Reviews of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
We loved our stay here. The staff took care to make our experience as personal as possible -- for my husband's birthday they arranged for a group of musicians to sing while bringing him a beautiful cake -- it was quite a joyous experience. Our 11 year old niece loved it.
The comfort level was extremely high -- from the huge bath and shower to the massive bed and fireplace in our room, to the beautifully presented, tasty meals. The gift shop was good for souvenirs!
There were quite a few other travellers there yet we felt we had the place to ourselves. Our butler and all the staff were very attentive. They arranged two special activities for our niece which was also a nice touch. Highly recommended.
The first of our wonderful 'singing welcomes'. The staff couldn't have made us feel more welcome and special with a birthday card and champagne in our room. Cheby, who had met us at Lake Manyara airstrip with welcome coffee and cookies, proved to be a knowledgeable guide, ensuring that we enjoyed the Masai Massage of the bumpy drive ! During a game drive he positioned the truck perfectly for us to see the meeting up of two male lions with a third - the tension was apparent as one of the pair looked over the plain at the distantly approaching third, who he finally recognised and welcomed right next to our truck. Cheby thought all three were litter mates.
Cheby ensured we saw the sunrise over the crater and later provided a wonderful breakfast picnic at the hippo pond. After 8 hours of the rattling Masai Massage and a visit to a Masai village, we lunched and we returned to our room to find a steaming hot bath, surrounded by rose petals, fluffy towels and a chilled bottle of champagne - another opportunity to celebrate our birthdays and soak away the aches and pains of a long dusty day.
The evening drinks in the lounge were definitely the most sociable and friendly of all the three lodges we stayed in. Staff and guests sat together in a family style living room, chatting about the day, almost as if we had gone round to a friend's home for a dinner party. The roaring log fire was very welcome when we returned to our room. Excellent food.
We were totally spoilt
This was a great way to start our trip as we were tired after our long journey from London. From the outside, I wasn't impressed initially but once we were ushered inside any lingering doubts I had were swept away. Our breath was taken away by the sheer indulgence of the place which was quirkily decorated but still exuded luxury. Our rooms were also fantastic - from the huge bedroom with it's own sitting area complete with log stove to the incredible bathroom with the his and hers wash basins, the enormous shower and the standalone bath surrounded by roses.
The food was excellent too and the staff couldn't have done more for us. Our driver was also fantastic as he managed to avoid the main crowds that I had been expecting, so we did manage to feel as if were more or less alone in the crater - apart from the obvious picnic areas. Particularly enjoyed seeing the rhinos here albeit from quite a distance.
Yes, it is expensive, but worth it for the experience, which I would love to repeat again one day
Masai Meets Versailles!
The rooms are utterly amazing.
My friend and I were totally blown away by how beautiful they were. Also, the staff here was just so wonderful -- Nemis in particular made our stay just perfect. The lunch we had when we first arrived was unbelievable, as were the amenities and attention to detail by everyone there throughout our stay.
It was our favorite hotel of the trip, hands down.
The best lodge of our trip....superb!!!
We loved staying here.....excellent decoration, room, service, ranger!!! Very recommendable!!!Read more about the whole safari
Wonderful lodge! Great views of the crater!
The location of the lodge is great! I was in Tree camp, but I think South camp is best located for views of the Crater! Love the fire, electric blanket and bath decorated with rose petals. It was very cold when I visited
My guide Kitoi was great. The crater gets very busy with tourists, so too many vehicles per sighing. Also the sighting can be very far away!
Fantastic views from north Ngorongoro Crater
We were met at Manyara airstrip by & Beyond with a delicious picnic before our drive up to the crater. Unfortunately our transfer from Oliver's camp was not efficient enough to allow a trip into the crater on the way to the Lodge. However it did give us a chance to enjoy the excellent facilites.
We were bowled over by the size and luxury of our accomdation in North Lodge. Our concern about having good views of the Crater was unecessary as every part of the suite had views down into the crater. The room was always beautifully serviced by Falwel with rose petal hot baths, drinks and a log fire in the evening. Peter, our butler, was helpful and attentive to our needs both in the room and in the restaurant. The food was excellent. We were especially appreciative of the celebration provided on the eve of my husband's birthday. A really unexpected surprise especially the entertainment from the lodge choir. A very impressive and luxurious stay.
Our game guide, Mudy was very good. Taking us into the crater early in the morning and giving us a very complete tour of the whole crater. We sadly missed seeing rhino, but mating lions and a hyena hunt made the visit memorable. Our game viewing was completed in the evening by the visit to the lodge of a large tusker and a charming group of zebra.
The only downside was the large numbers of vehicles in the crater about which we had been warned.
Expert Africa comments
As part of their feedback, these travellers noted that:
"The ratings choice on [our feedback] form did create difficulty in that there was nothing between Good and Excellent."
Crater Lodge experience
Arriving at Ngogongogo Crater Lodge is a breathtaking experience. The architecture borders on the bizarre, but the rooms are extravagant yet comfortable. As noted by some of the other reviewers, it does feel a bit more like a hotel than the other camps. But since it is divided into three separate locations that each have their own lodge, it still retains a small, personal atmosphere. We were in North Camp which doesn't look right over the crater rim, but it was still lovely to have zebra grazing on our lawn overlooking more distant views of the crater. We were there in low season, so they didn't have guests in the other two camps.
The food was good, and it was interesting to be served a "bread course" with various spreads and spices. One evening we enjoyed entertainment by a choir made up of lodge employees. The North Camp manager Irene was always present and made us feel welcome.
The game drive on the next day felt a bit different from the drives in other camps we visited. It was the only camp where we had an enclosed vehicle, but the dust kicked up by the other cars makes that necessary. We did see a lot of game up close, but often were joined by a dozen other cars. One highlight was watching a mother and baby rhino who came within 20 meters of the cars while grazing. The drivers were amazed to see her approach so close while having a youngster with her.
One highlight was returning from the game drive for lunch, and then upon entering our room, we found a cozy fire and a bubble bath awaiting us. That evening we enjoyed cocktails on the lawn, sitting on low stools around campfires. All in all, the Crater Lodge is a lovely place to spend a couple of nights and was a beautiful ending to our safari trip.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review
Incredible rooms - best of the trip. The decor was sumptuous, the facilities impeccable, and the views majestic. This place MADE our honeymoon!!
Food was consistently good - only comment is that sometimes if you wanted something simple and plain it was not easy to come by. The food was very rich
Was slightly frustrated that we landed at midday but did not manage to get into the crater that afternoon (instead we had a leisurely picnic lunch then ambled to some random african shops to pass time and then on to the crater). It seemed to us that had this transfer been arranged more swiftly then we could have reached the crater before the 3pm cut off for entry time - so rather frustrating. We did then manage to get a walk in with the resident naturalist Joachim which was v rewarding and would recommend to guests with spare time
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge review
We were a little underwhelmed by the Crater Lodge. Our expectations were high and we thought that this would be the highlight of the holiday, but it was probably our least favourite of the safari lodges. Partly this was due to the room we were given (room 12), which wasn't overlooking the crater directly, but did over look most of the other rooms - given the rooms are designed so that they are very open to the views on one side and some windows have no curtains this left the room feeling quite exposed to others seeing in (particularly in the loo!). Inside the accommodation was very impressive.
The game viewing was comprehensive, but lacked the excitement of other locations and felt like we were following a standard schedule on the drive.
Service was generally very good although felt a lot less personal than other lodges.