Suspended up above the Ngorongoro Crater and the Olmoti Volcano, on the edge of a mountain forest is Asilia’s newest flagship lodge. The Highlands is the highest altitude property within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It’s exclusive and remote, a true wilderness experience and a high-style contemporary escape. Elevated on the slopes of your very own piece of the dramatic crater highlands you can sometimes see all the way to the Serengeti. Authentic hikes on ancient Maasai cattle trails to the Olmoti Crater, visits to Maasai villages or descents into the heart of the Empakaai Crater and many other adventures await. Most of which aren’t available anywhere else in the Crater area.
Unique trend-setting design
With The Highlands, Asilia really has raised the bar with this low-impact/high- style camp, using state-of- the-art technology to minimise its ecological footprint. The eight innovative, canvas-and glass-domed suites are inspired by the traditional Maasai bomas prevalent in the area. “The domes were designed for the cold, as with the altitude it can get very chilly up here some days,” says Victor, Camp Manager.
Within your very own canvas sanctuary that looks out over, what feels like the whole world, you have every creature comfort you could imagine. With indulgent king-size beds, over-sized pillows, ensuite wooden-clad bathrooms, floor to ceiling bay windows and of course for those chilly winter nights a wood burning stove and even some fluffy sheepskin blankets.
Suspended above three mystical craters
The iconic Ngorongoro Crater is very definitely the main feature of the area, home to some of the most highly celebrated wildlife viewing in Africa. However, the Olmoti Volcano is also a wonder to behold as it’s packed with buffalo, zebra, hartebeest, leopard, elephant and so much more. The Empakaai Crater although smaller showcases a large soda lake often occupied by thousands of pink flamingo. Not to mention the exquisite flora in the region. There is so much to discover from mountain forests, to golden savannahs, to swampy marshland. It’s pristine, untouched, unspoiled Africa right at your fingertips.
Authentically experience Maasai culture
The Highlands seamlessly blends in with the surrounding Maasai culture with many of the staff members originating from within the local community. The empowered staff are attentive, warm, genuine and enthusiastic making you feel more welcome with every interaction. The fires dotted throughout the communal area ensure that you are always warm, cosy and feel as if you are in your own little village. The very talented and passionate Chef Kaiser announces each meal with great pride before treating you to the finest cheese straws in the world, tasty butternut soup, sizzling pork chops and so many more homely, hearty meals. For more cultural immersion why not try testing your herdsman skills alongside the Maasai, visit a local Maasai homestead, take a stroll around the market or even have a go at some traditional Maasai dancing.
Ngorongoro Crater is a 3 hour drive on tarred road from Arusha. The best option to get to Arusha is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is situated about 46km/29mi from Arusha. It is also possible to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport, near Dar es Salaam and fly on to Arusha Airport