The lodge was created by a local farmer and a chef who saw potential for a simple and friendly guesthouse in Karatu. They approached the government for a loan and their application was approved. Soon after this 32-room lodge, close to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, was built. The lodge has strong community links and some of the profits go towards helping the local community. All of the staff are originally from the Ethiopian Highlands (they belong to the Iraqw tribe), but have been living in Karatu for some time. When we last visited, it was very clear that the staff are very proud of the lodge and the level of community involvement.
Although it is in the middle of a busy town, Bougainvillea Safari Lodge is set back off the main road – and doesn’t feel at all noisy or crowded. The bungalows are comfortable and spotlessly clean, and the staff are charming. This is a good choice for families and those on a budget.