Amy Risley

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

  • Where:
  • Why:Part three of an epic African adventure
  • When:June 2014
  • Who:Me and my safari sister Erica
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Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Oh, and zebras.

Oh, and zebras.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge The bedroom. How much ooh-la-la can you handle?

The bedroom. How much ooh-la-la can you handle?

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge After a long day of game-driving, a magical butler person will have preempted your arrival back to the room by scattering rose petals and drawing you a bubble bath. I bet they'd even call you Mariah if you asked.

After a long day of game-driving, a magical butler person will have preempted your arrival back to the room by scattering rose petals and drawing you a bubble bath. I bet they'd even call you Mariah if you asked.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge A cozy chill zone complete with fireplace.

A cozy chill zone complete with fireplace.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Steps up to the main building.

Steps up to the main building.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge AndBeyond puts it best when they describe the design of the lodge as

AndBeyond puts it best when they describe the design of the lodge as "Versailles meets Massai".

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge The dining area.

The dining area.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Each meal is hearty, meaty and delicious.

Each meal is hearty, meaty and delicious.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Here's frick and frack looking out for a cheetah attack. Daily game drives into the crater to visit your 25,000 wild neighbors are the activity of choice. You'll see everything from wildebeest, highly endangered black rhinos, cheetah, lion, and flocks of thousands of flamingos!

Here's frick and frack looking out for a cheetah attack. Daily game drives into the crater to visit your 25,000 wild neighbors are the activity of choice. You'll see everything from wildebeest, highly endangered black rhinos, cheetah, lion, and flocks of thousands of flamingos!

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge A whole day can be spent tracking down the lion, as drivers radio about sightings from different edges of the crater. We were lucky enough to encounter a lazy pride who decided to bask in the shade of our jeeps.

A whole day can be spent tracking down the lion, as drivers radio about sightings from different edges of the crater. We were lucky enough to encounter a lazy pride who decided to bask in the shade of our jeeps.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge She just wasn't feeling photogenic.

She just wasn't feeling photogenic.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge What...yes...obviously I'm drinking a glass of red and cruising past elephants.

What...yes...obviously I'm drinking a glass of red and cruising past elephants.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Safety first. Safety second. Seriously guys, safety.  On our last night a kajillion ton elephant decided to mosey up and graze on the trees directly outside of our door. Incredible. (Any time you need to walk the grounds at night you'll be escorted by a guide.)

Safety first. Safety second. Seriously guys, safety. On our last night a kajillion ton elephant decided to mosey up and graze on the trees directly outside of our door. Incredible. (Any time you need to walk the grounds at night you'll be escorted by a guide.)

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge This is why you splurge on the luxe safari - gourmet snacks and wine in the back of the jeep!

This is why you splurge on the luxe safari - gourmet snacks and wine in the back of the jeep!

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge The lovely lineup of stilted banana thatch suites, each facing epic views of the crater.

The lovely lineup of stilted banana thatch suites, each facing epic views of the crater.

Highs & Lows

  • Everything about Ngorongoro is spectacular and magical. It's the ultimate luxury safari experience for those who prefer the comfort of a lush suite over a tented camp after a long day of game driving.

  • AndBeyond owns a vast network of properties across Africa; from a private island in Zanzibar to tented camps in the Masai Mara. Going with a company like this to plan your trip is the best way to create a diverse, well organized experience. We tacked on a visit to their Lake Manyara Tree Lodge which was an equally fantastic experience.

  • The safari guides are incredibly accommodating and knowledgable.

  • It's a long way from home- not as easily accessible as some of the Kenya camps. My journey from the lodge to Los Angeles took 48 hours door to door (give or take a few airline delays)...but it was absolutely worth it.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 47/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Luxury Safari Lodge

  • Vibe

    An opulent romance-meets-adventure safari fantasy.

  • Location

    Dramatically perched on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, one of the most famous African landscapes which is home to 16 endangered black rhino, over 70 lion, countless buffalo, zebras, flamingos...the gang's all here.

  • Rooms

    30 stilted suites fit for royalty; full of antiques, beaded chandeliers, claw foot bathtubs, rain showers and floor to ceiling windows for the ultimate wow factor.

  • Music

    None.

  • Year Opened

    1997

  • Designed By

    Designer: Chris Browne Architect: Silvio Rech

  • Health & Wellness

    Not necessary!

  • Restaurant

    All food is included in their packages, and each day you're fed delicious, generous meals. Lunch is often served picnic-style in the crater.

  • Bar

    Drinks are included too! Most guests mingle together for pre-dinner cocktails in the grand main room of the lodge. And there's always a chilled bottle of vino in the back of the safari truck.

  • Minibar

    No traditional minibar, but they do provide you with a stash of yummy snacks and spirits next to the fireplace in your room.

  • Children

    Yes. Very family friendly.

  • Price

    The high-high-end prices you'd expect for a once in a lifetime experience.

Visit a nearby Massai Village

Visit a nearby Massai Village

Loongoku Cultural Village, Ngorongoro, Arusha Region, Tanzania

Enjoy the extras

Enjoy the extras

Cultural Heritage Centre, Arusha, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

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