Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is perched on the edge of the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is a luxury Safari Lodge offering guests a top class safari experience in one of the world’s finest wildlife havens.
The lodge lies within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which covers more than 8,000 square kilometres (3,100 square miles) of pristine African wilderness.
Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera of the once-volcanic Ngorongoro shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth, ringed with towering walls and sheltering forests, grasslands, fresh springs and a large soda lake. Nearby Olduvai Gorge, a famous early archaeological site, is situated to the west of the Crater in the eastern Serengeti Plains. In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, 42,000 Maasai live and herd their livestock in harmony with Africa’s wild animals.
Inspired in design by the Maasai mud-and-stick homesteads, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is without doubt one of the most architecturally spectacular safari lodges in Africa. Three intimate camps comprise romantic suites perched on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater—a World Heritage site.
Steeped in romance, each mud and thatch suite is reminiscent of a bygone era, with the stilted, handcrafted structures adorned in graceful antiques, grand chandeliers and African treasures. The bedroom, sitting room and en suite bathroom boast floor-to-ceiling glass windows, overlooking the magnificent Crater below. Your personal butler will discreetly tend to your every need, bringing you tea in bed, stoking your fireplace and drawing your bath.
Each extraordinary camp operates independently with its own central living and dining areas and viewing decks. Early settler-style interiors combine silver, gold and ruby colours under banana-leaf ceilings and grass roofs. Beaded chandeliers hang above large gilt mirrors, and antiques, plump cushions, voluptuous raw silk curtains and leather-backed chairs blend harmoniously with African art elements.
The domed dining room, with its fireplace, crystal, silver and massive wooden platters, makes every meal a special occasion. Delicious Pan-African cuisine may also be enjoyed on the outdoor dining deck.
Highly trained expert safari guides will lead you on interpretive game-drives in closed 4×4 safari vehicles with pop-up roofs into the Crater (half or full day) and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, boasting exceptional game and bird viewing opportunities. Driving into the Serengeti is an optional extra, and highly recommended during the first four months of the year. You may also enjoy visits to local Maasai manyattas, lavish picnics on the Crater floor, excursions to Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands, as well as walks on the Crater rim.
The Ngorongoro Crater floor’s open grassland habitat supports resident herds of grazing herbivores and their attendant predators. Pillarwood, nuxia, mountain bersama, hagenia and ficus trees, all draped with lichens and epiphytic orchids, dominate cloud forest on the Crater rim. Lerai fever tree forest is home to elephant and nesting raptors. The soda-rich Lake Magadi on the Crater floor attracts flamingos and other wading birds, while ducks and other waterfowl favour freshwater ponds. West of the Crater, the ‘short grass plains’ are the traditional calving grounds (January – February) of the Serengeti’s huge wildebeest herds.
Mammals at Ngorongoro Crater:
A population of around 15 endangered black rhino exists on the Crater floor. Powerful spotted hyena clans regularly clash with lion prides. Huge-tusked elephant bulls occupy the Lerai forest. Golden and black-backed jackal compete with six species of vultures at carrion sites. Buffalo herds number up to 300. Resident wildebeest and zebra do not join the migratory herds of the adjacent Serengeti. Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles are the prey of nomadic cheetah. Buffalo, bushpig, blue monkey and Peters’ duiker occupy the forest on the Crater rim. Kirk’s dik-dik are abundant at nearby Olduvai Gorge, where rare striped hyena have been recorded. Abundant hippos reside in various hippo pools.