Located in Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most iconic safari destinations in Africa. Home to a vast array of wildlife, including lions, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos, it’s no wonder that thousands of tourists flock to Ngorongoro Crater every year to experience the breathtaking natural beauty of this unique ecosystem. If you’re planning a safari trip to Tanzania and are looking for information about lodges in Ngorongoro Crater, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to find the perfect lodging option for your budget and preferences.
Getting to Know Ngorongoro Crater
Before we dive into the various lodging options available in Ngorongoro Crater, let’s take a moment to get to know this incredible destination.
Location and Climate
Ngorongoro Crater is located in the northern part of Tanzania, near the border with Kenya. It’s part of the larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which spans over 8,000 square kilometers and includes forests, plains, and savannas. The crater itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The climate in Ngorongoro Crater is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The rainy season typically runs from March to May and from November to December.
Ngorongoro Crater is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including some of Africa’s most iconic species. Visitors to the crater can expect to see lions, elephants, buffalo, rhinos, leopards, hyenas, wildebeest, zebras, and many other animals. The crater is also home to over 400 bird species, making it a paradise for bird watchers.
There are several lodging options available in Ngorongoro Crater, ranging from budget-friendly campsites to luxury lodges. Many of the lodges in the crater are located on the crater rim, providing stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Lodging Intent: Finding the Perfect Lodge in Ngorongoro Crater
If you’re looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay in Ngorongoro Crater, there are several lodges to choose from. Here are some of the best options:
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
The Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a luxurious lodge located on the rim of the crater. The lodge features 75 rooms, each with its own private balcony and fireplace. Guests can enjoy a variety of amenities, including a swimming pool, spa, and restaurant. The lodge also offers guided game drives and nature walks.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
The Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge is another great option for those looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay in the crater. The lodge features 91 rooms, each with its own private balcony and fireplace. Guests can enjoy a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar. The lodge also offers guided game drives and nature walks.
Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
The Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge is located on the rim of the crater and offers stunning panoramic views of the crater floor. The lodge features 80 rooms, each with a private balcony. Guests can enjoy a restaurant, bar, and lounge area. The lodge also offers guided game drives and nature walks.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
For those looking for the ultimate luxury experience, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is the perfect choice. The lodge features 30 suites, each with its own private butler and fireplace. Guests can enjoy a spa, wine cellar, and gourmet restaurant. The lodge also offers guided game drives and nature walks.
If you’re on a budget and looking for a more rustic experience, there are several camping options available in Ngorongoro Crater. The Simba Campsite is a popular choice, located on the crater rim and offering basic facilities such as toilets and showers. The Ndutu Safari Lodge Campsite is another option, located just outside the crater and offering more comfortable amenities such as hot water and electricity.
How to Book Your Lodge in Ngorongoro Crater
Once you’ve decided on the perfect lodging option for your safari trip, it’s time to book your reservation. There are several ways to book a lodge in Ngorongoro Crater:
- Book directly with the lodge: Most lodges in Ngorongoro Crater have their own websites where you can book your reservation online. This is often the easiest and most convenient way to book your lodging.
- Use a travel agent: If you’re planning a larger safari trip and want help with booking your lodging and activities, you can use a travel agent who specializes in African safaris.
- Use a booking website: There are several websites that specialize in booking safari lodges in Africa, such as SafariBookings.com and Booking.com.
Tips for Planning Your Ngorongoro Crater Safari Trip
Now that you’ve booked your lodging, it’s time to start planning your safari trip. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time in Ngorongoro Crater:
- Plan your trip during the dry season: The best time to visit Ngorongoro Crater is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. This is when the wildlife is most active and the weather is most pleasant.
- Book your activities in advance: Guided game drives and nature walks are popular activities in Ngorongoro Crater, so it’s a good idea to book these in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Bring the right gear: Be sure to bring comfortable and durable clothing, as well as sturdy walking shoes. It’s also a good idea to bring binoculars and a camera to capture the amazing wildlife and landscape.
- Respect the wildlife: It’s important to remember that you are a guest in the animals’ home, so be sure to follow your guide’s instructions and maintain a safe distance from the animals.
- Support sustainable tourism: Many lodges and tour operators in Ngorongoro Crater are committed to sustainable tourism practices, so be sure to support these efforts by choosing eco-friendly lodges and activities.
Budgeting Intent: How to Save Money on Your Ngorongoro Crater Safari Trip
Safari trips to Ngorongoro Crater can be expensive, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your trip. Here are some tips to help you budget for your Ngorongoro Crater safari:
- Travel during the low season: If you’re flexible with your travel dates, consider visiting Ngorongoro Crater during the low season. Lodging and activity prices may be lower during this time.
- Book a group safari: Many lodges and tour operators offer group safari packages that can be more affordable than booking individually. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other travelers and share the experience with them.
- Choose a budget-friendly lodging option: If you’re on a tight budget, consider staying at a camping option such as Simba Campsite or Ndutu Safari Lodge Campsite. These options offer basic amenities at a lower cost.
- Limit extra expenses: While it can be tempting to splurge on souvenirs or additional activities, try to limit your extra expenses during your trip. Stick to a budget for souvenirs and only book additional activities that you know you’ll enjoy.
Ngorongoro Crater is an incredible destination for wildlife lovers and adventure seekers. With a range of lodging options available, from rustic camping to luxurious lodges, there’s something for everyone. By booking your lodging in advance and planning your safari trip carefully, you can make the most of your time in this amazing destination without breaking the bank. Remember to respect the wildlife and support sustainable tourism efforts, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in Ngorongoro Crater.
- National Geographic – Ngorongoro Crater
- Tanzania National Parks – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- SafariBookings – Ngorongoro Crater
- Booking.com – Ngorongoro Crater
|Lodge Name||Location||Room Types||Amenities||Price Range (per night)|
|Gibb’s Farm||Outside the crater||Cottages, suites, villas||Restaurant, spa, organic farm, guided activities||$400-$1,000|
|Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge||On the crater rim||Rooms with private balconies||Restaurant, bar, lounge, guided activities||$
|Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge||Inside the crater||Rooms, suites||Restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, spa, guided activities||$400-$1,000|
|Ngorongoro Crater Lodge||Inside the crater||Suites||Restaurant, bar, lounge, spa, guided activities||$1,500-$2,000|
|Simba Campsite||On the crater rim||Camping sites with tents and mattresses provided||Shared bathroom facilities, campfire||$15-$30|
|Ndutu Safari Lodge Campsite||Outside the crater||Camping sites with tents and mattresses provided||Shared bathroom facilities, restaurant||$30-$50|
Note: Prices listed are an approximate range and may vary depending on season and availability. Check with individual lodges for up-to-date pricing information.
Here are some frequently asked questions about lodging and safari trips in Ngorongoro Crater:
Q: What is the best time of year to visit Ngorongoro Crater?
A: The best time to visit Ngorongoro Crater is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. During this time, wildlife is concentrated around water sources, making it easier to spot. However, this is also peak tourist season, so prices may be higher and availability may be limited. The shoulder seasons of January to March and November to December can also be good times to visit, as there are fewer tourists and prices may be lower.
Q: Do I need a guide to visit Ngorongoro Crater?
A: Yes, a guide is required to enter Ngorongoro Crater. The guides are knowledgeable about the area and can help you spot wildlife and navigate the park safely.
Q: Can I self-drive in Ngorongoro Crater?
A: No, self-driving is not allowed in Ngorongoro Crater. You must book a guided safari with a licensed tour operator or lodge.
Q: Is it safe to visit Ngorongoro Crater?
A: Yes, Ngorongoro Crater is generally safe for visitors. However, it’s important to follow park rules and guidelines to ensure your safety and the safety of the wildlife. For example, don’t get out of your vehicle except at designated areas, and don’t approach or feed the animals.
Q: What kind of wildlife can I expect to see in Ngorongoro Crater?
A: Ngorongoro Crater is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, and wildebeests, among others. There are also over 500 species of birds in the area.</
Q: Can I see the Great Migration in Ngorongoro Crater?
A: No, the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebras mainly occurs in the Serengeti National Park, which is adjacent to Ngorongoro Crater. However, some animals do move in and out of the crater, so you may still see some migration activity depending on the time of year.
Q: How long should I plan to stay in Ngorongoro Crater?
A: Most safari trips to Ngorongoro Crater are full-day excursions, but some lodges also offer overnight stays. If you want to fully explore the area and take advantage of guided activities such as walking safaris or cultural visits to local villages, you may want to consider a longer stay of 2-3 days.
Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most unique and breathtaking destinations in Tanzania, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness some of the world’s most incredible wildlife up close. While it can be expensive to visit, the experience is truly unforgettable and worth the investment. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious getaway or a more budget-friendly camping trip, there are plenty of lodging options available to suit your needs.
When planning your safari trip to Ngorongoro Crater, be sure to research lodges and tour operators in advance to ensure availability and pricing. Don’t forget to also plan for transportation, as the crater is located a few hours’ drive from major cities like Arusha and Moshi. With proper planning and preparation, your Ngorongoro Crater safari adventure is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.