Rhotia Valley Lodge was an unexpected outlier during our nine day safari through Tanzania. I initially thought it was one of those lodges the safari guides throw in the itinerary mix just to break up the distances between Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. I was wrong. As we drove on the bumpy dirt road through the rolling hills in our 4×4 jeep, it was clear Rhotia Valley Lodge would become a highlight. For a few minutes I couldn’t tell the difference between the landscape of this rural African farm located in Karatu and a picturesque Tuscan village. In that moment, I convinced myself that quitting my job to run an eco friendly lodge in East Africa is exactly what I should be doing with the rest of my life.
Giving back at Rhotia Valley Lodge
What differentiates Rhotia Valley Lodge is that profits from your stay directly impact the wellbeing of local children via contribution to the onsite Children’s Home. I have been to more than a few hotels across the globe where their website gave a spiel about donating funds to the local community. But it was certainly evident and more tangible at Rhotia Valley Lodge.
Upon settling in, we visited the orphanage located on the property, learned about their sustainable farming methods which fed the children. And then got to enjoy a game of soccer. (Okay, I didn’t play soccer but I photographed whilst my friends did 🙂 My toes were bloody and nail-less after descending Kilimanjaro). Nonetheless, I watched with pure enjoyment as the kids ran around the field under the glow of the setting Tanzanian sun. Of course they beat the visiting tourists by a huge margin.
Children’s Home at Rhotia Valley Lodge
We got back just in time to enjoy a few beers on the earthy deck and watch the purple sunset. One of the owners, a Dutch woman, greeted us with a warm smile. She sat with us and provided education about the local materials used to build the lodge. A hearty dinner was served in the intimate dining room. The three of us reminisced about the animals we saw on safari with our guide and driver. We retreated to our fully equipped tented chalet for a good night’s rest. Truly memorable.
For more information on Rhotia Valley Lodge and Children’s Home, please visit their website.
This post was not sponsored.