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Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Review

Alison Macallister

En route between the iconic Serengeti and Lake Manyara parks, the incredibly luxurious Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is perched on the edge of the famous Ngorongoro Crater. With sweeping views over this iconic 3 million-year-old caldera, it is an ideal base from which to explore the grassy plains and forested slopes in search of lions, impressively tusked elephants, leopards, buffalo and the endangered black rhino. Cultural tours of local villages and a trip to the famous Olduvai Gorge Museum are easily arranged from this lodge.

5-Star Luxury Lodge – $1,115 pp

On the outside, the stilted mud and thatch buildings of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge give the impression of traditional  Masai dwellings. The interior is an unlikely combination of banana leaf roofs, Teakwood, African decor and Victorian furnishing that create a drama of colour and textures that rivals the surrounding landscape. 

The lodge has 30 private suites separated into 3 camps with their own communal areas and restaurants serving top-quality local and international cuisine. Staff go out of their way to surprise and delight making this one of Tanzania’s ultimate luxury destinations.

Location and Views 

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Getting to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Arusha is 275 miles away or you can get a 1 ½ hour lodge transfer  from Manyara airstrip 

Nearby attractions 

  • The Ngorongoro Crater is the biggest intact caldera in the world and home to the full spectrum of Tanzania animals including all of the big 5. Game viewing in the crater is superb year round.
  • The Olduvai Gorge Museum is an hour’s drive from the lodge.


Breathtaking views over the slopes and flat grassland plains of the Ngorongoro crater. Guests can watch wildlife graze around the lodge from their private balconies. 


Price includes two daily game drives with the Lodge’s expert guides. Guests can also take cultural tours to local villages, go on a full-day Empakai Crater hike or visit the lion conservation centre.




Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is split into 3 camps. North, South and Tree Camp. Each camp has its own communal dining area and lounge for further exclusivity. Tree Camp is slightly smaller and built around a strangler-fig tree.


Gift shop 

The shop sells African souvenirs, clothing and toiletries guests can also visit the attached workshop and see ladies doing beadwork or commission tanzanite jewellery pieces.

Beauty and Wellness 

A therapist is available for in-room treatments

Other Amenities

Wifi– Yes

Pool–   No

Fitness Centre – No

Extras– Swarovski binoculars for guest use

Food and Drink


All meals are included as well as house wines, cocktails and cool drinks. The chefs cater for specific dietary needs.

Dining Rooms

North, South and Tree Camp each have their own dining area with high ceilings decorated with chandeliers and Persian carpets. 

Outdoor Dining

There is an option to eat on the open-air balcony with views of the crater. Romantic candlelight dinners can be arranged here or on private balconies.

Wine Store

A small cellar with a wine collection where guests can do wine tastings, private dinners or drinks. 

Cocktail Bar

Small, cosy bars at each camp for pre-dinner drinks.


buffet of fresh fruit, bread, pastries, cereals, yoghurts and cheese. There is also a hot breakfast menu including eggs smoked salmon, English breakfast and treat of the day.


Pic-nic style of sandwiches/ wraps and fruit for guests out game viewing or option to sit and eat from a select menu at one of the camp’s dining areas.


A 3-5 course meal with a choice of local and European dishes for each course. There is no set dinner time and the dress code is casual. 

Room Service

Available 24 hours



30 free-standing suites divided over 3 camps. Each suite comes with a personal butler to stoke the fire and generally make your stay extra special.

Standard Suites

Each double room is of similar size and design with floor to ceiling windows, banana leaf ceilings and their own balcony with views over the crater.

North  Camp: 12 suites

South Camp: 12 suites

Tree Camp: 6  suites 

Note: Tree Camp sits lower down and some suite’s views are obstructed by foliage

Family Suites

Two of the rooms can be interlinked with a closed walkway to create a family suite.


Rooms are furnished with teak beads, leather armchairs, beaded chandeliers and Persian rugs. Each unit has its own spacious en-suite bathroom with a shower and free-standing tub.

Need to Know

Check-in time: 2 PM

Check out time: 10 AM

Safety: The lodge is not fenced so you can’t walk around at night without an armed guard

Child Friendly: Yes, but the age limit of 6yrs for game drives.

Services: Babysitting, Laundry

Alison Macallister

With a degree in Nature Conservation and experience working with wildlife including the Big 5, Alison works as a guide for a 5-star reserve. She enjoys sharing her passion for all things nature-related. She enjoys hiking, horseriding, 4x4 driving and kayaking.

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