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Tanzania Safari

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro / Serengeti, Tanzania

Dining at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Return to Serengeti Camps & Lodges                     Image © CC Africa

View images of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge:  Crater Lodge Images

NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE RATES: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Rates

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is perched on the edge of the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. It lies within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which covers more than 8 000 square kilometres (3 100 square miles) of pristine African wilderness. Inspired in design by the Maasai mud-and-stick manyatta (homestead), Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is without doubt one of the most architecturally spectacular safari lodges in Africa.

Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera of the once-volcanic Ngorongoro shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth, ringed with towering walls and sheltering forests, grasslands, fresh springs and a large soda lake. Nearby Olduvai Gorge – a famous early archaeological site – is situated to the west of the Crater in the eastern Serengeti Plains. In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, 42 000 Maasai live and herd their livestock in harmony with Africa’s wild animal.

Ngorongoro Crater is one of the Wonders of the World and a designated World Heritage Site. Ngorongoro is one of the most perfectly formed and certainly the most spectacular calderas on the planet. With over 40 000 predominantly Maasai pastoralists inhabiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, it is a prime example of mankind living in harmony with wildlife.  Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is owned and operated by CC Africa.  The lodge is open all year.

Unique Selling Points
On the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater – a World Heritage Site and one of the Wonders of the World
• Ngorongoro Crater is the permanent home of up to 25 000 animals
• Luxurious accommodation with magnificent views
• Private butler service
• Elegant fusion of modern and ancient African architectural styles
• Interpretive safaris guided by expert ranger
• Excursions to the fascinating, world-famous Olduvai Gorge
• Excellent cuisine
• Fresh roses adorn each suite
• Ngorongoro Crater area is malaria free

Accommodation            For images of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, click Crater Lodge Images
Set in classic crescents and inspired in design by the Maasai mud-and-stick manyatta, there are three separate camps – North and South Camp each with 12 suites and Tree Camp with six suites. Each stilted suite is sumptuously furnished with panelled walls and floors made of Tanzanian hardwoods, rich raw silk curtains, hand beaded chandeliers, gilt mirrors, a fireplace and a butler’s lobby. En suite bathrooms with a centrepiece of red roses have twin hand basins, shower, chandelierlit bathtub and separate w.c. The suites all feature decks with magnificent views of the Crater floor.

North and South Camp (12 suites)
Intimate Tree Camp (6 suites)
Each with spectacular Crater view
Private viewing decks
Exclusive butler service
Spacious en suite bathrooms
Extraordinary guest areas
African gift shop and art gallery

Steeped in romance, each mud and thatch suite is reminiscent of a bygone era, with the stilted, handcrafted structures adorned in graceful antiques, grand chandeliers and African treasures. The bedroom, sitting room and en suite bathroom boast floor-to-ceiling glass windows, overlooking the magnificent Crater below. Your personal butler will discreetly tend to your every need, bringing you tea in bed, stoking your fireplace and drawing your bath.

Described as Maasai meets Versailles, each extraordinary camp operates independently with its own central living and dining areas and viewing decks. Early settler-style interiors combine silver, gold and ruby colours under banana-leaf ceilings and grass roofs. Beaded chandeliers hang above large gilt mirrors, and antiques, plump cushions, voluptuous raw silk curtains and leather-backed chairs blend harmoniously with African art elements.

Each camp has a sitting and dining room, an outdoor dining area and viewing decks. The sitting rooms have woven banana bark ceilings and are adorned with hand beaded chandeliers, carved and gilded wall plaques, brocade sofas, Persian carpets, candles and bowls of red roses. The domed dining room with its welcoming fireplace, crystal, silver and massive wooden platters makes every meal a special occasion. Delicious Pan-African cuisine may also be enjoyed on the outdoor dining deck. At the entrance to the Lodge there is a well-stocked Safari Shop.

All CC Africa lodges are world-renowned for their delicious Pan-African cuisine – fresh ingredients, simply prepared with an African flavour. All halaal and vegetarian dietary requirements will be catered for. When making your reservation, please inform us of any specific dietary requirements you may have, and these will be communicated immediately to the camp. Should specific items need to be flown in, there will be an additional charge, which will be quoted separately. Regrettably, we are unable to cater for strictly kosher guests at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

Children’s Policy
Travel to Tanzania is recommended for children 8 years and older. Regretfully, children 5 years and younger cannot participate in the regular game drives. Child minders can be booked at an additional cost. Children aged 6 to 11 years are accommodated on game drives at the Lodge Manager’s discretion. An extra bed can be arranged for a child 11 years and younger sharing its parents’ suite. No more than 1 triple per night in both North and South Camps. Regretfully no triples can be accommodated at Tree Camp.

Children’s Activities
Childrens' activities depend entirely on the age of the children and may include the following:
Special family game-drives (at the discretion of the lodge manager and subject to availability)
Special one-hour children's bush walks within the camp perimeter
Planet Manager activity books
Special programmes can be compiled such as birding, paper making and insect safaris
Children’s meals and menus available
Maasai beading
Spear throwing

Number of suites 30
Maximum Guests 60
Children Yes
Triples 2 (except Tree Camp)
Twin Beds All convertible to double
Air Conditioning No
Lodge pool No
Bath Yes
Indoor Showers Yes
Private w.c Yes
In Room Safe Yes
Telephone Yes
Hairdryers Yes
Laundry Included Yes
Suitable for disabled guests Yes, with assistance
Distance between Rooms 5-16m / 26-53ft
Check In 12h00
Check Out 10h00
Airstrip Yes
Kosher Food No
Power 220v AC (most of the day)
Private 4x4 safari vehicle If available, extra cost
Childminding Yes
Credit Cards Visa, MasterCard & Amex
In-Room Massage Yes

Activities & Wildlife
Exciting game-drives
Game drives into the Crater in closed safari vehicles with pop-up roofs (07h00 to 14h00 and 15h00 to 18h00). Birdwatching, half-day trips to Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands subject to vehicle availability. Optional activities at an additional cost include walking on the rim of the Crater or in Empakaai Crater, a cultural Maasai boma visit, sundowners with spectacular views over Lake Eyasi, excursions to Lake Ndutu and private bush breakfasts and lunches. Driving into the Serengeti is an optional extra, and highly recommended during the first four months of the year.

There are four distinct habitats which are home to 25 000 animals – boasting excellent year-round game viewing
Big Five, including black-maned lion
Tanzania’s best locality for viewing black rhino
Resident bull elephants with spectacular tusks
Abundance of lion prides and spotted hyena clans
Thousands of lesser and greater flamingo in the soda lake
Excellent montane forest birdwatching on Crater rim
Excursions to annual breeding grounds of over one million wildebeest (January to February)
Excursions to famous Olduvai Gorge (world-famous hominid fossil site)

Ngorongoro Crater Habitats
The Crater floor’s open grassland habitat supports resident herds of grazing herbivores and their attendant predators. Pillarwood, nuxia, mountain bersama, hagenia and ficus trees, all draped with lichens and epiphytic orchids, dominate cloud forest on the Crater rim. Lerai fever tree forest is home to elephant and nesting raptors. The soda-rich Lake Magadi on the Crater floor attracts flamingos and other wading birds, while ducks and other waterfowl favour freshwater ponds. West of the Crater, the ‘short grass plains’ are the traditional calving grounds (January - February) of the Serengeti’s huge wildebeest herds.

Mammals at Ngorongoro Crater
A population of around 15 endangered black rhino exists on the Crater floor. Powerful spotted hyena clans regularly clash with lion prides. Huge-tusked elephant bulls occupy the Lerai forest. Golden and black-backed jackal compete with six species of vultures at carrion sites. Buffalo herds number up to 300. Resident wildebeest and zebra do not join the migratory herds of the adjacent Serengeti. Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles are the prey of nomadic cheetah. Buffalo, bushpig, blue monkey and Peters’ duiker occupy the forest on the Crater rim. Kirk’s dik-dik are abundant at nearby Olduvai Gorge, where rare striped hyena have been recorded. Abundant hippos reside in various hippo pools.

Birds at Ngorogoro Crater
There are 371 species recorded at Ngorongoro. Ostrich, kori bustard and grey crowned crane are regularly encountered in the grassland on the Crater floor where superb starling, rufous-tailed weaver and rosy-breasted longclaw are abundant. Five sunbird species (malachite, tacazze, bronze, eastern double-collared and golden-winged) visit flowering shrubs on the Crater rim and around the Lodge. Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, white-eyed slaty flycatcher, hunter’s cisticola and Montane nightjar are common around the Lodge. Augur buzzard, forest buzzard, long-crested eagle and Egyptian vulture are among resident birds of prey.

Birding Specials at Ngorongoro
Golden-winged Sunbird
Rufous-tailed Weaver
Bar-tailed Trogon
Rosy-breasted Longclaw
Egyptian Vulture
Schalow's Wheatear
Mountain Buzzard
Kori Bustard
Montane White-eye
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher

Other African Wildlife
High-casqued chameleon can be seen at the forest edge close to the Lodge. Large gatherings of reed and grass frogs occur in freshwater pools after rain on the Crater floor. Attractive epiphytic orchids cloak large trees on the Crater rim.

Interpretive bush walks (optional extra)
Enjoy exciting walking safaris on the rim of the Crater led by skilled CC Africa guides.

Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands (optional extra)
Explore the roots of mankind on our half or full-day excursions to the famous archaeological site of Olduvai Gorge – a 60-minute game-drive from the Lodge. There is a fascinating museum at the Gorge, and the volcanic ash dune of Shifting Sands situated nearby is an absolute highlight.

Crater picnics
Enjoy lavish picnics or bush brunches on the Crater floor.

Ngorongoro Massages (optional extra)
To ensure your stay at Ngorongoro is as memorable and relaxing as possible, we offer a range of therapeutic treatments, from head and neck shoulder massages to aromatherapy sessions.

Private picnics and sundowners (optional extra)
Private picnic sites on the Crater floor may be reserved – advance notice required. Sundowners just 20 minutes from the Lodge overlooking Lake Eyasi are memorable.

Maasai cultural visits (optional extra)
Visit a Maasai boma (traditional village) in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Browse through the local handicrafts or watch traditional Maasai dancing.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is committed to CC Africa’s core principle: Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the people.

CC Africa’s focus: Community equity, income generation, education and health care are a primary concern. In consultation with community organisations such as the Africa Foundation – originally founded by CC Africa, now a not-for-profit rural development organisation – Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has contributed significantly towards improving the prosperity and living conditions of the Maasai community.

About 42 000 Maasai pastoralists inhabit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, tending their herds of cattle, sheep and goats, and living in peaceful co-existence with the wildlife. Grazing of livestock on the Crater floor is permitted, offering a glimpse of bygone Africa.

Ecotourism in Africa: Our guests play a critical role in helping CC Africa realise our dream and vision: to create a model in wise land management, integrating international travellers and rural people to their mutual benefit and demonstrating that wildlife can be preserved on a sustainable basis by all.

Positive Health Programme
CC Africa strongly believes in its people and was recently listed as one of three finalists in the Investor in People category of the 2005 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The October 2005 edition of Africa Geographic featured an article on AIDS and conversation, and highlighted the activities and programmes that various African companies are implementing in order to increase AIDS awareness and, in doing so, empower the communities taking care of some of the world's richest wilderness regions.

"Probably the most attractive program ... is that of CC Africa... CC Africa launched a Positive Health program in 2003 and in April and May last year ran two seven-day courses.... Their approach focuses on home-based care, gardens, counseling techniques and gender issues.... The health of the habitat is critical to the health of the individuals in it.... The conservation industry is uniquely positioned to take the treatment of HIV/AIDS in radically new directions.... Benefits [of the program] include acquiring 'hard skills' such as maintaining clean water, producing food, and home-based methods of dealing with illnesses that are not life threatening.... It takes only the will of ecologically minded people to make sure that the wild places are not lost."
Africa Geographic, October 2005

Other Considerations
Weather: Summer is from October to March and winter from April to September. It can be cold on the Crater rim from May to September and we suggest you dress in layers for game drives as temperatures heat up towards midday.
Rainfall: Rainfall occurs predominantly from November to May, with the ‘short rains’ from November to December and ‘long rains’ from March to May. Rainfall is about 700mm (27 inches) on the Crater floor and over 1 500mm (58 inches) on the rim.
Temperature: Minimum temperatures of 8°C/42°F and maximum temperatures of 30°C/86°F.
Best time to travel: Excellent game viewing year round.  The Great Migration is a 12-month cycle and usually moves into the surrounding area in January and thousands of wildebeest calve in February and March.
Malaria: Malaria-free.
Ratio of guests to staff: 1 to 3
Camp closure: Open year round.

Top           Return to Serengeti Camps & Lodges           Return to Map of Tanzania

Wildebeest & Zebra Migration Routing & Schedule for Kenya / Tanzania:  Great Migration Schedule

For History and General information about Tanzania, click More Tanzania
For further information about the National Parks of Tanzania, click Tanzania Parks

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Tel: 800.457.9575 / 773.549.0169    Fax: 773.327.2977    Email: Eyes on Africa

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