Tanzania is waiting to proudly show you the best it has to offer.
BURUDIKA MANYARA LODGE
Burudika Manyara Lodge is the realisation of a shared dream, years in the making. Its creators and custodians, Alice and Erastus, have brought their social entrepreneurship, passion, experience, expertise and spirit together to make this wonderful haven available to the world as a tribute to their country; its wildlife and its people.
Erastus was born into a farming family, in Gulumungu village, Mwanza region, Tanzania. His drive to become an advocate for his homeland, in which ever capacity he could, came at an early age and steered the direction of his education. He has a MSc in Rural Environmental Planning from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK), a BSc in Wildlife Ecology from University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and a Diploma in Wildlife Management from College of Wildlife Management Mweka (Tanzania).
Having completed his National Service in 1986, Erastus was employed by TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks) as a park cadet, and so his journey in wildlife conservation got underway. Rising through the organisation he took up the role as Head of Tourism and then became the Chief Park Warden for Arusha, Tarangire and Kilimanjaro National Parks. Key to all his time at TANAPA was the duty to protect wildlife, the environment, tourists and to ensure that communities around the parks also benefitted financially from tourism revenue.
Having spent many years in Europe, Alice had returned to Tanzania to fulfil her dream of building a tourist lodge among the beautiful wildlife parks of her home country, so her search began. It wasn’t long before Alice fell in love with the stunning view of the Rift Valley Escarpment and peaceful environment around Lake Manyara. She decided then and there that it was the place was where she was going to build her lodge. On her drive back from the site, Alice passed through the local Maasai village of Esilalei. She noticed the community, very similar to the one she grew up in, was stricken by drought and poverty. Nestled among some of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa, these people were struggling to get health care, education, and food. It came to Alice then that she would use the development of her business to help the development of the community around it.
When Erastus and Alice met, not only did they share an adoration for each other, but a passion for wildlife and a dream to share this with others, as ethically and as authentically as possible. So began their meticulous search for the perfect site. Many months passed, nowhere seemed quite right, then one day, going off the beaten track, they got lost and ended up under a magnificent Baobab tree. They realised this was it, they had found exactly what they had been searching for. Here, under the tree, overlooking Lake Manyara and the rift valley, Burudika would be born! (The name ‘Burudika’, which means ‘enjoy’, came about during an impromptu picnic under the Baobab tree when Alice and some of her friends thought it was the most apt for the future resort – a place for guests to just ‘enjoy’ being alive amongst the stunning wildlife all around them.)
But, despite Alice and Erastus knowing this was the only place for them, they would still have to convince the Maasai to part with this land. What swayed the Maasai was the promise that Alice and Erastus made, that they would provide funds from the development of Burudika, to their school. And so, the Wema (which means ‘kindness’) Fund was born. This would aid projects focused on Maasai children in Esilalei Primary School, youths and women located only kilometres from the site of Burudika. (The fund is now expanding its vision from the relationship between tourism and the local Maasai community, to spread philanthropic values and global empathy beyond those who enter Tanzanian borders.) Erastus continued his work with TANAPA whilst Alice oversaw the construction of Burudika. In 2015 Burudika Manyara Lodge was officially opened. Then in 2017 Erastus couldn’t resist it any longer, the pull was too strong, and he too followed his passion and joined Alice in running the business, making both their dreams a beautiful reality that together, they can truly enjoy!
NB Burudika Classroom Connection Programmes hope to give the world’s future generations awareness of each other and the different lives they live. Our current avenues of support are centred at increasing awareness of health, education, entrepreneurship, environmental conservation projects among the Maasai Communities through ‘voluntourism’ and cultural excursions for tourists.
" Exclusivity, romance and Maasai culture in the heart of the untamed African bush. I had such a great stay at Burudika. I really enjoyed my self it was really an expression of the magical union of the power of Maasai culture, wildlife, romance and exclusivity. "Via Twitter
" I had a great relaxing time at Burudika Manyara Lodge, I really enjoyed my morning guidded walk & had a great meal in the resturant. "Via Safari Bookings
" Our recent visit Burudika Lodge was like a dream come true! The staff were warm, welcoming and attentive, the lodge and rooms beautifully appointed and super-comfortable - and then, of course, the setting: magnificent vistas all around, and a remarkable tranquility that soothes and restores the soul. "Via TripAdvisor