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Lodge Overview

Pink flamingos preen in the glittering soda waters of giant Lake Masek, and a panorama of umbrella trees form a canopy that spans along the verdant banks. Giraffe glide along the grassy hillside between herds of grazing zebra, and the occasional hippo bobs up to break the surface of the glassy lake for a breath of air. It is here, in this peacefully isolated and untrammeled wilderness, where you will find a lodge of the most unexpected delights. Welcome to the charming venue that is Lake Masek Tented Lodge!

Opening its doors to guests for the first time in December of 2009, Lake Masek Tented Lodge (a.k.a. Lake Masek Tented Camp) is a welcome addition to the South Serengeti where there are limited options for accommodations. Lake Masek Lodge is a 'permanent tented lodge' with only 20 luxury guest chalets, offering guests an intimate and authentic safari experience while enjoying the substantial facilities of a permanent lodge.

The guest tents, all facing the lake and spaced a comfortable distance apart, are joined together by a sandy pathway that leads to a main lodge building. The main lodge building houses the open air dining hall, bar, library and lounge underneath a vaulted ceiling. The living area spills outside the cover of the thatched roof onto a large game viewing terrace that offers a stunning view of Lake Masek.

The branches of a large acacia tree sprawl out in all directions for a central opening in the deck, a lace-like canopy of leaves diffusing afternoon sunlight into scattered shadows below. The lodge is eco-friendly as all power is supplied by solar electricity and water is harvested during the rainy season and collected for use. All products used are biodegraded to ensure that the environment is kept pristine.

Situated right on the banks of the beautiful Lake Masek, in the heart of the Ndutu and Masek woodlands, Lake Masek Lodge not only offers luxurious accommodation, but also serves as an excellent base for game-driving this especially beautiful region of the Serengeti ecosystem. The area boasts some of the most beautiful acacia woodland to be found on the fringe of the expansive Serengeti plains, and stunning visions of these quintessential African trees silhouetted against a vivid sunset or sunrise will surely linger in your memory for a long time to come.

The woodlands surrounding Lake Masek offer refuge to a number of resident animals all year long, however Lake Masek Lodge shines brightest in the heart of the green season; the plains are transformed to a verdant hue and wildflowers bloom in dense clusters as the great wildebeest and zebra migration flood the surrounding range. Many lucky guests have witnessed thousands of wildebeest taking the cold plunge to cross the glittering waters of Lake Masek and Lake Ndutu!

Guests find Lake Masek Tented Lodge to be the best of all worlds...offering the charm of a small tented venue, a down to earth and authentic safari atmosphere, luxurious facilities and a pristine lake-view setting... all in the heart of one of the most prolific game-viewing regions of the Serengeti, especially at its peak in the green season!


Location

Lake Masek Tented Lodge is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) just south of the Serengeti National Park. The Lodge is unobtrusively situated just a few hundred yards from Lake Masek and only a couple miles from its smaller neighbor Lake Ndutu. The Lodge offers an excellent base from which to explore an extensive range of habitats, including soda lakes, woodland, swamps, and grassland.

Lake Masek Lodge resides in the southern plains of the Serengeti ecosystem, although the immediate area around the Lodge and lakes is blanketed with an unexpected forest of flat-topped acacia trees. This acacia tree woodland sprawls out from both lakes for a few miles in each direction. The woodlands are surrounded on all sides by the famous short grass plains of the Southern Serengeti ecosystem, and Gol Kopjes is located approximately 1 hour away.

Naabi Hill is located about a 1 hour game drive directly north, while Kusini Tented Lodge is located about 1 hour to the west, and Olduvai Tented Lodge is located about 1 hour to the east. Ndutu Lodge is located just a couple miles away. Being located in the NCA is actually a benefit, as you do not need to adhere to the Serengeti Park rules (i.e. off-road driving and walks/hikes are permitted). You will need to hire a ranger to go on walks or hikes near the lake.

The Lodge offers a great base for game viewing in the green season and provides for a rewarding stopover in the dry season due to presence of resident animals in the acacia tree woodlands surrounding Lake Masek and Lake Ndutu.

During the green season, the majority of the wildebeest migration congregates on the southern short grass plains surrounding Lake Masek and Lake Ndutu. From December to May, the great herds are usually located in about a two hour game drive radius from the Lodge. They may be as far west as Kusini, north to Naabi, south past Matiti Hill (especially large concentrations of breeding females are usually found here) and east through Olduvai and into the Eastern Serengeti.


Accommodations

Lake Masek Tented Lodge consists of 20 tented chalets underneath an umbrella tree forest, linked to a main lodge structure that houses an open sided bar, restaurant and lounge. Each unit has its own private veranda which looks towards the lake, although the views are somewhat obstructed by the acacia tree woodland. The tented chalets are large, well furnished and come with either two twin beds or arranged as one queen size bed.

The four poster bed frames, thick timber ornately carved and inlayed with gold embellishments, are stained with a dark ebony finish and draped in sheer netting. The other wooden furnishings consist of two night stands and small writing desk and chairs. The bathrooms are en suite with a double vanity, flushing toilet, ceramic soaking tub and a hot water shower. There is also a hairdryer attached to the wall near the double vanity. The outdoor shower is located on an outside deck, surrounded by a privacy panel but open to the Serengeti sky. A wooden floor spans the entire chalet and wraps around a central wall that separates the living room from the bathroom, with open walkways on either side.

The main facilities consist of a superb open air bar, restaurant and lounge area which look out over the lake. The open air lounge offers an inviting atmosphere to indulge in a drink and socialize with other guests after a day out 'in the bush' on your private safari.


Access

A stay at Lake Masek Lodge is usually incorporated into our fly in and drive back itineraries after exploring the predator rich Central Serengeti and before continuing on to either Olduvai or the Ngorongoro Crater. Typically, you will be heading south down the long grass plains of the Serengeti before arriving at Naabi Hill. Everyone departing or entering the Serengeti proper must check in at the Naabi Hill park gate. The main road continues southeast towards Olduvai and after about a mile the road splits at an area called the triangle. You will take the southwestern split off the main road heading into the Ndutu Woodlands.


Food and Drink

The meals at Lake Masek Lodge are wonderful! The Lodge is a sister property to the Ngorongoro Farmhouse, which is about a 3 hour drive away in the fertile farmlands of the crater highlands. Fresh produce is trucked down to Lake Masek Lodge regularly from Farmhouse's garden producing superb dishes. Breakfast consists of a small buffet section with fresh fruit and breads, while separate orders are taken for eggs. A breakfast box can be arranged the night before for early morning safari enthusiasts.

A favorite aspect of the picnic boxes is the ability to "choose your own" fixings "to go" from a varied breakfast and lunch buffet consisting of cold-cuts, pulled turkey, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, cheeses, breads, crackers, condiments such as mustard or jelly, fruits, vegetables and juices; this allows guests to choose exactly what they want to bring along with them to eat for the day instead of a generic boxed meal.

Lunch and dinner are on rotating themes, sometimes buffet style and sometimes served a la carte on a fixed 3 to 4 course basis. You may either have a superb lunch at the Lodge or if you choose an all day game drive format with a boxed lunch (prepared yourself as described above). There is a large selection of very reasonably priced beer, wine and spirits available. House drinks such as soft drinks and beer are complimentary, but wine and spirits are at extra cost. A drink tab will be run for the duration of your stay and you can simply settle upon departure.


Special Features

  • Accommodations consist of 20 luxury tented chalets
  • The main lodge consists of an open air lounge, bar, library, dining room and outdoor terrace
  • Stunning views of Lake Masek
  • 24/7 electricity
  • Hairdryer in the room
  • Private game drives into the surrounding woodlands and the awe-inspiring Serengeti plains, including the serene GOL Kopjes
  • Picnic breakfasts and lunches (contents chosen by guest)
  • Walking safaris in the NCA
  • House beverages such as soft drinks and beer are complimentary