Story behind The Retreat at Ngorongoro.
Our humble beginnings in the hotel industry date back to 2004, when we first thought about building a hotel in Arusha. Many of our clients had saved money for years in anticipation of their first trip to Africa; “Why,” they asked us, “do so many hotels in Arusha opt for western styled décor with nothing showcasing Africa and hardly meeting the bare minimum of comforts?”. Thanks to their questions & suggestions, we created “The African Tulip”, now ranked the #1 hotel in Arusha on Trip Advisor for over 9years running with a brilliant team running it. Our mission was accomplished!
Soon after this we embarked on a new challenge to create a lodge in the rural, but breathtakingly beautiful, land of Karatu. Bordering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The barren land inspired us to develop the already existing natural, raw beauty and turn it into something more: a Retreat, an oasis of sorts. Thus, the idea of "The Retreat at Ngorongoro" developed.
We wanted to showcase Africa’s beauty & bounty – areas not always shown to the world and embarked on stage one: to bring “life” to this place with a serious tree planting project that would also serve to off-set our carbon footprint. Planting over 40,000 indigenous trees, wasn’t an easy task, often losing many saplings to elephants trampling as well as shortage of water in the area, but we persisted, replanted; bought water for watering the trees during the dry seasons…. and success followed. The tree planting did much more than just enhance the already beautiful land; it brought in numerous bird species(hence our bird-themed concept of the lodge), insects and other small animals. It changed drastically the climate here…..which you will experience as you drive up dry, dusty roads & villages into this beautiful oasis.
Indigenous plants and flowers continue to blossom while our natural garden & orchard produce fruit and vegetables that are served at the Kipepeo Restaurant at the lodge. We proudly harvest our own Honey, Roast our own coffee, Make our own jams, juices, and use firewood from the pruned branches of the trees we planted. Drought resistant plants and grasses have been used in most areas and the trees planted attract rainfall that keep our gardens lush. Solar panels are used to heat water at the Lodge.
We have trained & created a livelihood for many people from the surrounding villages (from security personnel and gardeners to housekeepers, waiters and cooks) purchase of Fresh Milk, local eggs,…. Education for the very young, in the surrounding villages, is provided at a school built by us, which is a 5minute walk from the lodge.
The Retreat, is stragetically located near the 8th wonder of the world, the world Famous Ngorongoro Crater. In close proximity also lies the Lake Manyara National park, Lake Eyasi; and The Endoro falls & elephant caves. Activities offered at the lodge range from Day trips to the national parks, walking safaris and mountain biking to Quad biking, cultural visits to the local Iraqw tribe and tree planting.
We truly are so proud of our achievement and warmly welcome you to sample our bit of paradise… Welcome to The Retreat at Ngorongoro!