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Destinations | Africa | Tanzania | Ngorongoro | Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Properties

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Game Drives Around the Crater, Interpretive Nature Walks, Local Culture, Ndutu and Eyasi Lake Visits & Olduvai Gorge

Experience thrilling daily game drives in closed Land Rovers with pop up roofs into the crater (half day and full day). Driving within the Serengeti is an otional extra, but a photographer's dream. Game and bird viewing opportunities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are exceptional. You may request the sole use of a Land Rover for game viewing, but this is at your own expense. Guided walking safaris follow a dramatic route, skirting the rim of the crater and are an optional extra. Guests are invited to visit a Maasai cultural village, situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In the village, guests are free to walk around, browse through the local handicrafts or watch Maasai dancing. You can visit beautiful lakes Ndutu and Eyasi, and the impressive Empakaai Crater. You can also enjoy deliciously cool sundowners with exceptional views, as well as private bush breakfasts and lunches. All of these activities are optional extras. Excursions to the volcanic ash dune of "Shifting Sands" near Olduvai are a highlight. It is also possible to explore the roots of mankind on our half- or full-day excursions to the famous archeological site of Olduvai Gorge. Nearby Laetoli has revealed fossil footprints of animals and ancestral humans who walked the earth 3.6 million years ago. Olduvai Gorge, a 45-minute game drive away, has produced the finest quality and greatest abundance of paleo-anthropological information concerning the behaviour and physical structure of our earliest ancestors. Other activities at the lodge include croquet and boulle (French game similar to bowls), board games and a stunning collection of wildlife books, magazines and videos.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania


30 Maasai-Inspired Suites

Crater lodge consists of three adjacent, glamorous camps with 30 Maasai-inspired suites perched on stilts on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. From the outside, this unobtrusive lodge resembles a magical Maasai village, and was described by travel magazine, Discover Africa, as "Versailles meets Maasai in the game lodge at the edge of the world". Set in classic crescents, each stone and thatch suite has spectacular views of the crater from large glass windows in the bathroom, lounge and bedroom, yet is almost invisible from the crater floor. North and South Camp have 12 suites each, while intimate Tree Camp has six suites. All have an en suite bathroom and chandelier-lit bath-tub and shower. Inspired decor and eclectic design make these romantic camps ideal for celebrating a special occasion. Each sumptuous suite is discreetly tended by a personal butler, who will bring you tea in bed, stoke your fireplace and draw your bath, scattering the water with rose petals, ready for your enjoyment. Askaris (Maasai warrior security guards) accompany you to and from your room at night. The sumptuous colonial-style interiors combine silver, gold and ruby colours under banana-leaf ceilings and grass roofs. Crystal chandeliers hang above large gilt mirrors reflecting carved Zanzibar wall panelling decorated with goldleaf. Huge bowls filled with long-stemmed red roses complement the Persian carpets and velvet bedspreads. Antiques, plump cushions, voluptuous raw silk curtains and tall, leather-backed chairs complete the picture. This opulent design blends with African art elements in unexpected harmony.

Each of the exclusive camps operates independently. They each have a central living area and viewing decks overlooking the awesome crater. Ancient African nights are evoked by the large fire bowls that flank the entrance to each of the living and dining areas. There is a communal curio shop and gallery. African artefacts and clothing are on sale at the gallery/Maasai Market. When larger groups require joint activities/meals, this can be handled with ease in North and South Camps. When larger groups require joint activities/meals, this can be handled with ease in North and South Camp. Pan-African cuisine is served in our outdoor dining area or dining room, where evening log fires flicker between silver screens. The domed dining room, with its welcoming fireplace, crystal, silver and massive wooden platters, treat ever meal as a special occasion. Truly food for the soul, this melange of traditional African recipes is enhanced by Africa's famous spices - saffron, vanilla, cumin and nutmeg.
June - October; December - March

The best months for travelling to Tanzania are June through the end of October and then December through the end of March. July, August and September, are the busiest times along with the Christmas holidays as this is when school holidays fall. If you prefer to travel when the game is still superb but it is not so busy then the following months are recommended: June, September, October, November, February, March, April and May.
Local Info

About 42,000 Maasai pastoralists inhabit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, tending their herds of cattle, sheep and goats, and living in peaceful co-existence with the wildlife. Grazing of livestock on the Crater floor is not permitted except under exceptional circumstances. Visits to local Maasai villages are recommended, thus increasing the local revenue received through tourism. The lodge purchases a significant portion of its goods and services from the Maasai community. Local people have had the opportunity to learn new skills such as carving, building, weaving and ironmongery from professionals at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Employment opportunities have also been provided. Our guests play a critical role in helping us realise our dream and our vision. You are our future ambassadors, the meeting place between Africa and the world. You are the engine that drives our dream of advancing the green and wild frontiers of the oldest continent on earth, of helping us to permanently re-establish our planet's endangered species and wild places.
Press & Media

"With its innovative architecture, carefully selected fittings, world-class cuisine and mellow ambience, it can reasonably claim to set the standard by which its peers in East Africa will be judged for years to come."
- Phillip Briggs, (author of the "Bradt Guide to Tanzania") in Discover Africa magazine

"Outside (the bungalows), beautifully hand-carved wooden doors, the whole thing like a Hollywood set for the chief's hut in a movie; inside, weird 'Phantom of the Opera' excess: a king-sized bed with a vast carved headboard, so you can lie in bed and look out over the crater..."
- New York Times

"The natural drama of the two-million-year-old, 126-square mile Ngorongoro Crater has at last met its match in the rustic extravagance of this, the newest lodge to perch on its rim. The sheer gall of blending chandeliers, raw silk drapes and teak panelling with vaulted Maasai huts banishes any hint of safari clich and sets the scene for a mode of travel not seen since the Windsors swept through Africa, entire households in tow. Sophistication and First World service belie the remote location."
- Conde Nast Traveler

Conde Nast – Top New Hotel of the World (1998)
Crater is a Designated World Heritage Site
High on the south-western rim stands Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, commanding views of this natural wonder that often moves onlookers to reverential awe. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is perched on the edge of the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania.
The Lodge lies within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which covers more than 8,000 square kilometres (3,100 square miles) of pristine African wilderness. Inspired in design by the Maasai mud-and-stick manyatta (homestead), Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is without doubt one of the most architecturally spectacular safari lodges in Africa. Today Ngorongoro's caldera shelters the most beautiful wildlife haven left on earth. Towering euphorbias cling to the crater walls and on the floor, Fever and Fig tree forests give shade to an awe-inspiring array of creatures. Whilst barely visible, the lodge and its 30 private cottages command dazzling views of the crater floor some 500 meters below, introducing a new level of sophistication to Tanzania in its accommodation and service standards. Some of Africa's last black rhino are protected within its rim, black-maned lions stalk the grasslands, flamingos crowd the soda lakes and giant-tusked elephants wander the forests. Authoritative African guide book writer, Philip Briggs, wrote that the Crater Lodge was a contender for the accolade of "the finest safari lodge in Afric" - weighty praise indeed.

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