The perfect lodge to begin or end your Tanzanian odyssey
Ahadi is the Swahili word for 'promise', and Ahadi Lodge's young owners certainly work hard to make sure that you're comfortable and well fed. This little retreat lies just three kilometres from Arusha, the gateway to Tanzania's northern national parks – Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongro Crater and the famous Serengeti – and the owners will happily advise on and organise day trips and safaris to the reserves that are at their best during the time you're visiting. Ahadi is a simple but comfortable place and has become popular enough to have won a TripAdvisor's Cerificate of Excellence in 2014.
At the lodge
Ahadi Lodge, in its lovely garden setting, is a peaceful retreat. A buffet breakfast is served in the restaurant or on the pool deck; lunch at the lodge or in a hearty lunchbox for the road. In the evening, have a drink in the bar and drift through to the restaurant, where you're assured of a wonderful meal created by three talented chefs, who work their magic using the freshest Tanzanian produce. And when it's too hot to move, dip in the pool.
There are five rondavel-style cottages, each with two rooms of varying sizes, plus an additional two rooms. Each has been simply decorated in neutral colours ranging from earthy tones to rusty reds. There's a TV, free wi-fi, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. The bathrooms are efficient, although some visitors may find the simple curtain separating the ablution from the sleeping facilities somewhat inhibiting.
The focus at Ahadi is on relaxation. However, as mentioned, the owners are happy to arrange safaris and other expeditions. Absorb the local colours and sounds at various curio markets (look out for beaded sandals and beautifully carved woodwork). Take a cultural tour, go canoeing on Lake Duluti, see Lake Duluti caves and forest, Mount Meru waterfalls and a banana plantation, or visit the School of St Jude, where desperately poor children are given a formal education.