The area has some of the best hotels and lodges in Tanzania, such as the classic Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, built in 1939, and now operated by the And Beyond group of South Africa, along with the Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge, built in 1942, the Ndutu Lodge, built in 1946, and the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, dating back to 1971.
Newer establishments include the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, built in the mid- 1990s. The six facilities, all located along the crater rim, have a total bed capacity of 560. The NCAA also has 16 campsite areas. Three more firms, the Whitesands, Kibo Safaris, and Coastal travels intend to establish other facilities within NCA; the new entries will boost the area bed capacity to 1,000.
In addition to the above-mentioned attractions, visitors can also sample cultural tourism or eco-tourism in various Maasai bomas and settlements. Gibbs Farm, located near Karatu along the NCA perimeters, specialises in this. There are also the Endoro River nature trail expeditions, conducted within the Northern Highland Forest Reserve, where visitors can see elephant caves, waterfalls (150 metres high), enjoy bird watching and learn about local flora.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest, unbroken volcanic caldera in the world and is situated in northern Tanzania forming part of the popular northern Tanzania Safari Circuit.
Since 1979, the famous Ngorongoro Crater was known as a World Heritage Site and is located at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. The Crater belongs to the Crater Highlands, with vast plains and stretches of bush and woodland areas – creating complex and interrelated ecosystems. The entire Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers about 8300 km2 and next to the famous Crater is the Olduvai Gorge – an area were many fossils have been unearthed. The Ngorongoro Crater has the perfect mix of safari animals, stunning scenery and fascinating history – this area will definitely captivate you During your Tanzania safari experience.
The alkaline Ndutu and Masek lakes in the west of the Ngorongoro Crater are particularly good areas for game viewing during the rainy season from March to May. In the east of the Ngorongoro conservation area are a string of volcanoes and craters and along the southern border is Lake Eyasi, a salt lake around which the Hadzabe people live – who are one of Tanzania’s original ethnic groups. To the north-east on the Kenyan border is the beautiful Lake Natron.
Accommodation Facilities Ngorongoro/Where to Stay
Accommodation facilities Ngorongoro range from Luxurious/upmarket lodges to Campsites hence they an be afforded by anyone basing on where you would like to stay while on safari; the rooms staff, and ambiance of these facilities is amazing, you are advised to make prior bookings before travel.
Ngorongoro Crater Hotels, Safari lodges & Campsites
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
This is a luxurious lodge with a unique and ethnic style located at the edge of this mighty crater, it is well constructed that visitors have the best views of the crater. This lodge has around 75 rooms each with Maasai carvings, brass lamps, an enclosed balcony, embossed leather headboards and wildwood mirrors; these really give the lodge a stunning look.
The rooms have a great interior, fully air conditioned with each room having en-suite facilities and other things needed in a room like hairdryers, wardrobes, satellite TV, Wi-Fi and Telephone, and also central heating facilities are provided. Other facilities available are; a traditional meeting area, bar area, and dining Centre, swimming pool, amazing viewing terraces, gift shops, massage services, Cultural dances and music, 24hour medical services and Guided nature walks.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
This lodge offers you the best views of the crater; located at the uppermost eastern edge of the Crater. The atmosphere itself in this area is breathtaking as the lodge is surrounded by indigenous trees and due to its location visitors have a great time as the have amazing sunset views daily.
The lodge has very many rooms and 91 of them are double rooms, they are very spacious with a separate dressing area and two queen sized beds in each room. Also on each room has a veranda where you can enjoy viewing the crater; also rooms are en-suite with central heating services, hair dryers, and minibars. Some of the other facilities provided include; coffee bar, telephone, laundry and baby sitters, gift shops, swimming pools, electrical generator, satellite TV, Internet café, and conference facilities.
Ngorongoro Wildlife lodge
Also spread on the edge of the crater, it is a standard game lodge well situated giving great panoramic views of the crater plus its wildlife. It was built with mainly local wood, natural stone and timber.
It has around 80 rooms and services offered are of quality, also the facilities are all on point such as the bar, restaurant, housekeeping, radio and telephone, well stocked library, gift shops, comfortable rooms with central heating and en-suite bathrooms. Also the lobby and the dining area are well built with huge windows where one can have great views of the crater floor.
It is a small and unique lodge located about 5km away from Lolduare gate of Ngorongoro on a 500acre coffee farm. In fact this is the best stopover/well located lodge for those on a Northern circuit safari because since it is near the attractions.
Facilities provided include; a viewing deck, internet, swimming pool, a welcome drink upon arrival to the visitors, telephone at the reception, restaurants and lounge.
It is found in the NCA just at the border of Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Park. It lies in the beautiful acacia woodland, surrounded by the Serengeti plains and overlooking Lake Ndutu; a great spot of lots of wildlife and also a great place for viewing the wildebeest migration. In the night all you can enjoy is sitting at a campfire with fellow visitors and enjoy hearing sounds of wildlife that are nearby.
The lodge has 34 stone cottages all overlooking Lake Ndutu. These rooms are well maintained and comfortable with a front veranda for better views and en-suite facilities. Other facilities are; campfire, electrical generator, gift shops, telephone, laundry service, internet, bar and restaurant.
It is the only campsite located on the southwestern edge of the crater which is approximately a 2km drive from the crater village. It is managed by the Conservation Area Authority. The campsite has hot water showers, pit toilets and the crater views are just a short walk to the spectacular spots of viewing.
Note that at night the campsite is cold and sometimes noisy so you are advised to carry enough warm clothes. Also most animals are in the woodlands so be mindful has you move through, also note that you can visit the restaurants and bars in the dark but all you do such as driving you to it with caution since most animals move around that area in the night.