Head of Group Marketing & Product of the Ker & Downey® Africa group, Lisa Nel recently visited some of the hotels and lodges in Arusha. These properties are proudly part of Ker & Downey® Africa’s extensive luxury portfolio offered to our valued clients when seeking overnight accommodation for an authentic African experience.
During my recent trip to the gateway of the northern safari circuit in Tanzania, my colleague Emma Perrin and I were fortunate enough to stay at Lake Duluti Lodge during our first night. Lake Duluti is a recommended Arusha hotel in Tanzania.
A mere 45-minute drive from the Kilimanjaro International Airport, Lake Duluti Lodge is the second closest lodge to the airport. The first ten minutes of the drive is very scenic as the road is surrounded by catchment forest. After a short right turn, we entered through large gates and into the working coffee plantation.
Upon arrival, we were met by manicured lawns with a multitude of trees and exquisite views of Mount Meru, which towers over the lake. Although the lodge is a ten-minute drive out of the Arusha CBD, you need not worry about driving as our dedicated guide will fetch you from the airport with a welcome board and escort you in one of our fabulous air-conditioned vehicles.
The porter and receptionist gave us one of the warmest and most genuine of welcomes. Check-in was quick and efficient and my luggage was whisked away to my suite. Although the closest suite to the main public areas, staying in chalet number one was extremely quiet and tranquil and still a fair distance from the restaurant and bar.
It was interesting to find out that Lake Duluti is a perennial lake and was formed inside a volcanic crater. This makes it a haven for many water dependent birds, including the crafty hamerkop, grey herons and of course the African fish eagle, whose iconic call is quintessential to Africa. The lake was named as such by the local Meru people and the lodge is perfectly incorporated into the surroundings and is considered one of the best lodges in the area.
There are many activities available in and around the lodge. A walk around the lake can take up to four hours and I recommend requesting one of the lodge staff to accompany you. If you prefer to do the walk on your own, don’t worry about getting lost as the trail is clearly marked with signposts. Other experiences include canoeing, fishing, bird watching (around 130 bird species have been seen in the area) and a coffee plantation tour.
In the morning, accompanied by one of the lodge staff, we walked along a shaded path that leads through the forest, past many ancient indigenous trees. At the end of the path we walked through a gate and arrived at the lake with the most breathtaking views of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Our guide spent time educating us on the lake and the various activities that guests can partake in. He was extremely knowledgeable and went out of his way to provide a personalized service.
For very avid hikers the lodge can arrange a ranger from the Duluti Forest Reserve to guide you. A day excursion around the lake can be filled with activity and wonder. If you have children, a slow meander is recommended as they can potentially see and interact with the resident ducks. If you would like to relax after a long inbound flight, you can sit on the terrace next to the bar area overlooking the rolling lawns and take in the atmosphere. The odd vervet monkey may even come say hi.
For those warmer summer months, there is a well maintained, sparkling swimming pool with relaxing sun loungers. Although I visited in autumn it was still 27 degrees celsius or 80 degrees fahrenheit. So even during this time of the year, the pool is a popular amenity. I would recommend sipping on a signature cocktail here in the evening.
The lodge offers in-house spa treatments ranging from massages to manicures, although regrettably I didn’t have enough time to indulge in one of them. This is just another reason why I will definitely be back to experience one of these beauty treatments.
All 19 intimate suites are inspired by African decoration. Large mosquito nets are draped over the beds at night, providing an aesthetic touch that adds to the romantic ambiance rather than used out of necessity. There’s nothing more romantic than climbing into a bed surrounded by netting that makes you feel like you are cocooned on your own island.
An elegant couch, coupled with a coffee table with a host of books, lies in front of the bed and provides gentle views of the private gardens out front. On the side of the bed is a dressing table and cupboards that have all the usual amenities including a laptop size safe and a branded umbrella. The lodge also has a family chalet on offer, which is actually two inter-leading chalets.
The suites open out onto a private deck that leads out into a lush garden with no other chalets in sight, providing total privacy and intimacy. All the mod cons in the bedrooms are available, from a mini bar to a TV with many satellite channels.
There is a huge bathroom with a double vanity, freestanding bathtub, a separate toilet and an extensive walk-in shower. A striking, large chandelier in the center of the bathroom was the first thing that caught my eye, particularly as I would love this in my own bathroom. Opening out from the bathroom through double wooden French doors is a lush green private garden. Unfortunately it rained during my stay there, however it was still beautiful in the morning opening the doors and experiencing the gardens off the bathroom. I can only imagine a warm evening with clear skies lying in a candlelight bubble bath.
I would recommend this lodge for any client arriving later in the day. This is because you don’t have a far drive to your lodge and are able to freshen up and start your safari adventure sooner. I also feel it can easily be a two night destination as you need to experience all that the lodge has to offer including the coffee plantation tour and many recreational activities on and around the lake. The lake is absolutely beautiful and I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed as it felt like a natural therapy. Suggestion to ask the duty manager to arrange mountain bikes for you to explore the local area.
I feel that it offers a great experience and sets the standard for your arrival in Tanzania before you head off to Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Crater and of course the iconic Serengeti National Park.
The environment is suitable for couples, families and friends who want to stay in great en-suite luxury chalets in a 30 acre working coffee plantation. Definitely recommended for honeymooners!
We would like to thank the GM Rob Carelse and Judith from Lake Duluti Lodge for hosting myself and Emma. What a great start to our Arusha sojourn. I met both Rob and Judith the following day so I could thank them in person. A highly recommended Arusha hotel in Tanzania!
If you are interested in adding this recommended Arusha hotel in Tanzania to your northern Tanzania safari, contact Ker & Downey® Africa, today!