Running a safari lodge is full of wonderful challenges not least because all our supplies have to be brought in by road either from Karatu (140KM) or Arusha (280KM). Over the years guests have become more and more interested in how we run Ndutu and so here are just a few of the behind the scenes challenges we handle daily. We make every effort to tread as lightly as possible in our pristine surrounding environment.

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WATER – Water has always been a challenge at Ndutu. The washing water in the bathrooms comes from sealed wells near the lake, about 2KM from the lodge and is carried daily and pumped into the header tanks. This water contains dissolved minerals (mostly sodiumcarbonate or ‘washing soda’) which give a soft soapy feel to the water. Fresh water is an even more precious commodity. All the drinking and water is collected into holding tanks from the tin roofs of the lodge. The water goes through a filtration/sterilising system resulting in water which tastes good and is very safe to drink. The only other source of fresh water is from the streams of the Ngorogoro highlands 80km away. As there may be no rainfall for up to 5 months in the year we pride ourselves in our conservation and use of water. We have never run out of our own supply of fresh water!

ENVIRONMENT – Careful environmental management remains the secret of Ndutu’s survival. Dead wood is brought from outside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area for our small evening campfire under the stars. All the laundry is wind-dried and clothes are pressed using irons filled with coals. Occasionally we still have to use our trusty ancient wood stoves in the kitchen for our cooking. Most of the water in the cottages is heated through solar power ensuring you can have a hot shower at the end of your safari.

SUSTAINABILITY – We source as much of our produce as we can locally. The majority of our fresh fruit and vegetables come from Margaret’s farm, a wonderful ‘shamba’ (Swahili for farm) 150 km from the lodge. Building materials and firewood are also sourced from outside the conservation area to support local communities. Most recently we have moved our power entirely to green energy with the addition of a new solar system meaning we now have 24 hour power at the lodge. This is a very gratifying step for us, reducing our heavy reliance on our diesel generators and significantly reducing our carbon footprint. Similarly we are also commissioning a new biogas system that will help us generate methane from our organic waste to use instead of the propane gas that is trucked in for our gas ovens in our kitchens.