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Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge


3°14’23.9"S 35°29’46.2"E

About Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Occupying a spectacular spot right on the rim of the Crater, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is undoubtedly one of ...

... the most opulent lodges in Tanzania. Combining architectural hints of traditional Maasai homesteads with interior styles borrowed from European stately homes, the present lodge was built in 1995.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is a unique property. For some it is completely over the top and out of place; for others it's the height of luxury. The whole Maasai-meets-baronial-manor concept is extraordinary; the food, service, rooms and general facilities are excellent; and the location is outstanding, with stunning views over what many regard as the world's top wildlife area. But it's also one of the most costly lodges in Africa.

Accommodation
30 rooms
Children
Possible for all children; best for 8+
Open
All year

Activities

4WD Safari

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Cultural excursion

Cultural excursion

Guided walking safari

Guided walking safari

Safaris visiting Crater Lodge

Just ideas, we'll always tailor-make a trip for you


Map

Avocet Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations • 1 country
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

This luxurious safari explores three iconic African reserves from exclusive lodges in unbeatable locations. A very high standard of food, care and guiding ensure that you can focus on the amazing experience.

Visiting Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and 1 other area

US$7,740 - US$11,660 per person

Read more about the Avocet Fly-in Safari

Map

Secretary Bird Fly-in Safari

8 days • 4 locations • 1 country
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Chosen for comfort and relaxation as much as for its range of activities, this safari makes for a leisurely trip featuring stunning accommodation and swift access to many of northern Tanzania’s best wildlife regions.

Visiting Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and 2 other areas

US$10,100 - US$13,300 per person

Read more about the Secretary Bird Fly-in Safari

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Traveller reviews of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

27 real, un-edited reviews from Expert Africa's travellers.


93%
27 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
19
Good
6
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Miss P & Mr LfromSurrey

Arrived 13 Oct 2018, 2 nights

"Luxury on the edge of a caldera"

"Luxury on the edge of a caldera... wonderful food and beautiful room …" Read Miss P & Mr L’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs DfromHerts

Arrived 11 Oct 2017, 3 nights

"Location, location, location."

"The views were amazing …" Read Mr & Mrs D’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Average

MartinafromAustria

Arrived 15 Jul 2017, 2 nights

"On the Top !"

"this lodge is considered one of the very best in Africa …" Read Martina’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr RfromTorreon

Arrived 17 Mar 2017, 3 nights

"Amazing views!!"

"At Ngorongoro Crater Lodge you have amazing views of the crater not only at …" Read Mr R’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs MfromGloucester

Arrived 22 Sep 2016, 2 nights

"Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review"

"To be honest we had a bit of a problem with this place. It is billed as being …" Read Mr & Mrs M’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Good

Mr & Mrs GfromCumbria

Arrived 4 Oct 2016, 3 nights

"Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review"

"It's hard to find words to describe this lodge, The various cottages set …" Read Mr & Mrs G’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms FfromN London

Arrived 17 Aug 2016, 2 nights

"Unique lodge on the crater rim"

"Unusual design for a game lodge - the interior is a combination of several …" Read Ms F’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Family HfromVancouver

Arrived 5 Aug 2016, 2 nights

"Over-the top on the Rim"

"This is a quirky over-the-top lodge sitting on the Rim of the crater. Beau …" Read Family H’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs & Mr BfromCalifornia

Arrived 11 Jul 2016, 2 nights

"Location Location"

"I would advise friends to not spend 3k a night if atmosphere and view is not …" Read Mrs & Mr B’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Good

Mr & Mrs HfromGuernsey

Arrived 25 Sep 2015, 2 nights

"Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review"

"An amazing location. We were disappointed with the room which was dark and …" Read Mr & Mrs H’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Average

See all Ngorongoro Crater Lodge reviews

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Crater Lodge

Click an animal to see our traveller's success in sighting them.
How we work this out.


Black Rhino

100% success

Buffalo

100% success

Eland

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Lion

100% success

Wildebeest

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Spotted Hyena

67% success

Aardvark

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Striped Hyena

0% success

Wild dog

0% success

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge's location

Look closer at the environment and surroundings of Crater Lodge.


When to go to Ngorongoro Crater

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Crater Lodge in Ngorongoro Crater


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Tanzania in January

January usually marks the start of the short dry season, although the exact timings of this are a little unpredictable. You can expect clear blue skies and sunshine, if the short rains have stopped, and the temperatures will be building. The short dry season is a little less pronounced in Southern Tanzania, and so it can still be wet in these areas. It is an interesting time for avians as resident birds go into breeding plumage and migrant species can be present. Once the New Year busy period has quietened down, January can offer great value and quieter parks, although the weather can be variable, and in the Selous and Ruaha the wildlife is more dispersed.

  • Variable weather: clear & dry or cloudy with some rain.
  • Occasional thunderstorms may occur.
  • A good time of year for birding as and many migrant species are around
  • The wildebeest migration is gathering in the southern Serengeti.
  • Busy in early January, quietening down through the month.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in January

Tanzania in February

February is during the short dry season and is one of the hottest months in Tanzania, with temperatures reaching around 33°Celsius. This can be a good time to visit, as some areas of the Northern Circuit are comparatively quieter than during the European summer months, and lodge rates are also a little lower. The wildebeest will typically be on the southern plains of the Serengeti for their calving season, which tends to occur in a 2-3 week window in early-mid February – although this does vary year on year. This is also a particularly rewarding time for birdlife, as northern hemisphere migrants join the resident species.

  • Hot and dry weather.
  • Wildebeest migration calving on Serengeti’s southern plains.
  • Ngorongoro Crater and southern Serengeti busy for the migration.
  • Selous and Ruaha are typically quiet at this time.
  • The parks are likely to be lush and green, leading to pretty landscape

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in February

Tanzania in March

The heavier ‘long rains’ start in earnest in March although exactly when varies year on year. With no need to stay close to permanent water sources, migratory wildlife disperses, and so game viewing starts to become more challenging. This is most prominently seen in Tarangire National Park. The wildebeest migration may still be calving, or have moved on into the central regions of the Serengeti. Many of the camps in the southern parks close mid March and mobile tented camps in the Serengeti will wind down towards the end of the month in order to move location or carry out refurbishments, ready for the new tourist season.

  • Hot with building humidity, before the rains begin at some point.
  • Wildlife viewing is variable depending on the start of the rains.
  • Parks are quiet and rates are low.
  • Not great for southern or western Tanzania.
  • March can be a good time for birding, with many migrant species.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in March

Tanzania in April

April is in the middle of the long rainy season and is the wettest month, with on average 250mm of rain. Temperatures are fairly high and humid in comparison to the rest of the year. Expect the bush to be lush and flowering, and alive with insects, birds and smaller animals. It is however also dense, allowing wildlife to hide, which in turn makes game viewing harder. This is a very quiet time in terms of visitor numbers. Many of the tented camps are closed in April, however the larger lodges remain open. The rates are significantly cheaper, and so if you are willing to work harder to spot the bigger game, some accommodation bargains can be had.

  • Heavy rain expected, with impressive thunderstorms and lightning.
  • Many camps closed and roads impassable due to ground conditions.
  • Rates are at their lowest all year round, with very few other tourists
  • Places that are open are green and vibrant, wildlife more dispersed.

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in April

Tanzania in May

As Tanzania is close to the equator there is no dramatic difference in climate throughout the year, but temperatures do start to drop a little in May. The rains are likely to still be present, although potentially clearing towards the end of the month. Visitor numbers and lodge rates are still low. The wildebeest migration is making its way through the western regions of the Serengeti, crossing the Grumeti River. Virtually all camps in southern Tanzania remain closed, and many of the roads and tracks in the Selous become impassable.

  • Heavy rains and storms are likely, this can create some dramatic skies
  • Blissfully quiet in northern Tanzania, and a good time to avoid crowds
  • The parks are likely to look lush and green, with long grass.
  • Wildlife is likely to be more dispersed, with fewer sightings.
  • The low prices make safaris much more affordable at this time.

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in May

Tanzania in June

The rains come to an end at some point during the month and migratory wildlife begins to be drawn back to perennial water sources as the land starts to dry up. It’s likely that the parks will still be quite green and the grass high though, so walking and fly-camping may be unlikely. This marks the start of the season with camps reopening, but prices are still more affordable than the subsequent months. The migration may still be in the Western Corridor, or on the move northwards towards the Mara River. Western Tanzania presents more challenging conditions for chimpanzee trekking in Mahale National Park, as the chimps are higher in the mountains.

  • Variable weather: clear & dry or cloudy with some rain.
  • A transitory time for the migration – moving from west to north.
  • The parks may still be quite green, and grasses high.
  • Wildlife may be dispersed still.
  • Relatively low visitor numbers and good value, shoulder season prices.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in June

Tanzania in July

July is considered to be the start of the peak season, with no rainfall expected and pleasant daytime temperatures. As the parks dry, the wildlife congregates in fewer areas, grass is eaten and trampled by the migration, and game viewing gets better and better. The wildebeest are typically arriving in the northern Serengeti, ready to begin their period of crossings of the Mara River. In the Selous and Ruaha wildlife sightings can be fantastic, with animals gathering around the lakes and rivers. Great conditions and school holidays mean the parks are at their busiest, with Ngorongoro and the Serengeti particularly crowded.

  • Dry and warm daytimes, chilly and windy in the mornings and evenings.
  • Great wildlife viewing, as water sources diminish.
  • The most popular time of year with very high visitor numbers.
  • Prices are at their highest due to the great conditions on the ground.
  • To avoid the crowds consider Tanzania’s southern parks.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in July

Tanzania in August

August is the middle of the long dry season, with clear skies and sunny weather. You can expect some cooler weather at night and first thing in the morning. Remember to pack layered clothing, so you can wrap up warm on your early morning game drives, but remain comfortable as it heats up throughout the day.
August is a very popular time to visit, so accommodation prices are at their highest and advanced booking is necessary. It can get noticeably busier in some of the northern parks – in particular the Ngorongoro Crater and northern Serengeti, as visitors flock to the area in hope of witnessing an exciting migration river crossing.

  • Dry and warm daytimes, chilly in the early mornings and evenings.
  • General wildlife viewing should be excellent.
  • An exciting time of year for the wildebeest migration.
  • Certain areas will be very busy and camps fill up fast.
  • Great wildlife sightings in the Selous and Ruaha, and fewer people.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in August

Tanzania in September

September can be an excellent time of year to visit Tanzania. As the parks continue to dry up the wildlife becomes increasingly reliant on the remaining water sources, leading to high densities of animals. Whilst early September can be busy, with fewer families traveling at this time the parks typically become quieter as the month goes on. You are still likely to see the wildebeest migration in the northern Serengeti, with river crossings occurring on a regular basis. Tanzania’s southern parks are also fantastic at this time of year, generally receiving far fewer visitors than the north, and wildlife sightings can be great. Prices remain high and the weather generally remains good.

  • Wildlife viewing in September can be fantastic.
  • Whilst still fairly busy, often the parks are typically a little quiet
  • The parks will start to become very dry, with little new vegetation
  • Cooler mornings and evenings, warming up during the day.
  • Prices remain high.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Tanzania in October

At the tail end of the dry season, the wildlife should be the easiest to spot, although photographers should be aware that it can be a bit dusty at this time of year, as there has been no rain for several months. Great general wildlife viewing throughout as animals are attracted to remaining sources of water. Elephant numbers are particularly high at this time in Tarangire, and Mahale and Katavi are especially rewarding with frequent wildlife sightings close to camp. There is a chance of rainfall towards the end of the month, if the short rains commence. While prices remain high, visitors numbers are significantly lower than in July-August.

  • Mostly dry and temperatures comfortably warm, with the chance of storm
  • Great game viewing although the landscape can be a bit barren.
  • Much lower visitor numbers than the earlier months.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in October

Tanzania in November

In November you can expect the start of the short rains, although the start date varies every year. The rains are highly localised, and are much lighter and more unpredictable than the long rains that occur earlier in the year. These should not really interfere with your safari – as the game viewing at this time is still good - but you should pack a waterproof jacket and be prepared for some short rain showers! The majority of tented camps remain open, but some of the mobile camps in Northern Tanzania will close for the latter half on the month. Given the seasonality, camps are charging shoulder season rates so there are often some bargains to be had. Early November can offer great value for money and the weather conditions are likely to be comparable to late October.

  • Variable weather: clear & dry or cloudy with some rain.
  • Parks are comparatively quiet and prices at the lower end.
  • Some camps will close towards the end of the month for maintenance.
  • Good wildlife sightings, but animals will disperse when rain starts
  • The wildebeest migration is on the move and the location unpredictable

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Tanzania in December

December is also during the short rainy period, but this does not stop Tanzania being a popular destination to spend the festive period. Be aware that many of the lodges book up early, and charge peak rates over this time. Advanced booking is essential over this period, especially if travelling in larger family groups.
Travelling in December outside of the festive period allows travellers to make use of excellent shoulder season rates. Temperatures are pleasant with the averages of 27Celsius, although there is the chance of intermittent thunderstorms.

  • Variable weather:clear & dry or cloudy with some rain and thunderstorm
  • Good general game viewing in parks with low seasonality - Serengeti.
  • Very quiet early in the month, becoming exceptionally busy.
  • Prices reflect this – great value rising to the highest they are.
  • The wildlife in southern Tanzania is more dispersed.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in December

Tanzania fact file

Useful information and advice to help you prepare for a trip including Ngorongoro Crater Lodge


Excursions from Crater Lodge

Optional extra day-trips and excursions possible whilst you're staying at Crater Lodge. Talk to us: these are usually best arranged before you go.


Empakaai Crater Hike

Empakaai Crater Hike

Half day, two - three hour walk

Spend a half day hiking through the Empakaai Crater, in the Highlands area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), led by an experienced guide and accompanied by a ranger.

More about Empakaai Crater Hike
Lake Manyara Safari

Lake Manyara Safari

Half-day or full-day

Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara National Park makes a great safari destination. Here, along with elephant herds and plains game, you’ll find jungle-like forests that are home to blue monkeys, a soda lake tinged pink by flamingos and some of Tanzania’s best birding.

More about Lake Manyara Safari
90% (31 reviews)
Mto Wa Mbu Village Walk

Mto Wa Mbu Village Walk

Two to three hours

Discover the intricacies of day-to-day life in the large Tanzanian village of Mto Wa Mbu with a knowledgeable local guide. This is not a village set up for tourists; Mto Wa Mbu is a real community and offers a chance to see a side of the country that many visitors pass by.

More about Village Walk
Olduvai Gorge visit

Olduvai Gorge visit

One - two hours

See for yourself the renowned archaeological site of Olduvai (or Oldupai) Gorge, which lies en route between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. Famed for the discoveries of early hominin remains as well as the Laetoli Footprints, the site offers beautiful views, an engaging museum and potentially the opportunity to visit an active dig.

More about Olduvai Gorge visit
95% (8 reviews)
Olmoti Crater walk

Olmoti Crater walk

Half day - two to three hour walk

Follow an ancient Maasai cattle trail on this private hike up the Olmoti Crater, led by an experienced guide and accompanied by an armed ranger. The crater may not compete in size with the neighbouring Ngorongoro Crater, but the birding is good, the mountain views wonderful, and the array of ferns is a botanist’s dream.

More about Olmoti Crater walk
Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

Typically a full day

To drive into the Ngorongoro Crater is to immerse yourself in a renowned wildlife park. Prides of lion and clans of hyena patrol amongst herds of zebra, wildebeest and Thomson’s gazelle, whilst flocks of crowned cranes keep out the way of jackals. Come for elephants with big tusks, too. And then there are the rhino…

More about Ngorongoro Crater safari
95% (37 reviews)

Other lodges in Ngorongoro Crater

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Gibb's Farm

Gibbs Farm

Located not far from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Gibb's Farm has comfy rooms, homegrown food and strong community links


88% (41 reviews)
Plantation Lodge

Plantation Lodge

A relaxed base between Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara, Plantation Lodge has lush grounds and offers good value and high standards.


93% (38 reviews)
Lemala Ngorongoro

Lemala Ngorongoro

Lemala Ngorongoro is a small, comfortable tented camp on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater with lovely walking in the vicinity.


86% (28 reviews)
Rhino Lodge

Rhino Lodge

Rhino Lodge is a simple, good-value lodge with a great location near the crater rim, in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.


90% (23 reviews)
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Situated on the eastern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, with outstanding views, the Sopa Lodge is a somewhat dated, international-style hotel.


87% (22 reviews)
The Highlands

The Highlands

The Highlands is a unique camp near Olmoti Crater, north of Ngorongoro, offering drives, walks and cultural visits from a beautiful remote setting.


93% (15 reviews)
Entamanu Ngorongoro

Entamanu Ngorongoro

Opened in 2016, Entamanu Ngorongoro is a small camp high on the Crater rim with views towards the crater and the plains of the Serengeti.


97% (14 reviews)
Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge

Rhotia Valley Ttd. Lodge

Rhotia Valley is a simple lodge with a strong commitment to the local community, including a children's home, which guests may visit.


94% (14 reviews)
Ngorongoro Farmhouse Lodge

Farmhouse Lodge

Ngorongoro Farmhouse Lodge is set on a 750-acres working farm. Close to the NCA gate, it makes a great base for exploring the Crater.


89% (13 reviews)
Bougainvillea Safari Lodge

Bougainvillea Lodge

Bougainvillea Safari Lodge provides an economical base from which to visit Lake Manyara or the Ngorongoro Crater.


90% (8 reviews)
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro Serena

The large, hotel-like Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge sits on the western rim of Ngorongoro Crater and has stunning views of the caldera.


93% (6 reviews)
The Manor

The Manor

The Manor is a smart, family-friendly Cape-Dutch-style lodge, offering high-quality service and food in very comfortable surroundings.


100% (4 reviews)
Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

Wildlife Lodge

Stay at the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge while on road safari in Northern Tanzania's spectacular Ngorongoro Crater area.


67% (3 reviews)
Neptune Ngorongoro Lodge

Neptune Ngorongoro

Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge is a smart hilltop lodge with log-style cottages set close to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.


93% (3 reviews)
Kirurumu Ngorongoro Lodge

Kirurumu Ngorongoro

Kirurumu Ngorongoro is a tented camp situated near the Ngorongoro Crater, with seven guest tents.


60% (1 review)
Ngorongoro Fly-Camp

Ngorongoro Fly-Camp

Explore the remote northern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater on a two-day hike and spend the night in this small fly-camp.


No reviews yet
Country Lodge

Country Lodge

Country Lodge is conveniently located on the edge of Karatu and provides a comfortable base for exploring Ngorongoro Crater or Lake Manyara.


No reviews yet

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