ASILIA THE HIGHLANDS - NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA - NORTHERN TANZANIA
The Highlands offers an alternative Ngorongoro Crater experience with an array of activities made possible by the camp’s exclusive location. The award-winning camp with its eight domed canvas and glass suites is situated on the edge of a forest that skirts Olmoti Volcano and both sunrise and sunset are visible from camp. The surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The camp feels remote but is within easy reach of Ngorongoro where you can go on day long game drives. From camp hike up to the top of Olmoti for staggering views or take a half day trip to the soda lake in Empakaai Crater where thousands of pink flamingos congregate. You can interact with the local community and learn about Maasai culture and walk the cattle back to the boma at the end of the day.
At night, gather around a crackling fire with a glass of wine or whiskey before sitting down to a delicious three-course dinner.
The Highlands is perched on the Olmoti Volcano in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of northern Tanzania. The nearest airstrip is Lake Manyara which is around 3 hours’ drive.
The Highlands has six large luxury guest tents with fantastic views stretching to the Gola Mountains. The domes have the option of being twins or doubles with several having a mezzanine available for a third bed. The tents all have king-sized beds, en-suite bathrooms with separate flush toilet and double-headed plumbed shower. Each tent has a wood burning fireplace and plenty of cosy blankets and rugs in the colder months.
The Highlands features one family tent specifically designed to accommodate two adults and two children. The main dome is a standard double with a covered walkway leading to a smaller dome with twin beds and ensuite shower room for the children. The camp welcome families with children over 5 years old and runs a range of activities suitable for kids including game drives and visits to nearby Maasai villages. Children over 12 can visit the Olmoti and Empakaai craters.
The Honeymoon dome emphasises privacy, rest and relaxation with a king-sized bed, ensuite bathroom with a double headed shower, as well as wood burning fire place for warmth in the colder months. There is a seating area, large elevated deck, and an outdoor hot tub which looks out over the beautiful landscape of Ngorongoro.
The wholesome meals are made from fresh ingredients from the Karatu area, the closest source of locally grown crops. Meals are served in the dining room, outside on the deck or sometimes out in the bush. If you want to spend more time on game drives the camp can pack a picnic breakfast or lunch to enjoy on the go.
ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE
The famous Ngorongoro Crater lies 40 km to the south. The crater - the largest inactive, intact and unflooded caldera in the world - was formed when a volcano exploded and collapsed in on itself 2 to 3 million years ago. It is now one of the best places in Africa for wildlife viewing with the Big 5 and an extraordinary concentration of predators in the area.
On the northern flank of Olmoti Volcano you might see buffalo, zebras, hartebeests, bushbucks, leopards and elephants (at certain times of the year), as well as nocturnal animals such as hyenas and porcupines. Empakaai Crater is known for the thousands of flamingos that gather along the shores of its soda lake (a highly alkaline lake).
Ngorongoro Crater game drives - explore the Ngorongoro Crater with your knowledgeable guide and take a picnic lunch to enjoy under a shady tree so you can make the most of your safari. The camp has seven-seater closed vehicles with power points and fridges.
Olmoti Crater climb - directly from camp follow an old Maasai cattle trail through mountain forests across grasslands and over rocky outcrops. Spot birds and butterflies along the trail. At the top you will be rewarded by a magnificent view of the crater below.
Empakaai Crater climb - descend into the Empakaai Crater with an NCA ranger and hike to the soda lake famous for the pink flamingos that congregate around it turning the shores pink.
Community and cultural visits - spend an afternoon with the Maasai in a neighbouring village to learn about their traditional way of life. Visit a market to support local traders or walk with the herders as they bring their cattle back to the boma for the night. Depending on the time of year you may also be able to visit a local school.
THE HIGHLANDS IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND
THE CAMP WELCOMES CHILDREN AGED 5 YEARS AND OLDER AND IS FAMILY FRIENDLY