andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Review
The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area is a must see for most travelers to Tanzania and this stunning lodge located directly on the crater rim offers travelers the chance to wake up right in the middle of the majesty. Whether you’re enjoying coffee on your private deck with your toes (in some cases literally!) hanging over the crater’s edge or you’ve ventured into the ancient caldera in search of the black rhino, elephants, or the numerous lion prides that the Crater is known for – this is an experience that you’ll never forget!
With a design often described as Maasai meets Versailles, a stay at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is indulgent and often surprising. While the humble mud and thatch exteriors of the 30 suites might seem unassuming – once the door opens, you’re greeted by an interesting juxtaposition of crystal chandeliers hanging from banana leaf ceilings, silk curtains opening onto porches complete with tree-branch railings, and Victorian Era antique furniture sharing space with traditional African artworks and fabrics. This interesting mix of the extravagant and the natural extends into the shared spaces of the hotels as well with the main dining room dominated by panoramic views of the crater out the floor-to-ceiling windows and libraries full of comfortable leather chairs, well-loved books, and crystal decanters filled with everything from brandy to gin scattered throughout for guests to break into.
Since the property is all inclusive, guests can look forward to treats from sunup to sundown. Your day may start with your personal butler arriving to your room with your favorite coffee or tea and some freshly baked pastries or biscuits for you to enjoy before heading to the sumptuous breakfast spread in the main dining room (think fresh fruits, eggs made to order, fresh bread and pastries and other breakfast favorites). Lunch is often enjoyed on the crater floor and could be a picnic with local favorites and a bottle of wine or you might “happen upon” a lavish banquet complete with a white tablecloth and sparkling silverware with which to enjoy your gourmet feast. Evening brings more surprises whether you’re enjoying drinks and dinner with other guests in the main dining room or you wind up with a private dinner under the stars on property.
On Site Activities
As you might expect the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area is the main draw when in the area, but due to the small nature of the Crater guests really only need one day to explore. After this you may find yourself heading out on a day trip to Olduvai Gorge (home to some of the earliest human remains ever found), hiking in Empaki Crater in search of flamingos, or visiting one of the nearby Maasai or Hadzabe tribes. On property the hotel’s gift shop beckons with local crafts, jewelry and more and while there isn’t a full spa on site there is the chance for an in-room massage. Evenings are often filled with talks by local experts on the conservation efforts in place in the area or by Maasai warriors performing traditional dances and drum songs.
Get out & Explore:
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
A number of airlines operate twice daily scheduled flights from Arusha to Lake Manyara Airstrip.
The lodge collects guests from the airstrip in closed game viewing vehicles, with the drive to the lodge taking approximately 1½ hours.
Ideal Length of Stay:
3 – 4 days
When to go:
A year-round destination
Peak season from June to September
Who should go: Families, Couples, Animal Lovers, History Lovers
Tarangire National Park
Serengeti National Park