My 5 Favorite Tanzanian Properties: Hatari Lodge, Arusha National Park

Less than a 45-minute drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport, you reach Hatari Lodge on the northern edge of Arusha National Park. While other properties, like Legendary Lodge, nestled in the coffee plantations of Arusha, might be more luxurious, Hatari is the perfect welcome mat to Tanzania because it immediately gives you the feel of being in the African bush. Rooms are spacious and you wake up to monkeys jumping on your roof, families of warthogs running across the property and magnificent views of the sun rising above Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. At breakfast on the outdoor patio, you’ll spot your first giraffes and buffalos, then go on a game drive into the park to get close-up shots of elephants, hippos, and countless flamingoes. The lodge gives you the opportunity to canoe past the hippos, but a better option is to drive up the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro for a day hike and picnic. Hatari offers 9 rooms and is adding 3 new family suites this summer. It’s the ideal spot to start your tour of Tanzania, rest after the long flight, be immersed in the wildlife, and see mighty Kilimanjaro.