Country Lodge

Country Lodge: Our full report

22 rooms
All year

Situated on the outskirts of bustling Karatu, not far off the main road, Country Lodge is a peaceful haven set in five acres of pretty gardens surrounded by trees. It offers good value for money and is a convenient spot from which to explore Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara.

Owned by the same people as neighbouring Bougainvillea safari lodge, and similar in style, the newer Country Lodge is slightly better value for money.

Its 22 bungalows are laid out in a square around manicured lawns, featuring sculpted hedges, well-tended flowerbeds and a large swimming pool in the centre.

The décor of the square-shaped rooms is simple yet bright: four-poster beds (either twin- or king-sized) are draped with white linens and mosquito nets; there’s a large cupboard for storing clothes and a mirror; and a desk and two wicker chairs congregate around a tangerine-coloured corner fireplace. This is lit on the cold winter nights, while the stone walls and painted concrete floors help to keep the rooms cool on hot days. Outdoor wicker chairs on the veranda allows you to relax during the day. The spacious en-suite bathrooms are constructed mainly from stone and have a large walk-in shower, a sink and a flush toilet.

Country Lodge’s bright-and-cheery, open-plan main area consists of a reception area with zebra-print chairs, a lounge with wicker chairs adorned with Maasai-print cushions, a bar – which on our last visit was playing funky African tunes – and a compact dining room. The lodge has its own kitchen garden from where many of the fresh ingredients are taken, and there’s also a curio shop and a simple massage room.

Country Lodge has less family orientated facilities than its sister lodge, Bougainvillea safari lodge, but welcomes families nevertheless and offers better value for money.

The lodge makes an effort to support the local community: any food not grown on site is sourced locally and staff are hired from the local area. The lodge also provides hospitality training for young locals and offers work experience to students.

Our view

Country Lodge is a bright and friendly lodge in a convenient location on the outskirts of Karatu. It offers good value for money and works well for families and those on a more modest budget.


Location: Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ideal length of stay: We recommend a stay of two nights.

Directions: Crater Lodge is 300m off the main road running through Karatu. Follow signs to Bougainvillea Safari Lodge.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Community Project and independently run.

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: Breakfast and lunch is served buffet style at Country Lodge with hot and cold options, while dinner is a set meal served to your table.

The chef, Reggie, used to work at Gibb's Farm and now cooks for both Country Lodge and Bougainvillea Safari Lodge next door. Reggie and his staff will happily cater for vegetarians and children on request, as well as prepare a picnic breakfast and/or lunch if you are planning on leaving early for a full day's game drive. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to sample the food, but we have faith in Reggie’s good cooking.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: No drinks are included at Country Lodge, but costs are very reasonable. A beer costs US$2, a small bottle of water US$1, a big bottle of water US$2 and soft drinks cost US$1.

Further dining info: Room service is available.


Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Country Lodge.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.

Special activities & services: Children are welcome to join in with a walk around the coffee plantation or a trip into Karatu.

Equipment: None

Notes: Children must be supervised by their parents at all times.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a back up generator.

Communications: WiFi is available in the main areas and is free for guests. There’s also cellphone reception.

TV & radio: There is no TV.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The lodge has a first-aid kit on site, and there is an American doctor based on the other side of the road.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: High walls surround the lodge and the entry gate is guarded 24 hours a day.

Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are found in all the rooms.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is available at extra cost.

Money: Country Lodge can exchange small amounts of currency and accepts US dollars, euros, British pounds, Tanzanian shillings and Kenyan shillings.

Accepted payment on location: In addition to the currencies listed above, they accept travellers' cheques with no commission and Visa, but this incurs a 5% surcharge.