Imagine waking up, throwing back the curtains and singing “Naaaaaaants iinngonyamaaaaa” Lion King-style while looking straight into the eyes of a zeal of Zebras.
This didn’t happen to me when I stayed at the Ndutu Safari Lodge in Tanzania (not all of it anyway – my poor travel mate did have to hear my terrible morning voice), but I heard that it has happened.
The Ndutu Safari Lodge, located in the southeastern part of the Serengeti, in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, transports you to a piece of serenity. Thirty-four stone cottages shaded by majestic acacia trees and surrounded by indigenous trees made up the lodge tucked away from the madding crowd of tourists heading out on safari. Known for its excellent migration views, a great time to go – and the busiest– is from late-December to mid-March.
Flickr photo via Ben Combee
Originally built for safari-enthusiast George Dove, whose portrait hangs in the hallway, as a safari hangout intended to last just a few years, Ndutu has outlasted its original purpose. It is now a place to unwind, relax and wash away all the dust and grim from a day of exploration.
After cleaning up in our two-bedroom hut, my travel mate and I walked the short path to the dining area and bar, both beautifully decorated by local designs. Sipping on a Kilimanjaro brew, we let the natural hum of the wild birds flow through our ears and were able to watch the sunset over Lake Ntudu. In the distance we could see faint outlines of giraffes, a favorite animal of mine.
As night fell, visitors from all over – including South Africa, Australia and the States – chatted about our homes, far away from here, over a bonfire lit each night for visitors to enjoy. Walking back to our hut we were safely guided by night guards – lions sometimes get intrigued and wander up at night.
We let the cool breeze of the Serengeti loll us to sleep, knowing that in the morning, we’d awaken to a little view of paradise.