A luxury break in the Scottish Maasai Highlands

Not Scotland, but Ngorongoro, but these highlands contain lush forets, ancient Maasai trails and volcanic craters.

A luxury short break in the Scottish Maasai Highlands

5 days

If you love dramatic scenery such as in the Scottish Highlands, for something really different try a short break in the Maasai Highlands of Tanzania. Come to a truly exclusive lodge on the slopes of an extinct volcano with views as far as the Serengeti. Opportunities for safaris, nature hikes and Maasai encounters. Treat yourself!

Undeniably indulgent, this 5-day break provides unabashed luxury in an exclusive setting in the timeless Ngorongoro Highlands. Just the stuff that dreams are made of, as the bard might well have opined.

On landing in Arusha you’re transported to a nearby rural retreat surrounded by gorgeous gardens to relax after your journey. From here you are flown and driven to the enchanting highlands and your stylish lodge on the slopes of a volcano. Your home is a geodesic dome, contemporary yet inspired by local dwellings. Snuggled within you have the twin benefits of fabulous views and total privacy. At this altitude mornings and evenings can be fresh, but the wood burner will banish any chills.

How you spend the next few days is completely up to you. A safari in the Ngorongoro Crater, famed for the diversity of its wildlife populations, is included and is sure to be a highlight. This is prime walking territory. Try the contrasting hikes up to the rim of Olmoti and down into Empakai Crater with its forest and flamingo lake. This is Maasai country, and a community visit is both insightful and uplifting.

This holiday can be taken on its own, as a short break, or combined with any other trip, safari, beach or walking, to form a longer holiday.


  • Escape to a stunningly remote yet luxurious domed-lodge like no other
  • Hike in the Maasai/Ngorongoro Highlands of Tanzania
  • Take a walk down into the lost world of Empakai Crater
  • Game drive in the incredible Ngorongoro Crater
  • Come for a short break, or add this to a longer safari

Beach extension

To extend your holiday and see
yet another side of Tanzania,
you could add a beach
stay to this trip.


Welcome to Tanzania! A representative meets you on arrival at Kilimanjaro airport and drives you to your first night’s accommodation. It’s been a long day and Machweo, set in lush gardens just outside Arusha, is the ideal place to relax. Dinner promises to be a treat, with a chef schooled in Michelin-starred establishments at the helm, and you should get a good night’s sleep in your suite. Dinner


Wake refreshed and enjoy breakfast al fresco, before your drive to Arusha airport for the flight to Lake Manyara. From here it’s about a 3 hour drive to your luxurious home, The Highlands, arriving to a late lunch. You stay in a domed suite, or pod, made of canvas, perspex and wood, a design classic with stunning views. This afternoon perhaps visit a local village with one of the lodge’s guides for a fascinating glimpse into the Maasai lifestyle. Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Over the next 3 days you can chose how you spend your time and we suggest some ideas here. Safari time! In under an hour from The Highlands you are entering the vast Ngorongoro Crater where you spend up to 6 hours marvelling at the abundant wildlife; Buffalo, elephant, black rhino, wildebeest, lion and leopard as well as a wide variety of birds. Keep your camera to hand! At lunchtime you enjoy a picnic in a pleasantly shady spot, and at the end of the afternoon you are driven back to the sanctuary of your lodge, still buzzing from the safari. Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Take a morning trip to Empakai Crater. Unlike Ngorongoro, no vehicles are permitted so you walk down from the rim to the forested crater floor and on to the lake where flamingos are often observed. This enclosed world has a magic all its own. A brisk hike takes you back to the vehicle. Having lunched you have the chance to explore further as you follow an old Maasai trail through unspoilt forest and grasslands to Olmoti Crater for marvellous views. Enjoy a well-earned dinner at The Highlands this evening. Breakfast, lunch, dinner


You have time for more walks this morning, or perhaps just sit with a book and take in the incredible scenery. Enjoy lunch at the lodge before setting out for Manyara and the late afternoon flight to Kilimanjaro to connect with your onward travel arrangements. Breakfast, lunch

These are just some ideas of how to spend your days here. All excursions are optional, one excursion to the Ngorongoro Crater is included, and you are welcome to do as much or as little as you wish, enjoying the beautiful highlands scenery and the location’s tranquillity.
(Please note that the Highlands is at about 3000m, in case this has bearing on any health issues).

Please ask for prices
Note: The Highlands is closed in April and May.

Includes: 1 night at Machweo in Arusha, 3 nights at The Highlands, based on twin share accommodation, transfer from Kilimanjaro airport to Machweo, transfer from Machweo to Arusha airport, return transfers from Lake Manyara airport to The Highlands, domestic flights Arusha to Manyara and Manyara to Kilimanjaro, meals listed as included, house drinks in the Highlands, safari in the Ngorongoro Crater, park fees.

Excludes: International flights and taxes, domestic departure tax, visas, travel insurance, meals not listed as included, drinks not mentioned, personal expenditure, tips.

It’s possible all year.
However, although the Highlands pods will welcome you at any time, you might like to know that the long rains tend to hit this area from around mid-March to the end of May (sometimes slightly into June). There are short rains usually in about mid-November, but these don’t put off many people.
In terms of wildlife, the best overall months are from about end of June to October due to the dry weather. This makes the grasses shorter and the wildlife congregate more around water sources, so wildlife viewing tends to be easier.

Tanzania Specialists

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Tanzania.
Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.

Call: 01473 599084