The Highlands Camp
Sci-fi splendour meets forests, craters, volcanoes and the lush Ngorongoro
The Highlands Camp
Ngorongoro: home to long-limbed Masai cattle-herders, luscious green landscapes and the Big Five – now the big eight, thanks to the addition of three sci-fi geodesic domes. No, we haven't gone mad. The Highlands' domed structures are just part of this futuristic and oh-so creative camp on the slopes of Olmoti Volcano. Located far from other Ngorongoro camps, it promises exclusivity and unique experiences such as hikes to nearby Empakaai and beading classes with local Masai ladies. Looking for wildlife? Africa's Eden– the Ngorongoro Crater – is just a short drive away, perfect for game sightings and picnic lunches.
At the lodge
Wooden walkways link the three futuristic main domes that house a dining room, sunken lounge and cosy bar, all offering a cosy respite when temperatures fall. Gather in the lounge, with a wood-burning stove at its heart, for pre-dinner G&Ts, tasty snacks and magical views of the setting sun. Modern, Tanzanian-inspired feasts are served in the dining room, and afterwards, retire to the "Old Moti" bar for a hot cocktail or one of the hand-picked whiskies from around the world.
Scattered across a forested slope are eight igloo-like bedroom domes, each furnished with an enormous bed facing the views, and plenty of cowhide rugs and tartan throws to keep you toasty. Mini wood-burning stoves crank up the heat every evening, and there's normally a hot-water bottle or two under the fluffy duvet to look forward to. Chic en-suite bathrooms have showers big enough for two and plenty of hot water. Outside, the wraparound balcony is ideal for siestas and sundowners.
Although game drives in nearby Ngorongoro Crater are undeniably excellent (it's one of the best places on the continent to see the Big Five), it's the other activities at The Highlands that really stand out. Follow ancient Masai trails to the top of Olmoti Volcano, spotting birds and butterflies as you go; descend to the sparkling Empakaai crater lake to watch flamingos in the shallows; visit the local village and help herd cattle as the sun dips below the horizon.