Owned and operated by Lepara Nandatwa (Maasai) and Ingrid Torrekens (Belgian), the Maasai Giraffe Eco Lodge has been open to the public since early 2015. Set just outside the Maasai village of Engaresero, this Eco Lodge is open year-round and it is a great way to experience all that the area has to offer. Situated at the southern tip of Lake Natron, and only a few kms away from Oldonyo Lengai, an active volcano, the location of our Eco-Lodge is a unique experience for tourists, not to mention the year-round warm temperature. This is a great place to visit if you enjoy experiencing local cultures in areas that aren't overwhelmed by tourism.
When you arrive to the Maasai Giraffe Eco Lodge, we will have one of our staff take care of setting up your tents and camping equipment, or if you have made a full reservation, your tents will be set up by the time you arrive. This will allow you to freshen up, enjoy a look around the Eco-Lodge, and relax a little after a long drive!
Maasai Giraffe Eco-Lodge has the capacity to host up to 30 guests at once. We also have ten guest rooms with private bathrooms that are available for those guests that either do not have a tent, or for those guests who do not wish to spend their evenings in a tent. Our eco-lodge is completely enclosed by a natural twig fence which keeps you safe, but also gives you the feeling of being in the wilderness. We have a full time Maasai watchman that is on guard at all times to ensure the safety of our guests.
The campsite features a full kitchen and dining area complete with 2 gas stoves, a refrigerator, cooking pots and utensils. The kitchen area is an open air building that features a high thatch roof and many wooden tables and benches to truly enjoy the surrounding environment all day long. The kitchen area is built with exclusively local materials and is decorated with traditional Maasai decorations. The kitchen, along with the rest of our facilities, completely runs on solar power. We also have a ceramic water filter that is available for our guests to use, however, we recommend that you bring a lot of your own drinking water as we have limited drinking water available. We also encourage guests to bring their own food, because the local village has limited options.
We can provide meals, breakfast lunch and dinner for 35 $ per person per day.
The kitchen area is truly an amazing place to enjoy your morning coffee while watching the giraffes make their way to the lake, or enjoy a meal under the stars on a clear evening.
The campsite features western style bathrooms complete with sinks, toilets and showers with hot water. Our water supply comes directly from the mountain springs nearby, and has no negative impact on the local water supply. Toilet paper is also provided for our guests.
The only available cell phone service in the area is AIRTEL.
We have also recently installed a satellite internet dish, wifi is available for our guests.
Other Guest Information:
We accept both USD and TZS, but please keep in mind if you are buying from any of the locals and you use USD, it is unlikely they will be able to provide you with change in the same currency. There are no money exchange facilities in the area, and no one will accept any other method of payment besides cash. Therefore, we suggest you bring both types of currency with you.
Many of the activities for our guests focus on the surroundings which is truly one of a kind. To learn more about the activities we have to offer click on activities page.
About the Owners
The idea of creating Maasai Giraffe Eco Lodge happened when Ingrid was on a trip visiting Tanzania, and had Lepara as a tour guide. Lepara proposed the idea that he take Ingrid's group to discover the region where he grew up. Ingrid felt bewitched by the beauty of nature and fascinated by the Maasai way of life in almost total isolation and in harmony with their environment.
Although originally from Ngorongoro (Nayobi), Lepara's family emigrated to Engaresero after his circumcision. While being respectful of its membership and also the Maasai traditions, he was very quickly emancipated and decided his own fate. He sold his cows inherited from his father to go to the city of Arusha and pay for school to learn Swahili and then English. Knowing the Maasai jewelery techniques, he opened a small shop for tourists on Zanzibar beach.
Considering Lepara’s life course, Ingrid felt he was really the ideal person to lead this adventure. Missing his homeland, the idea of building an eco-tourism business in his area was met with great enthusiasm because it would allow him to remain near his family. The completion of the lodge has been finalized thanks to Lepara’s motivation and hard work accumulated with my infatuation for the area and Ingrid's passion for the Maasai people.