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Plantation Lodge

Plantation Lodge

Plantation Lodge is a peaceful, secluded property set just to the west of Karatu on the road to the Ngorongoro Crater. The beautiful, well-kept gardens are a leafy oasis of bougainvillea and lush green plants surrounded by wooded areas, and strolling through them presents opportunities for spotting a variety of birds. Iron wrought tables and chairs are dotted throughout the grounds, providing a lovely space in which to enjoy a morning coffee, pre-dinner drinks or a good book.

An owner-run property, the lodge started life as a farmstead before Renate and Udo Marahrens converted it into the characterful accommodation we see today. As such, each of the rooms has its own unique style and layout, but all are lovingly finished with a tasteful design and fresh flowers to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The property's pool offers scenic views over the surrounding farmlands, and after exploring the area you can arrange to have a soothing massage in the comfort of your room.

Our rating: First Class

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All the rooms are individually designed and vary in size, set in different buildings around the grounds - a testament to the lodge’s original use as a working farmstead. You can choose to stay in a stylish room (some of which interconnect), a more spacious two bedroom Family Unit or a larger four bedroom private house, which has its own central dining and communal area, making it perfect for groups or larger families. All accommodation is en suite and each room boasts either a veranda or terrace with views over the garden. Amenities include tea/coffee making facilities, safes, hairdryers and mosquito nets.


At an altitude of 1,600 metres, Plantation Lodge is nestled in the heart of the Ngorongoro Highlands, with beautiful views of the surrounding farmland, coffee plantations and Ngorongoro Conservation Forest. A short drive from the town of Karatu, the lodge offers excellent access to the Ngorongoro Crater, with the entrance situated a 15 minute drive away.

Food and drink

The food at Plantation Lodge is of a good quality, with the restaurant offering a four-course menu each evening. Meals contain locally-sourced fruit and vegetables, a good deal of which is grown on the grounds. The property also boasts an excellent wine cellar and comfortable bar area; a popular place to relax and converse with your fellow guests.

Afternoon tea, featuring a selection of handmade cakes, is served in the gardens each day, and hearty packed lunches are provided for those heading off on safari.


The lodge is a good base for families or larger groups, with some rooms able to interconnect, a two bedroom family unit for those travelling with children aged up to 15, and a four bedroom house for larger families.

Facilities and activities

The property offers a laundry service, spa treatments and free WLAN internet access. The pool area features chaise longues and towels, and there's a souvenir shop should you wish to take gifts home for friends and family.

Our opinion

We think Plantation Lodge makes a great base for day trips to the Ngorongoro Crater and as a mid-safari break. It has a charming, friendly atmosphere and good standard of accommodation, while the owners - who live on site with their two friendly dogs - are particularly warm and welcoming.

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