How would you like to journey back to bygone times, where life is a little bit simpler and the soul can breathe? Where time slows to a crawl and there is beauty all around? Where the ambience is a reflection of how the world would be if "Out of Africa" ever met "Gone with the Wind"?
Plantation Lodge may be that prescription your spirit needs. This is a " stop whatever it is you are doing and smell the roses" typ e of place. The beauty of this Lodge is so highly regarded that many couples choose to get married under the postcard perfect terrace.
The estate is actually a working coffee plantation, situated on 45 acres of rolling green farmland and lush highla nd forest. As you enter the sunny reception area, you will be greeted by the gracious staff, dressed in their simple but freshly pressed aprons and smartly starched dress. You can stroll at your leisure through the beautifully manicured gardens, rows of lush coffee plants, and smartly trimmed lawns.
Take a refreshing dip in the lovely blue pool. Sit in the shade of avocado and eucalyptus trees and watch butterflies flit amidst fragrant blossoms while you listen to the buoyant melody of chortling birds. Stroll past the white-washed stucco buildings trimmed in dark wood and covered with thatched roofs. All the facilities are first class. As you explore the common interiors of the lodge, including the dining rooms and lounge, you can't help but notice all the beautiful decorations - aged photographs, beautiful watercolors, intricate tapestries, wooden carvings, fresh flowers, flickering candles, and other artifacts of authentic African décor that are each deliberately placed to inspire and soothe the soul.
Like a boutique bed and breakfast hotel, every room has its own unique style, layout, and décor. The lodge consists of several houses, or chalets, spaced thorough the serene and well manicured grounds. Each chalet is decorated a little differently, but each is elegant and thoughtfully furnished. You can choose from doubles, triples, the honeymoon suite or even the garden house, which consists of 4 bedrooms and a private dining area.
Although the atmosphere here is peaceful, relaxed and easy, the service is quite prompt, courteous and polite. Friendly smiles and attentive service are hallmarks of Plantation Lodge. The food at Plantation Lodge is also excellent. Tasty organic meals, freshly prepared with local ingredients, will surely be a highlight of your stay here.
Plantation Lodge makes a great last night on safari after you have visited the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. The tranquil and lush green grounds provide the perfect ending to your adventure. This lodge can also be used as a convenient stopover between the Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire. Regardless, a night at the elegant Plantation Lodge is a splendid addition to any safari itinerary and is an excellent choice during any month of the year.
Two guided nature hikes are offered from Plantation Lodge. They offer an excellent way to stretch out those safari legs. Both are short, easy walks and no special reservation is needed but rather simply inquire upon your arrival and one of the friendly staff will make arrangements. The first walk leads though the coffee plantation and surrounding farmlands. The second walk incorporates a visit to a local farmhouse where you can meet and talk with a local village family.
Plantation Lodge (elevation 5,607 feet) is located on a 45-acre estate in the rich fertile farmland of the Ngorongoro highlands, just outside the southern edge of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Lodge is conveniently located near the small town of Kiratu, about midway between Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater . A 45-minute drive up the crater highlands to the north takes you to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. If you head south from the lodge, you could be at the Lake Manyara park gate in about 30 minutes.
The lodge consists of 17 rooms with en-suite bathrooms spaced throughout the gardens. Each room is in its own chalet or part of larger house with several rooms suitable for families or groups. The small size of the lodge combined with its colonial charm provides for a very intimate and simply delightful atmosphere.
Every room is uniquely decorated with authentic safari antiques and Tanzania arts and crafts. The rooms and en suite bathrooms are spacious and extremely comfortable. There are also private verandahs, which are well furnished that look out over the surrounding grounds. For honeymooners or romantic couples, there is the Jacaranda House, otherwise known as the honeymoon suite, which is decorated a little bit more exotic and comes equipped with a larger bathroom and sunken Jacuzzi/Shower.
For families or groups there are two options to choose from. First, there is the family unit consisting of two rooms with a private dining room available. Secondly, there is the Garden House, which is superbly equipped for families, couples or groups and includes 4 bedrooms. The building is split level with two bedrooms; the living area is on the top floor and two bedrooms and a private dinning area are on the bottom floor. Each room has its own en suite bathroom and they meet the same high standards as the other rooms on the property. This latter option is really quite remarkable and is the best group/family orientated accommodation we have seen with the exception of the exclusive Tree Camp at the Crater Lodge, which has 6 rooms as opposed to the 4 rooms in the Garden Suite.
The main facilities are just as charming as the rooms. There are a few dining rooms to choose from if you are not located in a chalet with a private dinning area. The dining rooms are fantastic and are a great way to mingle and talk with other guests. They are all family style with one large table though private dinning is always an option.
The pool terrace is spectacular and offers great views of the surrounding farmlands. The grounds in general are well manicured and there is plenty to see (flowers, birds, etc.) if you decide to take a stroll around the property.
Food and Drink
The majority of the menu at Plantation consists of locally grown vegetables from the surrounding farms as well as meats from locally raised livestock. Save your appetite as Plantation Lodge offers some of the tastiest dishes you will encounter on safari! The majority of the food provided is organically grown right on the nearby farm. Vegetarians are well catered to as well.
The meals in general, especially dinner, are superb. There is also an excellent selection of fine South African wines. Though wines and other alcoholic beverages are not typically included at Plantation Lodge, they are very reasonably priced. Dinner is served in four fantastic courses. Two starters or appetizers are offered plus a salad before the main course. You may select from several dishes for the main course including both meat and vegetarian plates. Lastly, desert is offered plus coffee or tea.
Depending on occupancy, meals are often served family style, although a private table can always be arranged upon request.
- Private game drives into the lovely Lake Manyara National Park or the famous Ngorongoro Crater
- Nature Walks
- Picnic lunches
- Safari boutique and gift shop
- Internet access at an additional fee
- Full housekeeping services
- 24 hour electricity
- Swimming Pool
- Cultural visit opportunities nearby
- Birding from the lodge
- Laundry service at an additional fee
- Beverages available including soft drinks, beer, wine, and spirits at an additional fee (or included with Luxury suite package)