Lake Natron Camp within the Great East African Rift Valley.
I visited this area in February 2015 on my Safari to Tanzania with specialist guide Paul Oliver.
After a beautiful drive through this stunning landscape, we arrive at the crunchy dried soda ash entrance to the Maasai ladies coming to welcome us. The sun setting behind us was spreading the golden hour rays making Ol Doinyo Lengai and the stunning hills around the camp look just etherial.
Cold refreshments were served in the dining + lounge tent while the manager checked us into the camp. For those interested, wi-fi is available here. Paul, who knows Ake Lindstrom, the owner of the camp, mentioned that Ake is very keen on supporting the local Maasai community. Most of the staff here are from close by Engare Sero village. Kudos!
After our long drive, we wanted to freshen up so we were escorted to our tents. Not many dangerous wildlife here so walking on your own back to the dining camp does not require an escort.
Each of the 10 tented rooms are under a protective layer of black tarp to keep the inside cooler from the blistering heat of the Great East African Rift Valley especially during the hot months [December to March]. I am glad they had that layer as it was hot especially during our mid-afternoon siesta, part of the Safari Life. The poor old fan tried to help. You just have to give in and embrace the heat. In the evenings, with the fan on, it was more comfortable.
To leave minimal footprints in this region, the rooms are powered with solar. Sun is not a problem here.
The bathroom has compost toilets which works fine for this harsh environment. There was enough water for a nice bucket shower. Tips on the bucket shower - turn the water on, get wet, turn off, soap up, rinse. Enjoy the rest. If more is needed, hamna shida [no worries], the crew is at ear shot distance for a refill.
The dining and lounge area during my February 2015 stay could use an update. More lighting was needed at night around the whole dining + lounge tent. The chef serving area was in the dark side of the tent. Our table was outside the main area and did not feel like it was part of the dining area. The bar was not well stocked yet and seems detached from the main area.
I have seen reports of improvements since then. The food served by the chef was delicious and appropriate. From warm meals in the evening to the cool lunches during the heat of the day.
The deal sealer here is the access to Lake Natron and its many splendors. Early morning walks to capture the sunrise over Ol Doinyo Lengai, the many hills and mirror-like Lake Natron. Golden hour moments in the evenings and finishing off with a glorious dip in the fresh water spring while enjoying sundowner [snacks and drinks before your evening meal] and maybe a tickle tilapia pedicure. Your feet and ‘soul’ will thank you.
I look forward to planning your Safari with Lake Natron Camp, located in the vast Rift Valley, the belly of the Earth.