We (loving understanding Spouse and I) first visited Ndutu was back in 1993 and whilst not returning regularly we do love the place. I have experienced it in dusty dry September and damp wet February. It never Palls. So we booked a whole 8, yes eight, nights here this trip for a special occasion. Being Peak season this was booked up, pencilled in at least, a full eighteen months ahead. This did not Faze the booking office at all and we were 'in!'
We were not disappointed. How could we be?
For those who have not visited this place it is the 'usual' Dining and Bar area with outside seating around a fire if you wish to admire the stars with a cold drink or two whilst also watching the green or red reflected eyes of the many animals that wander by. Do NOT pass the warning signs without settling your Bar bill first. The Lodge is set back from Ndutu Lake but is on the main route for many animals from Lion and Elephant down to the resident Dik Diks.
The dining area beams are home to a family of Genets who appear each evening to entertain diners.
The Tents of our first visits are now replaced by small Bungalows, some detached, some Semi Detached. The ones we have used are very well appointed and everything works well as we would expect.
Electricity is by Generator and facilities exist near the Bar for those indispensible Batteries to be charged up. The Bar is of course well stocked and whilst prices are on the expensive side this is no doubt due in part to the Transport distance. Even water has to be trucked in.
The Lodge is in the Ngorongoro Conservation area NOT the Serengeti National Park so you need to watch for the border posts to avoid inadvertant 'trespass'. Of course the two million plus Wildebeeste who use this area for calving in February are unaware of this. They just come for the lush new mineral rich grass to make good milk for the calves they need to nurse. So much easy meat on the hoof of course means a seasonal bonanza for the carnivores. The plains are the haunt of many Animals (2.5m wildebeeste can't be wrong) from Lion, Cheetah and, Leopard to the rarely seen lesser cats as well as Hyena and Jackals.
I have to mention the Birds. Ndutu is home to three or four of the Tanzanian Endemics, all of which come to the Birdbath outside the dining Area.
All in all this is close to being my favourite place in Africa despite strong competition. It is just so nice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ndutu Safari Lodge, shaded by majestic acacia trees, is situated in the south-eastern part of the Serengeti. The Lodge has thirty four cottages, all built with local materials, with individual verandahs facing Lake Ndutu. Tucked away from the madding crowd, Ndutu offers peace and tranquility. Stay close to the lodge and enjoy our resident wildlife or go for a drive to explore the surrounding plains or marsh area. After sunset return to the homely warmth and hospitality of Ndutu Safari Lodge. Karibuni. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ndutu Safari Hotel Arusha
- Ndutu Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area