rhotia valley tented lodge in ngorongoro region
As you turn from the main tarmac road connecting Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, past the beautiful sunflower field and the corn/ maize farms, towards Ngorongoro Highland on the slightly bumpy road toward Rhotia Valley, you are welcomed with refreshments by the managers and their dog.
Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge has a wonderful soul. A portion of the proceeds fund the Children’s Home that is about a 10 minutes walk from the lodge. The Children’s Home takes care of about 40 kids, orphaned or some whose parents can’t afford to take care of them. They have made the home stand on its own by setting up a bakery. They produce enough bread to feed themselves and sell the surplus in Karatu. A win-win situation. The children who played with us [my two kids were with me] greeted us as they were coming from school and spoke great English which they have picked up from volunteers as well as school.
About the lodge //
Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge is a rustic yet comfortable lodge. Each of the 15 rooms are comfortably sized with double beds or two double beds for a family of four. Hot water bottles were tucked in at night to keep you warm in the cooler nights. Yes, this area does get quite cool during our cold season of May to September/October. You are also high up in Ngorongoro Highland at about 4,000 ft - bring a jacket.
In the bathroom, they will explain why there is bucket near the shower – it is to collect the initial cold water before the hot water comes through. Keep the cold water bucket – they will use it to water their organic farm where they
grow a lot of their vegetables and herbs. Water heating and lights in the room are controlled by both solar power [9 -7 pm] and generators during the peak shower hours of [7-9 pm]. Drinking water that is provided will be plastic bottles or water purified via biofilter.
The food, which is sourced locally from the fertile town of Karatu or grown right near the dining area is delicious. From dinner to the packed lunch, it is fresh, balanced and satisfying. You can practically see them make your meal from the dining room as you can see the hustle bustle of the open kitchen and the charcoal fire that is preparing good food.
The views // Two sides //
From the fire-light front lounge deck and some of the rooms, you get the greenery from the farmlands of fertile Karatu Region. Corn or maize as Tanzanians call it, beans, sunflower … the list goes on. From the side facing the Ngorongoro Highlands, you have the greenery from the thick forest. Either way, you are in for some great views and amazing sounds of the birds in the morning.
Rhotia Valley is a wonderful place, in many ways, to spend a few days on Safari.