With the shiny glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro and the treacherous peaks of dormant volcano Mount Meru keeping watch, Hatari is a unique lodge where Hollywood history, funky retro design and a parade of colourful creatures – from black-and-white colobus monkeys to shocking-pink flamingos – all come together.
Hatari is set on the northern border of Tanzania’s Arusha National Park, an area akin to a ‘little Serengeti’: Ngurdoto Crater is smaller than its bigger cousin Ngorongoro but nearly as legendary. The Momella Lakes are home to water fowls and lazy hippos, and are short walk from your doorstep, and, of course, there are endless plains for spectacular game viewing.
The lodge itself was once home to the cast and crew of the biggest-grossing movie of 1962, Hatari!, which starred John Wayne as a hapless animal wrangler. The elephants in the movie inspired Henry Mancini’s famous Baby Elephant Walk composition, and today, guests can also be amused by the playful antics of the baby ellies and their protective mothers at Hatari’s private jetty that runs to a popular watering hole. Hatari’s nine rooms have been stylishly inspired by the ‘Op Art’ designs of the 1950s and 1960s, with many components designed and custom-made in Tanzania to support various co-operatives and charity initiatives.