Whether you’re planning a Tanzania honeymoon (congratulations!), celebrating an anniversary, or simply looking for something that will tug on the heart strings the moment you arrive, then these lodges in Tanzania are for you:
The Highlands – Ngorongoro Crater
Best for: Elegant wilderness and luxurious privacy
We’ve all heard of the famous Ngorongoro Crater. Some of us can even pronounce it. Yet how many people can say they’ve sipped glasses of bubbly whilst sitting in their own private hot tub, overlooking the sweeping plains of the Serengeti, all from the volcanic slopes of the crater in question? Ngorongoro may be one of the most popular safari destinations in Tanzania, but it’s still possible to find peace and privacy at places like The Highlands. And those seeking a spot of romance won’t be disappointed either.
Location is super important when it comes to choosing a lodge, but I firmly believe the accommodation is of equal significance (or maybe even more. I have been known to travel to a country simply because I’ve seen a fabulous suite that I just have to lay my head in!). The Highlands is one of those places. Perched on the side of the Olmoti Volcano on the north side of the crater, the elegant camp has 8 fabulous contemporary domed suites with floor to ceiling bay windows and some of the best views in Tanzania. It’s a place where wilderness can be experienced without compromising on comfort, perfect for a luxury Tanzania safari.
When you manage to drag yourself away from this little pocket of African paradise there are game drives, nature walks, crater hikes and Maasai cultural experiences on offer.
Selous Kulinda Camp – Selous Game Reserve
Best for: Secluded riverside hideaways at the heart of nature
Romance comes in various guises. Here at Selous Kulinda Camp (formerly Selous Riverside Safari Camp) it’s all about old world charm and private riverside hideaways. Perfect for discerning honeymooners and anyone with an ounce of romance in their soul. It’s the sort of place where lovers can dream about Africa of a bygone era and feel a part of nature rather than just a passing observer.
Tucked away in dense forest on the banks of the Rufiji River, the camp has 10 enchanting tented chalets, each blending in with the surroundings. Luxuriously furnished and complete with their own en-suite bathrooms, the chalets are the ultimate essence of Africa and the ideal place to retreat after a busy day adventuring. There’s also a pool for cooling off in the hot afternoons, the views from here aren’t bad either.
The Selous Game Reserve is known for giving visitors an untouched bush experience, whether by 4x4 game drives, walking safaris or wildlife viewing from the river by boat. Come nightfall relaxation is on the cards, with sundowners on the deck overlooking the river, followed by dining under the twinkling stars. Bliss.
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge – Lake Manyara
Best for: Remote treehouses with all the trimmings
There’s something delightfully primal about sleeping in the trees. I guess we’re all big kids at heart, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The treehouses here however are rather more lavish than those you find at the bottom of most gardens. Lovingly nestled in the boughs of ancient mahogany trees, the suites come with everything you could ever need, whilst keeping the impact on the environment to a minimum. Pretty impressive considering just how remote this place is.
The pool is one of the better ones we’ve seen, and dining in the seductively lit boma is a real treat. Nowhere does romantic meals quite like Africa. Guests can even watch the chef prepare the dishes in the interactive kitchen. Which seems to be all the rage these days.
The variety of habitats and wildlife here is world-class, with everything from jaw-dropping Rift Valley landscapes and hot springs, to a soda lake full of flamingos and even tree-climbing lions. But don’t worry, treehouses and safari guests aren’t really their thing.
Sayari Camp – Serengeti National Park
Best for: Intimate and authentic nature immersion
Everything at Sayari Camp seems to have magnificent views overlooking the game-filled plains of the Serengeti, from the bedroom verandas and dining deck to the lounge and gorgeously appointed infinity pool. But what about from the bath? I often choose accommodation on the basis of a bathroom alone (a girl has to have her priorities, right?), and having views like this whilst soaking in the suds has got to be a winner!
Sayari has 15 tented hillside suites, inspired by the landscape of the Serengeti with earthy tones, elegant mahogany floors and a safari-chic interior design that belies the remote wilderness outside. It’s the sort of place that would be right at home on the cover of any glossy travel magazine.
The Serengeti probably needs no introduction, except to say that its fame for extraordinary wildlife viewing is well deserved. It’s the place to go to witness the great wildebeest migration as it crosses the Mara River on its never-ending cycle. As well as the usual walking safaris and game drives, there are also hot air balloon flights on offer. Could it get any more romantic?
Evenings are cooler, and the perfect excuse to relax by the fireside with a glass of whisky and a good yarn borrowed from the library. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in Scotland, just with added animals.
Jabali Ridge – Ruaha National Park
Best for: Exclusive wilderness with sophisticated and sustainable design
Anywhere that has a hammock is welcome to steal my heart, and the suites at Jabali Ridge prove you don’t need beaches and palm trees to offer the ultimate in laid back luxury. When it comes to lodges, Jabali is a bit different. Built high on a rocky escarpment, Jabali is rather uniquely made entirely from wood, and blends subtly with the surrounding landscape. Everything is sleek with just the right amount of rustic chic to keep pretentions at bay, whilst the infinity pool overlooking the plains is perfection itself.
Nestled away between large granite boulders, the 8 suites have superb views of the national park from every corner (there seems to be a bit of a theme with the properties here), and you don’t even need to get out of bed to enjoy them. Although we strongly advise you do, as there’s a lot more to see!
It’s not only the wildlife that is impressive here, it’s also the presence of photogenic palms and baobab trees which are dotted around the landscape, and the sense that the wilderness is exclusively yours. There’s really nowhere quite like it.