Ndutu has retained its cherished status as a gem of the Serengeti plains since it was created by George Dove in 1968 as the first permanent camp in the area. George gave up hunting and transformed the lodge into his regular campsite prizing its wild and remote location surrounded by game and close to the Serengeti plains and in 1967 Ndu (as it was then known) was born.
Ndutu quickly established a reputation for warm hospitality and delightful food, fast becoming a favourite stopover for pioneering naturalists, distinguished zoologists and photographers such as celebrated primatologist Jane Goodall and renowned wildlife filmmaker Hugo van Lawick who researched, filmed and wrote about wild dogs in the area. The pioneering archaeologist Mary Leakey who discovered some of the first fossils of human ancestors nearby, also stayed here.
In 1974 George Dove and his family sold Ndutu and set out for wilder frontiers and the Lodge fell fallow until 1985 when it was gradually renovated under the watchful eyes of Aadje Geertsema and Margaret Gibbs . Using only local materials which blend into the bush, and recycling original materials where possible, Aadje and Margaret renewed the lodge as a simple and welcoming place with wonderful people at its heart. Aadje’s influence is felt at Ndutu, alongside the many other distinguished people whose association with Ndutu have made it unique.
In 2017 a new team took on Ndutu with the goal of ensuring the lodge could grow on its existing reputation whilst continuing to playing a major role in the local community and conservation of the precious wildlife and landscape.