Isoitok Camp offers a real bush experience, devoid of modern distractions such as TV and internet. Instead you have the chance to immerse yourself in nature and spend time with local Maasai both in their boma and out on medicine walks, learning about their daily lives, customs and beliefs. The camp also offers full day game drives.
Accommodation is in two categories of tents, rustic and deluxe. Both have en-suite facilities with bucket showers, hand basins and flush toilets. There is plenty of storage space, though deluxe tents are slightly larger, and each has outdoor chairs and a table for private relaxation. Much of the furniture in the tents has been made by Chris, the British-born co-owner of Isoitok.
The social centre of the camp is the large tent with dining, lounge and bar areas. You can rest here during the hottest part of the day, as you chat to fellow guests and staff, enjoy the Rift Valley views and savour tasty food cooked over the fire. The camp can arrange special lunches in the bush and walks to scenic spots, where your efforts will be rewarded with a chilled sundowner drink.
The staff here are very friendly, and along with Chris, go out of their way to make your stay interesting and enjoyable. Isoitok is a welcome stop on Tanzania's northern safari circuit.
Open: Isoitok Camp is open all year.
Location: Isoitok Camp is in Esilalei, on Maasa community land. It is just 3kms off the main road and 21kms from Lake Manyara National Park. It is within easy driving distance of the Ngorongoro crater and Tarangire National Park.
Rooms: There are 10 tents in total, divided into 2 styles, rustic and deluxe. Rustic tents are 24 square metres divided into 3 zipped sections: the sleeping area, dressing area, and bathroom with a basin with running cold water, flush toilet and a bucket shower with hot water on request. Each tent has 2 twin beds, a luggage rack and wardrobe, floor cushions and woven floor mats, plus outdoor seating. Deluxe tents cover 35 square metres in total. The bedroom has a king size bed, or 2 twins with a 3rd bed if needed, bedside cabinets, 2 luggage racks, a wardrobe, writing desk and several chairs, an adjoining bathroom with bucket shower, flush toilet, hand basin with running cold water, towel rack and full length mirror. There are mats and rugs on the floor, and an outdoor seating area. Both types of tent have solar lighting and a daily supply of drinking water.
Activities: You can accompany a Maasai guide on a walk to learn about the medicinal properties of plants and trees in the bush (30-90 minutes), and visit a Maasai boma for a look at daily life. If you wish you may be able to witness a traditional goat sacrifice followed by a barbecue. The camp can arrange bush lunches and walks to special sundowner locations. Full day safaris in Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater are available, too.
Facilities: The main tent has both dining and lounge cum bar areas where you can rest between activities. Tea and coffee are available throughout the day. Pre and post dinner drinks can be taken by the camp fire. On some evenings there are song and dance performances by local Maasai.
Dining: Most meals are eaten communally in the dining tent.
Children: Children are welcome. There are age restrictions on certain activities. Deluxe tents can sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is no internet access.
"Fascinating place and the service/care very good. Home made biscuits and a cup of tea served in bed at dawn to start the day, with the morning chorus revving up outside. The meals alone was worth the visit, Chris could open it as restaurant the food was so good, chef excelled with a fabulous menu. We\'ve also never had a tree shower before. Oh yes, and this was the best picnic too."