Well, there’s nothing like waking up to your first morning
in Africa with a giraffe looking in your window! Or zebra and cape
buffalo frolicking in the distance! Once you’ve been here,
you’ll understand that Hatari Lodge is full of surprises and
you’ll learn to expect the unexpected. But one thing is certain…whether
it’s sophisticated class or natural beauty you seek, Hatari
Lodge is bound to make a lasting impression and get your safari
started on the right foot!
Nestled in a dense acacia grove between lush rainforest and verdant meadow, Harari Lodge lies hidden in a stunning location on the northern edge of Arusha National Park. An adjacent Mt. Meru rises through the mist against a blue backdrop of clear sky and Mt. Kilimanjaro stands sentinel in the distance. The drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Hatari Lodge takes approximately 1.5 hours, part of which is on game roads, so it does take a bit of time and effort to get to Hatari. However, if you have more than one night to spend in Arusha at the beginning of your safari, the effort may well be worth the experience!
Dressed in smartly-pressed orange uniforms with beaming smiles as bright as their clothing, the friendly staff at Hatari Lodge will welcome you with open arms upon your arrival. Don’t be surprised if the staff members start calling you by your first name immediately upon your arrival, until the time you depart. Personalized service, genuine interest in guests and attention to detail are all part of what makes the atmosphere at Hatari Lodge so warm and accommodating.
Hatari Lodge is named after the famous Hollywood film ‘Hatari!’ (meaning “danger” in Swahili). The 1960 film starred John Wayne and his German co-star Hardy Krüger, and the lodge is decorated in a theme that celebrates the spirit of African adventure portrayed in the film. In his real life, Hardy Krüger fell in love with Africa during the filming of Hatari, and decided to make the Momella area his permanent home by purchasing a farm at the base of Mt. Meru. Today, the original farmhouse of his former home in Momella is all part of the new Hatari Lodge.
“The sun disappeared behind Mt. Meru... The snows of Kilimanjaro reflected in the dark mirror of its smooth surface. Happy who may live here. Live. In the proper sense of the word.” From ‘Meine Farm in Afrika’ by Hardy Krüger
This luxury boutique hotel, comprised of 3 central buildings, is lovingly decorated in a modern retro-style to celebrate the 1960-1970s era of its namesake film.
The individual rooms all vary in size, style and color, and each one is thoughtfully decorated in a unique theme; some whimsical, some sophisticated, but each is delightful in its own special way. Each individual room features a fireplace and spacious en suite bathroom, complete with spa-style robes.
The main Lodge is Hardy’s original farmhouse, which now houses a large dining room, bar, lounge, library and breakfast veranda. Eclectic art, clean lines and modern fixtures give the rooms and common areas a bit of a modern ambience, but still manage to feel ultra-cozy due to the warm sepia tones, strategic lighting and nostalgic artifacts that further define the space. Fresh flowers, vivid paintings and cheerful accent colors spruce up the living areas, while Hollywood memorabilia and quirky pieces pull it all together with unique character and eccentric flair. There is a sitting nook and library just off the lounge that offers a charming retreat complete with heavy leather-bound books, ample sitting cushions and introspective quotes scripted in slender brushstrokes on the walls.
A wooden boardwalk leads to a fire-pit and game viewing deck outside, quite a fair distance from the lodge, that overlooks Momella meadow where wildlife like zebras, buffalo, waterbuck and giraffe routinely graze. Elephants are known to stroll right across the lawn during the day here. And after sundown it is common to see genet cats scurrying down the moonlit pathway.
With its own unique style that is a blend of American Hollywood nostalgia, European influence and modern art, this lodge may not be the “traditional” safari-style lodge you might expect to find in Tanzania. But don’t let that fool you! Hatari Lodge still has authentic ties to the local community and makes a real effort to “give back” to the Tanzanian people by sponsoring local programs, including support for a nearby village where many of the staff members live.
Hatari’s location might be a bit far from the airports for the standard 1-night stopover in Arusha that springboards a typical safari. But this lodge does offer a delightful alternative for those folks who want to stay in Arusha a bit longer and get a full flavor for the natural beauty of the area. Hatari is an ideal choice for people interested in doing the hiking or canoeing excursions that are available inside Arusha National Park.
Hatari Lodge is situated 45 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport
(JRO), which is approximately a 90 minute drive. Hatari is approximately
the same distance from the regional Arusha Airport.
Hatari Lodge is situated above 5.000 ft on the northern edge of Arusha National Park, with views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Mount Meru rising majestically in the background. The Lodge is framed by lush rainforests and verdant meadows teaming with African wildlife. The two Momella lakes lay nearby inside the border of Arusha National Park. The Lodge is comprised of the traditional farm buildings which were home to the legendary actor Hardy Krüger (who co-stared with John Wayne in the Hollywood hit movie ‘Hatari!’ and Hardy’s former farm manager Jim Mallory.
Sleeping accommodations at Hatari Lodge consist of just 8 comfortable
cottages with spacious en suite bathrooms. Each cottage is well
appointed with plush bedding, nightstands, an open fireplace and
chic décor that is unique to each room. The bathroom contains
a large double vanity with mirror, spacious shower and a flushing
toilet. Some of the larger rooms also contain an oversized soaking
tub. Other special touches include fresh flowers, spa-style robes
and designer toiletries. While you are enjoying dinner the staff
prepares your room with more special touches including turndown
service and a warm crackling fire.
The main Lodge is comprised of 3 central buildings linked by stepping stones. The common areas are housed underneath the roof of the original farmhouse building, and are made up of a bar, lounge, library, dining room, breakfast nook and outdoor dining terrace. The dining room contains one long table where everyone is seated together and served the evening meal “family-style.”
Your adventure begins at Kilimanjaro International Airport as you are welcomed to Tanzania by Africa Dream Safaris. It is about a 90 minute drive from the Kilimanjaro airport to Hatari Lodge, and a drive through Arusha National Park itself is required in order to get here. Hatari’s location makes it an ideal venue to spend a day or two exploring beautiful Arusha National Park, whether it be by vehicle, canoe or on foot! Guests can choose a leisurely walk through the meadows amid herds of buffalo and giraffe to the base of a waterfall, or a more challenging trek partway up the slopes of Mt. Meru. The optional canoe ride takes approximately 1 hour and offers a peaceful and serene introduction to the natural beauty, birdlife and other wildlife of Tanzania (the canoe ride is at an additional cost and needs to be arranged ahead of time).
Food and Drink
Hatari Lodge features an elegant dining area that offers with both
indoor and outdoor dining, serving international cuisine, a la carte
Breakfast usually consists of a light buffet, including a variety of delicious breads, jams, meats, cereal, milk, and fresh fruit. Eggs and sausage or bacon are cooked to order. Coffee and tea are always available. Lunch is served a la carte or buffet style. Seating for breakfast and lunch is available inside the main dining lodge, or outside on the open-air dining veranda.
Dinner is a la carte, served family style with other guests next to a roaring fireplace on a long table draped in vividly dyed linens. The evening meal consists of 3 delicious courses complimented by freshly made breads, with the main entrée consisting of chicken, beef, lamb or fish. Special diets can be accommodated upon request.
- Beautiful location on the slopes of Mt. Meru near Arusha National Park
- Opportunity for views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
- Full English breakfast is served daily in the restaurant from 7am-9am, with earlier times available upon request
- Dinner is served “family style” in the main dining room with other guests from 7:30- 9:00 available
- Fully stocked bar available at additional cost
- Laundry service is available at additional cost
- Complimentary bottled water and house wine are available with dinner
- Décor is by a local Artisan who also supplies gifts available for purchase
- Unique souvenirs available for purchase at a small gift nook near the bar
- Walking safaris and canoe safaris are available nearby Local tours and shopping excursions are available nearby Electricity by generator is supplied between the hours of 6.30am-11am, and then again 6pm-11pm
- Giftshop, bar tab and sundries have a cash only policy; no credit card facility available
- Internet service is not available
Hatari Lodge is located on the fringe of the Arusha National Park, a lush oasis that many different animals call home. The park is truly beautiful, with misty mountains, lush rainforests, rushing waterfalls, rocky craters and jade-colored lakes. It is not unusual to see large huge numbers of giraffe, Cape buffalo, zebra, waterbuck, gazelles, baboons, warthogs, flamingos and many other types of herbivores and birdlife during your stay here. The animals are acclimated to human presence and do not typically feel threatened, so you may have the opportunity to get extremely close. One of the most special treats of staying in Arusha National Park is the opportunity to see the rare black and white colobus monkey, a magnificent-looking long-haired primate that can be found screeching through the trees near the two Momela lakes. Large predators like lion and leopard are also said to be present in the park, but are very rare to see. The lack of predators actually makes walking safaris much safer to conduct here compared to some of the more predator-dense parks on the traditional Northern Circuit.