Last weekend we went to Karatu. Just before Karatu, about 6 kilometers on the dirt road is an amazing place: Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge and Children’s Home.
Rhotia Valley is a combination of Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge on one hill and Rhotia Valley Children’s Home on the adjacent hill, two hills with one goal. Twenty percent of the revenues of the lodge are used directly for the running costs of the Children’s Home.
The lodge is built with indigenous hardwood and in traditional African style. It is in complete harmony with its surroundings. Yet, its spacious set up, personal and friendly service and its finishing touches, such as cozy sofas around the fireplace and warm decorative details, provide a perfectly balanced luxury. With only fifteen individual tents, Rhotia Valley has an intimate charm.
Each of the comfortable tented houses has its own veranda with a splendid view. The tents are basic, but have everything you need, including running water (hot and cold), shower and flush toilet. The beds are comfortable and you can open the end of the tent up to see our over the valley. It was chilly at night so it was a lovely surprise to find two hot-water bottles thoughtfully tucked into our beds when we returned after dinner.
No tent overlooks another and you feel as though no one else is around. Breakfast and tea were great and served in the restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere. The food is fresh from the garden that the staff maintains.
As the sun sets, hot coals of wood in steel pans are placed next to you when sitting at the bar or out on the deck to keep the evening chill away. If you wish you can visit the Children’s Home and hear the full story about this project. The 38 kids love to play football with you, or you interact with them by helping them with their homework for e.g.
This is a model for how tourism can play a part in development and as a guest we felt that our visit made a real difference. That combined with the solar power, bio gas system, their own waterhole and fresh vegetables from their own garden makes it a very sustainable lodge.