Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater, Northern Tanzania

At a Glance

  • Fabulous views over the Ngorongoro Crater

  • Stunning and opulent rooms

  • Watch the game grazing in front of your room

  • Sit and have dinner under the chandeliers in the dining room

  • Loo with the ultimate view

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Tanzania is a large country, with a varied climate. Generally, the long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high. June to October is the long dry season, and the short rains are in November and December, much lighter than the long rains. January and February are again dry (the short dry season) so this is another good time to visit.

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Insider's View

One of the best views from a loo in Tanzania!

Make a full day trip into the crater with a picnic lunch to really get the most out of this incredible natural phenomenon.

Share the garden with their resident herd of zebras!

Returning home after a game drive to find your Victorian bathtub full of bubbles, hundreds of rose petals strewn across the floor, champagne in a bucket and candles turning the gorgeous suite into a magical dream - totally unique. Beata and our butler Safari created night after night of surprises!

Take a late afternoon game drive into the crater; you'll avoid the usual rush of cars and it will feel like you have the crater all to yourself.

If you love bubble baths, The Ngorongoro crater lodges does them like no other!

Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Serengeti and northern Tanzania

Description

Occupying the prime position on the crater rim, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offers simply magnificent views of the crater floor and some of the most opulent and unique accommodation in Africa. The Crater Lodge has 30 suites split between three camps.

The Ngorongoro Crater is the remains of a once massive volcano, nearly three million years old, on the eastern border of the Serengeti National Park. Now collapsed and eroded to leave the world's largest unbroken caldera, it forms an extraordinarily fertile ‘bowl’ in the midst of rolling highlands, with permanent water sources and steep sides ensuring that the wildlife that thrives here has little reason to leave.

The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has 30 suites, divided between three adjacent camps: North and South Camps, comprising twelve suites each, and the more intimate Tree Camp, with six suites. Each camp has its own viewing deck, grand sitting room and dining room with their entrances dramatically illuminated at night by large fire bowls. The stone-built suites all include a private viewing deck, fireplace, spacious en suite bathroom - with free-standing, chandelier-lit bathtub - and are discreetly attended by a private butler. Their luxurious, colonial-style interiors are decorated with sumptuous fabrics, gilt-framed mirrors and carved Zanzibar wood panelling, and the floor-to-ceiling windows have spectacular views of the crater.

Activities include twice-daily game drives, crater picnics and sundowners, guided walks and Maasai cultural visits, as well as visits to the nearby Olduvai Gorge, made famous by the Leakeys’ archaeological discoveries in the 1940s and 50s. The lodge also offer in room massages.

The Crater comprises areas of grassland, swamps, lerai forest (small patches of forest made up of yellow-barked acacia and yellow fever trees), and Lake Makat, a central soda lake filled by the Munge river.

These habitats attract all kinds of wildlife to drink, wallow, graze or hide, and although the animals are free to move in and out of this contained environment, the rich volcanic soil, lush forests and spring-fed lakes on the crater floor incline both grazers and predators to remain.

Ngorongoro Crater is one of the last remaining areas in Tanzania where you are likely to see the endangered Black Rhino: a small population is thriving in this idyllic and protected environment, and it remains one of the few areas where they continue to breed in the wild.

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Accommodation

The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has a total of 30 suites split between three camps. North and South Camp have 12 suites and the spectacular Tree Camp has just six.

Each stilted suite is sumptuously furnished with panelled walls and floors made of Tanzanian hardwoods, rich raw silk curtains, hand-beaded chandeliers, gilt mirrors, a fireplace and a butler’s lobby. The en-suite bathrooms are all furnished with fresh red roses beside a chandelier-lit bathtub.The suites all feature decks with magnificent views of the Crater floor.

Suite

All suites have glamerous and opulent interiors with en-suite chandelier-lit bathrooms.

Childcare

Although there are no specific child care facilities, children over five years old are welcome.

Safari drives from here are unusually simple and rewarding without a huge drive required, and accommodation is private enough for childish antics to feel relatively guilt-free. Babysitting, most necessary for enjoyment of all, is also available, either during the evening or daytime, by arrangement.

Services

Every suite is serviced by a butler who is only a radio call away and will make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible. The butler will arrange everything, from lighting your fire in the evening to organising a bush picnic on a game drive - no request is too much trouble.

Facilities

Each camp has its own sitting and dining room, an outdoor dining area and viewing decks. The sitting rooms have woven banana bark ceilings and are adorned with hand-beaded chandeliers, carved and gilded wall plaques, brocade sofas, Persian carpets, candles and bowls of red roses. The domed dining room with its welcoming fireplace, crystal, silver and massive wooden platters is the perfect place to enjoy fine cuisine.

Activities

Game drives are limited to just one safari into the Crater each day, either as a morning or afternoon game drive and regulations insist that vehicles must be closed-sided, but they do have pop-up roofs. This is a frustratingly short safari window, but does ensure a more enjoyable, less crowded experience. The Lodge also offers guided walks on the crater rim which is the domain of the Maasai pastoralists, and a stunning area of natural beauty to explore. The lodge also offers in room massages.

Reviews

4

Rose Gemmell (Staff)

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has to be one of the most iconic lodges in Africa and is situated in a prime position on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. The view from the rooms alone is enough to convince you to never leave and the lodge is extravagantly luxurious with decadent chandeliers and silk bedspreads.

I was staying in Tree Lodge tucked away in the trees just down from the north and south camps. The rooms are beautifully designed all to make the most of the views and at night, you can hear the buffalo and elephant as they make their way up the side of the crater in search of fresh grass. The main area looks out over the crater and you can enjoy lunch on the balcony and soak in the breathtaking view.

Top tip: to avoid the main crowds, head to the crater floor in the late afternoon. We were the last car in and in the two and a half hours we were there, we only saw two other cars, a rare treat at Ngorongoro!

4

Anna Hearn (Staff)

Ridiculously decadent and more than a little bit quirky, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge occupies possibly one of the best positions of any lodge in Africa. Perched on the rim of the iconic Ngorongoro Crater, the lodge is split into two; North Camp and South Camp. Both are stunning; both offer incredible service and hospitality and game drives down into the crater to see the staggering wildlife within. The main lodges are designed along the lines of a Scottish hunting lodge with wood-panelled walls and rich velvet sofas; the dining room is bedecked with curlicued mirrors and vast vases of roses are dotted everywhere. The rooms are just as luxurious; double or twin beds under a canopy, wood panelled walls, and a fantastically designed bathroom complete with chandelier over the bath; return after a tiring days safari and find the bath run for you complete with scattered rose petals! The loos with a view are famous there is a view of the entire crater from your throne! Little touches like handmade Turkish delight and fudge can be found in your room. Its an amazingly designed, perfectly positioned little kitsch gem; and perfect for those wishing for uncompromising luxury with their Ngorongoro safari.

5

(Press)

This 30-suite lodge enjoys a remarkable setting on the edge of a volcanic crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The rooms are divided between three separate camps, with Maasai-inspired mud architecture offset by opulent interiors (velvet bedspreads, antiques, chandelier-lit bathrooms). The fresh cuisine is just wonderful, as is the service: personal butlers will attend to your every need, and the game rangers, trained by Johannesburg-based company &Beyond, are excellent.

X-factor The setting on the edge of the largest intact caldera in the world - also a wildlife haven that's home to around 30,000 animals - is incredible. The views are phenomenal and game drives down to the crater floor provide many a

thrilling wildlife encounter.

5

(Press)

Best for location - This 30-suite lodge enjoys a remarkable setting on the edge of a volcanic crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The rooms are divided between three separate camps, with Maasai-inspired mud architecture offset by opulent interiors (velvet bedspreads, antiques, chandelier-lit bathrooms). The fresh cuisine is just wonderful, as is the service: personal butlers will attend to your every need, and the game rangers, trained by Johannesburg-based company &Beyond, are excellent.

X-factor The setting on the edge of the largest intact caldera in the world - also a wildlife haven that's home to around 30,000 animals - is incredible. The views are phenomenal and game drives down to the crater floor provide many a

thrilling wildlife encounter.

5

Louisa Verney (Staff)

NCL’s style is often described as ‘Maasai meets Versailles’ but I would add to that ‘Middle Earth meets Versace’ and ‘bush meets Tudor mansion’. It is eclectic to say the least!

Your huge suite combines an exterior resembling a termite mound with wood-panelled walls, a four-poster bed, silky bedspread, roll-top bath and incredible views of ‘the’ crater. There’s even a view from the loo.

In the dining room you’ll find chandeliers and high-backed chairs but the vibe is very much relaxed as you are, after all, on safari, not at The Ritz.

Ngorongoro Crater has a well-deserved reputation for prolific game and we were certainly not disappointed, seeing lion, cheetah, elephants, hippos, zebra, giraffe (I could go on) all in one game drive. The only downer is that everyone knows about it so you’ll be sharing the experience with quite a lot of other people and it is quite a drive down into the crater but…………..there’s nowhere quite like it on earth.

Experiences

  • Empakai Crater Day Trip

    While a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater is an incredible experience, it is hard sometimes to escape the crowds there. Instead, explore on foot and discover the Empakai Crater, walking down the forested slopes to the lake shore below a birder's paradise.

  • Flamingo Watching on Lake Manyara

    Harder to predict than the Great Migration, the Flamingo migration is equally incredible to witness as they descend on Lake Manyara in their thousands. An amazing photo opportunity or simply the chance to witness these spectacular birds in their element.

  • Game drive in the Serengeti

    Explore the vast grasslands of the Serengeti with your safari guide on game drives in the early morning and late afternoon. This is one of the most famous national parks in Africa, and it's easy to see why.

  • Ngorongoro Crater game drive

    Explore the dormant volcanic caldera of the Ngorongoro Crater in a safari vehicle - this is a unique location for a game drive and the dramatic scenery really adds to the magic.

  • Search for the migration herds

    One of Africa's most iconic moments - the migration of two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles around the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem.

  • Walk to the Ngorongoro Crater Rim

    Head off on an adventurous walk to the Ngorongoro Crater Rim guided by a naturalist and rangers from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Vacation Ideas

  • Grand Tour of East Africa

    Laikipia, Maasai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire

    from $0 pp 8 nights

    • Impeccable and friendly service
    • Delicious breakfasts with a different flavour smoothie each morning
    • Iced water in cool boxes for every couple on the beach
  • Northern Tanzania in Style

    Nairobi, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti & Zanzibar

    from $16200 pp 12 nights

    • Impeccable and friendly service
    • Delicious breakfasts with a different flavour smoothie each morning
    • Iced water in cool boxes for every couple on the beach

Location & directions

Ngorongoro Crater, Northern Tanzania

Perched on the edge of the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. One of the Wonders of the World and a designated World Heritage Site. At the eastern edge of the Serengeti, and nearly three million years old, Ngorongoro is one of the most perfectly formed and certainly the most spectacular calderas on the planet.

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Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Serengeti and northern Tanzania

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