Reviews of Crater Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
27 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Crater Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Luxury on the edge of a caldera"
"Location, location, location."
We didn't realise we had a butler until half way through our stay. No bath and no fire on our first night, until requested. No attempt was made to enhance the communal areas at night.The outside fire pits were ready but not lit.
The views were amazing, but the accommodation is in serious need of refurbishment. The quality of the cooking was varied.
Game viewing was excellent and the trip to Empakai Crater was a highlight of the holiday." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar; 1n in Kenya
The lodge wished that these guests had brought their concerns to the management during their stay, as they say they would have done their utmost to improve their experience. But they are very thankful for our travellers' feedback and want to ensure that these unacceptable incidences do not occur again.
"On the Top !"
Some details were really unbelievable and never experienced before: having the breakfast table laid just for us and without being asked to on the very spot that we personally preferred was as uncomparable a treat as having a hot bath waiting for us when returning from the game drive ! In addition to the extravagancy it was the personal touch of the luxury that made our stay so outstanding.
Our guide showed the by now well known and appreciated "And Beyond" - guidance - quality.
The crater itself is a busy place: one group of lions, at least ten cars ! Anyway, this is a touristic hotspot (what we knew beforehand) and you can hardly visit Tansania without having been there !" See all these reviews: 21n in Tanzania
"Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review"
On arrival we had a late afternoon game drive and the following day we decided to make it a full day. Lunch was taken at one of the regular picnic spots close to a lake. Whilst Peter, our guide, was setting out the food we saw some nearby zebra suddenly make a dash for higher ground. It turned out that there was a female lion about 150 mtrs away, amongst some rocky ground, that had been stalking the zebras.. There was a large number of vehicles and people in the area for a picnic and nobody was bothered at all, most trying to get better photographs. Amazing. The biggest problem was a black kite trying to snatch your food.
Highlight of the day was a pack of lions taking a buffalo. Our vehicle was one of the first to witness the whole event from start to finish. By the end there were over sixty 4x4's lined up along the crater track!" See all these reviews: 10n in Tanzania; 3n in Kenya
"Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review"
We were allocated a butler whose job was to look after us and a few other rooms. Not many rooms were occupied and so there was no problem with service although we were not entirely comfortable with him. The room manageress and lodge manager and butler turned out to meet us when we arrived and to say goodbye when we left - clearly looking for tips (I don't mind tipping but don't like being pressured about it).
The thing that irked the most, was that we returned from an interesting safari to find a huge bath full of hot water. Unrequested. I am sure they think this is good service, but this is a real waste of water in a country that can ill-afford that, and a waste of energy to heat it. Then we found that it was still hot an hour later which meant that the bath itself was heated. If you did or did not use it, the water was wasted and it was not a small amount. Multiply this by all the rooms and it is hardly environmentally friendly. By all means ask first, but don't waste water for no reason.
The hotel did not re-use towels or make much attempt to save energy at all as far as we could tell.
The restaurant was in the main building, also quirky and heavily furnished. Food was good and dinner was served after pre-dinner drinks together with our guide for the next day.
The crater experience itself was very interesting and unlike a 'normal' safari in that the animals are somewhat captive in the crater. Given that this was the low season, there were more than enough vehicles at most wildlife sightings. It must be terrible in the high season. We did have a great day however and credit to our excellent guide for that. He really was very good.
Overall we would say that two nights here were plenty with one day on safari. For the hotel - sorry, not for us. Was it good - yes, very. Was it an eco hotel - a big no. Did we feel comfortable there - not really. Who is it aimed at - not entirely sure. Would we recommend it to others - we don't think so. All a bit of a contradiction so pretty hard to rate below" See all these reviews: 16n in Tanzania; 4n in Kenya
"Unique lodge on the crater rim"
Great game viewing, although a little frustrating (but understandable) that the roads are limited so it's not always possible to get close to all the animals. I would suggest that unless you are a really avid game watcher, 2/3 game drives is enough in the Crater as the area is much smaller than the wide expanse of a game park.
Extremely bumpy 1hr ride down to the lodge and very dusty - not an issue for us but other travellers may need to know this!
Cold at night and we did not think that the rooms were warm enough in the evening. They are large spaces and a fire in one corner is not quite sufficient. This might be an issue for more sensitive travellers going at this time of year." See all these reviews: 5n in Tanzania; 1n in Kenya
"Over-the top on the Rim"
Beautiful views down into the crater from your huge room with amazing soaker tub. Luxurious setting and accommodation. The staff and service were amazing. It is a more traditional feeling lodge (in a "Dr Seuss meets safari" kind of way).
Definately a unique experience!" See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania
It was absolutely beautiful and had magic in the ambiance...view... The food was almost great. Staff not as personal. I know park fee are more in the crater so that plays a part in the price." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
"Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review"
The staff were pleasant and attentive but the tipping culture felt too overt.
To balance our review I did receive a very special birthday cake and enjoyed listening to the choir which was a generous and thoughtful touch." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania; 4n in Zanzibar
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