Lodges

&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Wallow in opulent style on the rim of a vast crater

&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Voted one of the top 10 hotels on the planet, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is undoubtedly one of the most opulent lodges in Africa. And yet, while no expense has been spared to ensure your every need is catered for, the main attraction is the lodge's setting – on the rim of the famous and archaeologically significant Ngorongoro Crater. Both lodge and crater lie at the heart of an 8,300-square-kilometre conservation area that is home to an astonishing selection of wildlife, including hippo, antelope, buffalo, black rhino, one of the highest carnivore densities in the world and plentiful bird species.

At the lodge

The hotel

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is divided into three camps – North, South and Tree Camp. North and South are identical, while Tree Camp has slightly smaller guest rooms. Maasai manyatta (homestead) meets baronial manor in the architecture and furnishings throughout, creating an extravagant yet homely atmosphere. Each camp has its own communal area (the one at Tree Camp is built around a gigantic tree; at South Camp it's quirky), and all offer panoramic views of the crater.

The rooms

The three camps encompass 30 stand-alone rooms, all extravagantly decorated in a style that's both engaging and comfortable. All have a fireplace, a sitting area, a balcony with big views and an en-suite bathroom with two basins, a shower and a bathtub that is filled with hot water and strewn with rose petals every evening by your personal butler. You have to be escorted to and from your room at night and early in the morning, for (animal) safety reasons.

On safari

Experiences

Morning and evening game drives take 20–30 minutes to reach the crater floor, when you'll need to have your camera primed for constant use. (TIP: Pre-order breakfast to take on a morning drive; there's nowhere better to have it.) The lodge also offers guided walking safaris around the crater rim, visits to a Maasai cultural village to browse through the crafts, and excursions to beautiful lakes Ndutu and Eyasi or the Olduvai Gorge. Or simply relax and enjoy the views.

When to go

Ngorongoro Crater by month

January

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures can be hot although lower than other parts of Tanzania, with occasional afternoon showers providing a unique spectacle.
  • An ideal month to visit the Crater, with very high sunshine hours, providing perfect photographic conditions.
  • Game viewing is particularly good during this, the birthing season, offering high predator activities and excitement.
  • During the green season, plants are in bloom, vegetation is thick and grasses can be long, making game viewing a little more difficult.
  • Visitor traffic can be particularly high during this time of year.
  • Enjoy exceptional birding with migratory species present and in full breeding plumage.

February

Season: Wet
  • Temperature are relatively hot but low for Tanzania, there is plenty of sunshine with a decline in the amount of rainy afternoons.
  • An ideal month to visit the Crater, with very high sunshine hours, providing perfect photographic conditions.
  • Game viewing is particularly good during this, the birthing season, offering high predator activities and excitement.
  • During the green season, plants are in bloom, vegetation is thick and grasses can be long, making game viewing a little more difficult.
  • Visitor traffic can be particularly high during this time of year.
  • Enjoy exceptional birding with migratory species present and in full breeding plumage.

March

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are moderate to hot, with chances of prolonged rainfall.
  • Skies can remain cloudy for long periods of time, creating poor, low light conditions for photography
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • During the green season, plants are in bloom, vegetation is thick and grasses can be long, making game viewing a little more difficult.
  • The best time to visit the Crater, with low tourist traffic leading to more intimate sightings.
  • Enjoy exceptional birding with migratory species present and in full breeding plumage.

April

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are mild by Tanzanian standards, with the highest rainfall of the year over this period.
  • Skies can remain cloudy for long periods of time, creating poor, low light conditions for photography
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • During the green season, plants are in bloom, vegetation is thick and grasses can be long, making game viewing a little more difficult.
  • The best time to visit the Crater, with low tourist traffic leading to more intimate sightings.
  • Migratory birds begin to leave in search of warmer condition to the North.

May

Season: Wet
  • The best time to visit the Crater, with low tourist traffic leading to more intimate sightings.
  • During the green season, plants are in bloom, vegetation is thick and grasses can be long, making game viewing a little more difficult.
  • Migratory birds begin to leave in search of better conditions to the North.
  • Temperatures are cool but comfortable, with the end of the summer rains falling during this month.
  • Skies can remain cloudy for long periods of time, creating poor, low light conditions for photography
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.

June

Season: Dry
  • Transition from the wet to the dry season, expect relatively low temperatures, mists, clouds and possibly rain.
  • Skies can remain cloudy for long periods of time, creating poor, low light conditions for photography
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • The end of the green season has arrived, vegetation begins to recede, improving your chances of spotting the more elusive species.
  • Visitor traffic increases greatly, causing sightings to be crowded at times.
  • Include a warm jacket in your packing list as morning game drive can get quite chilly.

July

Season: Dry
  • The dry season has kicked off with cool temperatures, little rain, but still the chance of cloud and mist.Include a warm jacket in your packing list as morning game drive can get quite chilly.
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • The end of the green season has arrived, vegetation begins to recede, improving your chances of spotting the more elusive species.
  • A difficult time of year to predict light conditions with chances of cloud cover and mist, making photography unpredictable.
  • Visitor traffic is high during peak season, causing sightings to be crowded at times.
  • Include a warm jacket in your packing list as morning game drive can get quite chilly.

August

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are warm, with the chances of poor weather declining as the month wears on.
  • Mist and cloud cover are less likely as the month wears on, providing better photographic opportunities.
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • Vegetation has receded, animals remain close to the permanent water sources, improving your chances of spotting the more elusive species.
  • Visitor traffic is high during peak season, causing sightings to be crowded at times.
  • Include a warm jacket in your packing list as morning game drive can get quite chilly.

September

Season: Dry
  • The Temperatures begin to climb, rain is very unlikely and sunshine hours start to increase.
  • Mist and cloud cover are less likely and short lived, providing better photographic opportunities and game drive conditions.
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • Vegetation has receded, animals remain close to the permanent water sources, improving your chances of spotting the more elusive species.
  • Visitor traffic is high during peak season, causing sightings to be crowded at times.
  • Include a warm jacket in your packing list as morning game drive can get quite chilly.

October

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are hot and humid until the first rains of summer fall, usually towards the end of the month.
  • Mist and cloud cover are unlikely and short lived, providing better photographic opportunities and game drive conditions.
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • Vegetation is at it's most sparse, providing a great chance of spotting the more elusive species.
  • Visitor traffic drops slightly after peak season, but can still be crowded in certain sightings.

November

Season: Dry
  • The start of the wet season is characterised by high temperatures and regular afternoon showers.
  • Clear blue skies during the day with late afternoon showers or even electrical storms, providing a dramatic backdrop for any photographer.
  • Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is always good with incredible game densities.
  • Vegetation burst back into life rejuvenating the animals of the region after the hardships of the dry season.
  • Visitor traffic drops slightly after peak season, but can still be crowded in certain sightings.

December

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are comfortable, weather is sunny but expect some an afternoon shower during your safari.
  • Clear blue skies with exception of the odd late afternoon electical storm are expected, providing great photographic conditions.
  • Game viewing is particularly good during this, the birthing season, offering high predator activities and excitement.
  • This is technically the green season with vegetation at its thickest, however the Ngorongoro Crater region does not experience a severe dry season.
  • Migratory birds have returned to the region in full breeding plumage, creating a hive of activity in the tree tops.
  • Bring along some insect repellent as mosquito numbers increase with the arrival of the rains.

Wildlife


The Ngorongoro Crater, also known as Africa's Eden, is a place of remarkable beauty and diversity, with a mix of forest, savannah and grassland providing the perfect environment for wildlife to thrive. On the crater floor, experience the Big Five with great black rhino encounters, dense numbers of wildebeest, zebra, eland and exciting lions and cheetah sightings.

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