Guests can be forgiven for losing track of which era, or even continent, they are experiencing at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Nowhere else on earth can you wake up among all the trappings of an elegant baroque chateau – brocade sofas, gilt mirrors, beaded chandeliers and panelled walls – and be instantly transported into one of the most famous African landscapes with just one glance out the window of the lodge.
In this place of dramatic contrasts, where Versailles meets Maasai, anything is possible and the natural luxury of the breathtakingly beautiful setting ensures the dramatic interior of your suite blends perfectly with its stilted thatch architecture.
Everything is chosen to delight the imagination and enhance the spectacular views of the magnificent surroundings. An eclectic blend of elegant teak panelling, Victorian furnishings and whimsical African touches creates a sumptuous atmosphere that is as elegant and unique as the Crater itself. Leather chairs recline in front of a lit fireplace and raw silk curtains screen a private veranda. Even the gigantic bathtub set under its hand-beaded chandelier and the massive round shower offer tantalising glimpses of the world’s most famous caldera.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has been called the game lodge at the top of the world and, between the natural riches of the Crater spread out at its feet and the amazing architecture, it’s easy to believe that you have entered a realm of pure fantasy. With ever-changing views as mists swirl and clouds scurry over the huge wildlife cauldron below, the location is truly breathtaking. Buffalo and zebra wandering the grounds and tall Maasai warriors in traditional dress escorting guests to their rooms contribute to an atmosphere of African mystique and romance.
Divided into three camps, 30 stilted suites with banana leaf ceilings and grass roofs provide an intimate and exclusive Crater experience. Each camp has its own sitting and dining areas, with private butlers to provide warm, personal service to each guest. Brocade sofas and Persian rugs invite guests to re-live the day’s experiences around a roaring fire. The domed dining room, where sparkling silver and crystal vie for attention with the huge windows and awe-inspiring views, ensures that the setting, as well as the meal, is one you will never forget.
Daily Game Drives
Due to the time that it takes to descent to the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, only one daily game drive is conducted at this Lodge. Guests leave in the early morning in closed safari vehicles with pop-up roofs, accompanied by an expert ranger. A scenic drive to the Crater floor allows plenty of time to admire the spectacular views. The road descends through the lush forests that blanket the rim and upper slopes of the Crater, where buffalo and elephant may be spotted. Once inside the Crater, game drives explore the grassy Crater floor, the haunting fever tree forest, the banks of Lake Magadi, as well as the marshes that surround it. Guests enjoy a picnic lunch, surrounded by the vast herds of buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and gazelle. Thanks to the incredible density of wildlife in the Crater, this is one of the few game drives where guests can reasonably expect to see all the members of the Big Five in a single drive.
Optional Extras – Please contact us to tailor your perfect stay.
Crater Floor Banquet
After your scenic descent into the Ngorongoro Crater, savour a deluxe hot bush breakfast or lunch served in breathtaking surroundings at a private picnic spot on the Crater floor. Personalised butler service combines with breathtaking surroundings in the midst of the wildlife action.
Sundowners at Seneto View Point
Indulge in delicious cocktails and snacks as the sun sinks below the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Served at the exceptional Seneto viewpoint, sip an icy cocktail and enjoy the play of colours over the Ngorongoro Crater.
Maasai Guard of Honour
This is an extremely popular activity for groups of guests. Guests are greeted on the camp terrace by two lines of almost 200 Maasai warriors wearing traditional dress and carrying flaming torches. Mesmerising chanting and athletic traditional dances, in which guests are encouraged to participate, to round off the evening.
Environment and Local Community
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is an extensive highland area along the eastern arm of the Rift Valley, with the world-renowned Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. It is not a national park in the strict sense of the word, but the NCA was established to conserve wildlife and other natural resources. It also safeguards the interests of indigenous people and promotes tourism. Thus, guests on safari have the unique experience of seeing Maasai herdsmen whose cattle graze side by side with the tremendous variety of wildlife found in the area.
Unmatched for its natural variety, there are few places on earth where such a tremendous diversity of landscapes exist inside a region this size. Apart from its wildlife riches, the NCA is also of great archaeological importance, with the remains of some of mankind’s earliest ancestors discovered in the area.
The largest intact caldera in the world, the Ngorongoro Crater shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens anywhere. A permanent population of more than 30 000 animals inhabit a mere 260 km² (100 square miles) in the 600 m (2 000 ft) deep crater, making this one of the few places in Africa where guests stand a great chance of seeing the entire Big Five in the course of a single game drive.
An estimated 25 000 mammals are resident in the Crater, including large herds of resident wildebeest, 16 highly endangered black rhino and around 70 lions. Nomadic cheetah move in and out of the area and leopard are most often encountered in the Lerai Forest. Both golden and black-backed jackal are abundant, while the normally shy and nocturnal serval are frequently spotted during daylight hours. Vast numbers of buffalo, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle also occur. Large numbers of both lion and spotted hyena are also resident in the Crater.
Our Opinion on Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is utterly breathtaking. The views are spectacular and the accommodation is fit for Kings and Queens. Every aspect of the Camp has been beautifully though out and executed to perfection. Each room has antiques, panelling and an assortment of ‘treasures’ as well as a huge chandelier over the bathtub, which enjoys panoramic views out over the crater.
If budget allows this is the only place to stay in the Ngorongoro area.
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- Category5. Ultimate
- LocationNgorongoro (All), Ngorongoro Crater
- TagsNgorongoro Crater Lodge
- Guide PriceFrom: $1000 - $1550 pppn Fully Inclusive.
- ReservationsCall: 0044 (0)1227 753181 or Email: [email protected]