offered by the camp and once you get to the suite you will find a laundry basket in your en-suite bathroom where you can drop your laundry which the staff will later pick up during housekeeping and clean then return it to the suite when dry.

Our Review

The Highlands is the typical luxury lodge in Tanzania offering exceptional service, cozy rooms with great amenities and friendly staff who are committed to making each guest’s stay at the camp comfortable. A notable thing that we like about the lodge is its unique architectural dome shaped design and element, it’s very unique and you will almost not find a lodge in Tanzania quite like The Highlands. The location of the camp is also perfect as it is one hour away from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area making it easy to connect for game drives in the reserve, the drive to the conservation area although bumpy is an experience of its own as it takes you through the Maasai villages and the stunning landscape of Tanzania.

Attractions and Activities

Game Drives: What better way to explore the Ngororongoro Conservation Area that on full day game drives. Game drives are most definitely the best way to experience Ngorongoro Crater with great chances of excellent game viewing with a mix of beautiful expansive views of the crater. Start out the day with a delicious early breakfast at the lodge then head out in search of the Big Five, large mammals, Herbivores, birds of prey and other wildlife in the crater area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is famously known internationally for its excellent and rewarding wildlife sightings so prepare for a memorable experience!

Hike to the Empakaai Crater: The Empakaai Crater is a 540m deep crater that is also a major crater aside from Ngorongoro and is part of the conservation area. The crater is less known but a very rewarding site worth visiting as it has one of the most stunning views in East Africa, the view from the crater rim offers great picturesque moments. The Empakaai Crater was formed by the volcanic collapse that shaped the crater highlands and features a 60m deep soda lake which covers half of the crater area. The soda lake attracts a large flock of flamingos which like to feed on the algae found in the alkaline lake. The Highlands is strategically located near the crater so is the only property that offers a half day excursion here since connecting to the starting point of the hike takes about one hour and a half.

Visit the Maasai: The Maasai are a famous ethnic Nilotic-speaking tribe in Tanzania and known for their fearsome warrior culture. A visit to a Maasai village brings you closer to the local people and also offers you a glimpse in to their culture and way of life. The Maasai are also known for their colorful traditional wear that consists of colorful sheets and beaded jewelry as well as their interesting traditional dance that involves jumping up high. The Maasai live outside the Crater but the management of the conservation area allows them to graze their animals around the crater rim. The Maasai are majorly pastoralists and have a strong attachment to their livestock. This visit involves visiting their homesteads that are dotted with grass thatched manyattas, spending time talking to the elders and visiting their communities.

Bird watching in Ngorongoro: For the specialist birder, Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers incredible bird watching opportunities as the area is home to over 500 species of birds. Chances of seeing a variety of species including forest birds, water birds, woodland specials, endemic and nearly endemic species are very high. The conservation is an Important Bird Area (IBA) and a key destination for ornithologists from across the world. Areas of birding in Ngorongoro Conservation area include the Crater rim for montane forest birds, Lake Lagaja for water species, Masek at the western end of Olduvai Gorge, a lake in the Empakai Crater and Gorigor which is a fresh water swamp on the eastern side of the Crater floor. With Ngorongoro, bird watching stars right from the moment you enter the conservation area at the gate to the lodge and then to the key birding areas so always be on the lookout for different species of birds.

Hot Air Balloon Safari: The hot air balloon safari is a unique way to explore the Ngorongoro Conservation Area as it offers one an opportunity to watch the wildlife from a bird’s view. The balloon safari is magical as it takes you over the crater and you are able to view the wildlife from above and also experience the sections of the crater that aren’t accessed by car. The balloon safari begins quite early at around the hour of 6 am and is a worthwhile safari adventure offering stunning views from atop.

Hike Olmoti Volcano – The Olmoti volcano hike is a great way to spend time while staying at The Highlands. The hike is relatively easy and rewarding as you get to enjoy breath taking views from the top of the volcano. Average fitness is required and your guides are with you every step of the way. This activity is great for guests who would like an activity that involves more action rather than just sitting in the car. The starting point of the hike is one hour’s drive away from the camp.

Sun downers and Bush Meals: The Ngorongoro Crater is a perfect destination for bush meals amidst the conservation area. With its massive crater and open grasslands, the crater offers perfect spots for bush breakfast, a private picnic or bush lunch all while enjoying expansive views of the conservation area. Sun downers are also another great way to spend your time in Ngorongoro especially after full day game drives in the conservation area, you get to end the day watching the sunset while sipping on your favorite drink.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.