Staying at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Northern Tanzania
Hot off the press from northern Taznania
“The game lodge at the top of the world.” Ngorongoro Crater Lodge shines like an African palace on the edge of the crater rim.
Maasai meets Versailles at this atypical safari lodge at the top of the world. Its one-of-a-kind location on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater amazes with an equally unique design style. Daringly glamorous, the award-winning lodge (fit for a king and queen) stands out from the other properties on a northern Tanzania itinerary. Go ahead and get lost in the fanciful setting where the wild roam. The crater floor is a bowl of plenty, famous for black rhinos, black-maned lions and elephants with giant tusks.
Check out my video tours of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Africa’s most lavish accommodation
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is made up of 3 different camps with a total of 30 opulent suites. The North and South Camp are identical to one another, while the Tree Camp is more intimate with just 6 suites instead of 12. The lodge determines which camp each guest or group stays at depending on availability, occasion and other personal preferences. I stayed in the South Camp during my two-night stay.
Clusters of stilted rooms with banana-leaf domes and stone chimneys dot the landscape of the camps. Inside, they are as romantic and opulent as ever. Leather armchairs, hand-carved doors, crystal chandeliers, gilt mirrors and silk drapes welcome you. Additionally, there is a small sitting room with a fireplace and the most gorgeous en-suite bathroom. Smack dab in the middle of it is a freestanding tub with roses and candles to swoon. Fittingly nearby, is a circular open shower that is big enough for two. Last but certainly not least, floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the misty views over the crater below, along with a private deck.
African palace or safari lodge? It’s up for debate.
The ornate architecture and palace-like decor extends into the main living area. Steps lead to a grand viewing deck where sundowner evenings take place. Performances from the Maasai people unfold on the grassy lawn below. Like a box seat in an opera house, the views over the world’s largest intact caldera are sweeping while you experience the rhythms of their tribe. It is also the perfect segway to dinner.
Throne chairs, more chandeliers, fireplaces and bursts of color vie for attention in the dining room. The dramatic contrasts of the interior are met with a varied menu that changes every night. For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to save space for the dessert trolley that comes around after the main course.
To round off the amenities, there is also an extravagant sitting room and bar, wine cellar and secret champagne sundowner spot to celebrate a special occasion. The level of service is fit for royalty between your private butler and the general staff.
Long-lasting game drives on the crater floor
The main activity at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge are games drives in the crater itself. They are typically 5-6 hours long and start early in the morning when the animals are most active. The crater floor is a vast open space that makes wildlife viewing here very easy. In fact, the highest density of big game in Africa is protected within its rim. Over the course of two days, we saw animals everywhere. A few of the highlights included countless number of wildebeest and zebra, as well as two black rhinos, large tusker elephants, hippos out of the water and a big male lion with battle scars.
However, due to the park’s popularity, future guests should know that the crater gets very busy. Visiting during the low season (March-May) offers a more private safari experience with less of the crowds.
What’s included in your stay?
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is an all-inclusive safari package. Room rates start from $1,115 USD per person per night and includes:
- Private butler
- All meals and drinks (excluding premium brands)
- Laundry and WiFi
- Daily game drive on crater floor (walking safaris available at an additional cost)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge experience in summary
Occupying the prime position on the crater rim, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offers magnificent views from every room in a setting that can only be described as transcendent. Rich wildlife experiences are coupled with sundowner surprises, bubble baths drawn by your butler and fine cuisine. This may just be the most luxurious and romantic safari lodge in all of Africa. Honeymooners and the safari romantics of the world should definitely stay here.
My 12-day Tanzania itinerary was set up by Roar Africa; my go-to African travel specialist. Planning a trip to Africa can be a daunting task, which is why I recommend going through an agent. I can’t begin to express how well-organized my trip was thanks to their team.