Imagine a tranquil rural setting in the Tanzanian heartland, nestled right alongside the Ngorongoro Forest, home to elephants and a wonderful diversity of African wildlife. Imagine stretching out at sundown on a wooden deck, gazing into the sky as it turns orange then inky black and scintillating with millions of stars.


Accommodation is in individual twin, double or triple cottages or rondavels, with canvas walls and solid attached bathroom and shower. Each dwelling is tastefully and simply decorated with local fabrics and hand-made furniture of African hardwood.


Each has its own deck with safari chairs for watching the world go by — perhaps a troop of baboons foraging in the barley fields, local herdsmen tending their flocks, exotic birds flitting amongst the trees or a bullock cart trundling by with its cargo of water.


The main building has an open atrium, reception lounge and dining area — also free wi-fi if you really must keep in contact with the outside world. But why would you, when Karatu Simba Lodge has so much on offer to soothe the spirit?


After a dusty day on safari, take a swim in the pool with its views over fields and forest, then soak up the sun on the deck. Huddle around the campfire at nightfall and see the Southern Cross suspended in the sky over the distant Mbulu Hills. Or fall asleep lulled by the call of the bush baby and Montane nightjar.


To experience a little more of local life, visitors can explore the nearby town of Karatu, with its array of markets, shops and brick factories to visit. Every Sunday, there’s a small market at the road junction too.


Karatu Simba Lodge is located about a thirty-minute drive from the gate of Lake Manyara National Park, approximately four kilometres off the main road to the entry of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area with its breathtaking volcanic crater.


For anyone visiting Tanzania who yearns for peace and quiet in a small, intimate place set in a rural paradise, yet with easy access to all the natural wonders of the area, Karatu Simba Lodge is a must