This is a very interesting break to the animal safari circuit.
The lodge itself is very comfortable with lovely little touches in the rooms like bushmen bow and arrows as shower curtain rails etc. The food good, the staff helpful and the pool lovely.
I particularly liked the short 5 minute walk up to the red rocks for sunset over the lake.
The camp is in an oasis, but once you get out towards the lake it gets pretty desolate fast, but it makes for interesting photography. The lake was there in January with a handful of flamingoes but they are hard to get close to.
The road down wasn't bad at all for us - not tarmac of course but pretty smooth and we made the trip in just over an hour from Karatu - we've driven our 2wd on far worse roads in Australia.
The trip down is interesting too, as you go down the road you can see things getting more remote, it gets hotter and drier and the catcus appear. The huts get more basic etc.
The bushmen trip and datoga visit are interesting, but be aware that there is a steady stream of visitors now so they have cottoned-on and will use the opportunity of your visit to try to sell you things (particularly the datoga)!
Still, the bushmen hunt was an interesting insight into their lifestyle and we saw a pretty intense hunt of a monkey and afterwards they let you have a go with the bow and arrow (aiming at things that are not alive!). The datoga's blacksmith demonstrations are also genuinely quite impressive. Worth going to both.
There is a very interesting back route short-cut from the lodge to Ndutu which is scenic and a little adventurous when climbing the mountain ridge behind the lake. Its a remote relatively untouristed way to approach Ndutu and actually quicker than going via Karatu and the Crater.
Not sure it really matters - they look similar
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.