The Arusha Lodge Tanzania is situated at the northern edge of Arusha National Park – the long forgotten secret – in the heart of Tanzania. The park measures approximately 552 square kilometres, combining within its boundaries the vast variety of many other parks in northern Tanzania with crater, lakes, savannah, plains and Africa’s 4th highest mountain!
The Arusha Lodge Tanzania, a ‘luxury bush hotel’, consists of three buildings beautifully situated in acacia woodland allowing breathtaking views of the Momella meadow, rich with wildlife and at a close distance the majestic Kilimanjaro. The lodge offers nine comfortably furnished rooms, each with an open fireplace and a spacious bathroom. Every room has been lovingly furnished and decorated in a modern retro style, paying tribute to the 60’s and 70’s – the era of ‘Hatari’! For Jörg, Marlies and Donyo Gabriel it is a dream come true – or simply home! By combining their professional background and unique talents, the Gabriel’s have diligently restored the Arusha Lodge Tanzania to its legendary glory. They have created a unique and sophisticated resort in which every room has been individually designed and furnished to reflect the distinct style and history of Hatari. The owners have combined the idyllic setting with the rich history of the place and their own ecological awareness to create a unique atmosphere that is sure to enthrall every safari devotee.
At the Arusha Lodge Tanzania, the oldest building serves as a large central living and dining room where you find a comfortable relaxation and dining area. Sitting around the open fireplace, which Krüger and Mallory enjoyed so much, we entertain travelers with inside information on the flora, fauna and history of Arusha National Park.
You can enjoy the freshly prepared dishes of international modern cuisine which are served here at the Arusha Lodge Tanzania. There is a long bar, which can be accessed from both inside and out, as well as a small, but resourceful library. The breakfast terrace, bordered by sweet smelling acacias, offers impressive views of Mt. Meru and Kilimanjaro.
Directly below the terrace lies the Momella clearing, which can be reached via a boardwalk to the viewing platform which offers the opportunity to watch the wild animals at close range, and to enjoy classic sundowners, with Kilimanjaro on the background.
Buffalos and waterbuck feed here regularly and warthogs can be seen digging the ground or mowing the lawn. Water birds enjoy the swampy areas and numerous giraffes including the rare reticulated giraffes feed on the trees surrounding the Arusha Lodge Tanzania. The bush babies are also a common sight at night throughout the year and there is a small lake within walking distance, called Silver Lake, where Hippos can be spotted.
The Hatari Forest Garden is a project that operates according to the principles of permaculture developing self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature. It is about protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless labor; looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single project system. Permaculture enhances systems which are self sustainable. The Hatari Forest Garden also promote reforestation which has a positive impact on the exhaustive cultivation due to monoculture. The Hatari Forest Garden Project is a pilot project at Hatari Lodge with the aim of self supply to Hatari Lodge and promoting trade with local products.
Recently, we have laid out a kitchen garden next to the Hatari lounge. Since local bee species started to fly around the lodge area to pollinate our fruit trees and to produce our Hatari Honey. A trout pond is in the works.
The kitchen itself has a new bread oven. Here, we train our staff in the traditional baking of local pastries and international specialities.
Our kitchen is orientated towards a crossover of modern and traditional cooking techniques as well as the experience and knowledge of the Tanzanian kitchen. Our barbeque gives our dishes a mediterranean and arabian flavor. We focus on a simple and organic approach. To enhance the well-being of our guests we integrate the healing abilities of local plants and herbs into our menu.
The once idyllic environment of Tanzania is actually threatened by many dangerous impacts. Seemingly blessed with an endless supply of natural treasures, it is plundered, destroyed and neglected. Uncontrolled cutting of timber, desertification, overgrazing and agricultural monocultures are caused by humans. An invasive inquiry for ivory for the Asian market targets the extinction of Tanzania’s last elephants. Due to the increase of human population and domestic animals in the Maasai Steppe, more and more conflicts between the Maasai and lions occur, which often end in the lions’ death.
The MomellaFoundation runs different conservation projects in the Momella region and the Maasai Steppe. The Momella Conservancy Project endeavours to save the highly endangered Ngare Nanyuki (=red river) ecosystem with its swamps, rainforest, steppe and lakes which is not only essential for the typical and unique Flora and Fauna, but also as the main water resource – for Arusha and many other densely populated areas. The water that comes from Mt. Meru and collects at the Momella Lakes and swamps has a threatened lifeline. One of Tanzania’s most beautiful regions, with its enormous water supply providing habitat for the flora and fauna and hosting Hatari Lodge should have high tourism potential in addition to having fertile, arable lands. That's why we focus on a declaration of the region as Conservancy Area.
The Shu'mata Educational Program acts in the Maasai Steppe where our Shu'mata camp is situated. Together with international partners we employ Maasai warriors as Lion Guardians to record and to save the highly endangered migration corridors of the lions in the Maasai Steppe. In our Sparkling Elephant Project together with 750 children from the Sinya Boarding School we set up a life-size elephant made of iron and glass beads near the village of Sinya in order to create awareness of the dramatic decline of the elephant population throughout Africa in general and especially in the Maasai Steppe. Accompanied by various lectures we educate the future decision makers of Tanzania with emerging conservation issues.
They fulfilled their dream of creating a luxury safari experience for travellers worldwide, but soon realized that while they and their clients enjoyed the idyllic and stunning Mt Meru and Kilimanjaro regions, the local population suffered from a lack of basic infrastructure, as well as insufficient educational and vocational training opportunities.
That is why the Gabriels created the MomellaFoundation – in order to give back ! _ to the community which in turn provides the source of their passion, love and livelihood. A small child of the village Momella died because of a protracted pneumonia. The parents were not familiar with the symptoms of the disease and we decided to do educational work. Donyo, the son of Marlies and Joerg, had to go to school. This was quite difficult to organize in the midst of the bush. A private teacher was hired and more and more children of the village joined the class on the property of Hatari Lodge. The prototype of the Watoto Momella Preschool was born. Together with the ambitious support of the Rotary Club Bruchhausen-Vilsen we decided to build the Watoto Momella Preschool in the village of Momella. The Mama Momella fashion project developed in quite a similar way. First we requested for some women from the village to do embroidery work on our beddings for the Shu'mata Camp. We found two mamas from our staff.
Thereupon more and more women arrived on the property of Hatari Lodge requesting for an opportunity to join the circle of embroiders. Among them were some prostitutes whom we could offer another life through joining the mamas. The women became more self – confident and Mama Momella became a powerful voice in the village. The continuous growth of each of the single projects finally built the basis of the MomellaFoundation in 2008.
The MomellaFoundation is a non-profit organization seeking to support the region through various creative programs. Under its umbrella the projects focus on educational development, empowerment of women, sustainable agronomy and conservation. The projects are set up to develop the region and improve local living conditions. The principal goal is awareness through education and comfort through individual income. Marlies and Jörg cooperate closely with a selected Momella village council, project specific consultants and the project’s partners onsite and abroad on the organization and management of the Foundation. Long-term experience in many countries show that nature and environmental protection are only possible when the region’s population are willing to get involved and are not forced into consent. Therefore, the Momella population has to be involved in all projects right from the start, and must realise their own personal advantages in doing so.
"Momella" means "shine" or "sparkle" of the moon or the sun in the local Maasai language. The MomellaFoundation aims to contribute towards the positive development of the region to enable it to consciously and proudly carry the name Momella.
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