Best places to stay on a safari at the Ngorongoro Crater

Best Places To Stay On A Safari At The Ngorongoro Crater

As the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Ngorongoro Crater is truly a unique and spectacular place. With an abundance of 'Big 5' game and astonishing scenery, it is a world-famous location to view wildlife. Any Northern itinerary in Tanzania should include a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater. 

The small size of the Crater and its world-wide reputation means that it is very busy in there for most of the year. For this reason, we wouldn't suggest spending more than two days in the area before flying to the Serengeti. The lodges and camps are not based in the Crater itself, a number are based on the rim with others falling into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This area encompasses the Crater, and was established in 1959 as a multiple land use area where wildlife could co-exist with the semi-nomadic Masai pastoralists. In this conservation area and in the highlands nearby, walking and cultural experiences are permitted, but only driving is allowed in the Crater.

The accommodation by the Ngorongoro Crater varies hugely, but all have their own quirks and luxurious assets. There are those lodges which are based on the Crater rim and all boast spectacular views of the crater itself, however the choices here are limited and are normally located in the higher price bracket. Although if you can afford the prices, then the lavishness of the lodges are certainly worth it. 

If you're happy to sacrifice the views from the lodge, then away from the rim, the camp prices tend to become cheaper with the warm and charming Plantation Lodge in the Ngorongoro Highlands being a favourite of ours.

There is a wealth of choice from numerous lodges located by the Ngorongoro Crater or further afield in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area for the start of your safari. Below we have listed our favourites:

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Without doubt one of the top ten hotels in the world.  Perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and with views to die for; people come to Tanzania just to stay here.  This is &Beyond’s flag ship property; quirky and something different from other properties on a northern itinerary.  &Beyond call it ‘ Masaai meets Versaille’, we find it verging on over the top - but if you can afford it  - you must stay here!

Entamanu Camp

On the remote North Western edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, the camp is uniquely off the beaten track but right on the Crater rim, with exceptional views down into the Ngorongoro Crater from one side (sunrise), and out over the Serengeti from the other (perfect for sundowners). This is the wild side of the Crater where the exclusivity and views are unsurpassed.

Kirurumu Ngorongoro

Kirurumu Ngorongoro is a stunning tented camp situated on rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, boasting sensational views. It is a very intimate camp in a true safari style, a far cry from the large, faceless chains that are also present on the rim. Great views, great guides and great value! 

Lemala Ngorongoro Camp

Lemala is well located (though do not be fooled, the views are not into the Crater itself as the camp lies on the other side of the rim looking out into the Conservation area as opposed to into the Crater itself) and does have some game in the surrounding area. Overall it is a quality product and a welcome breath of fresh air around the Ngorongoro rim with it's nice authentic tents, and overall rustic luxury. 

Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Since there is not a wide variety of choice on the crater rim the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge is an excellent option; good access into the crater whilst remaining quite affordable.  Being a large hotel it doesn’t have all the charm you would expect of a lodge in a world famous location.  But why should it when you are only here for only a night or two and the focus is the crater itself, not the lodge, its design and aesthetics.  This is a good choice of lodge for the rim but if you are looking for something with a bit more charm and slightly less expensive, then look at somewhere like Plantation Lodge in the highlands.  Or if you want one of Africa’s most sought after property and budget is no problem, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

Ngorongoro Sopa

With the best views of any of the lodges on the Crater rim and a good price too, the Sopa is great choice for location.  Although it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing lodge it serves a purpose and does it very well.  It pretty much has its own access road to the crater floor and being on the eastern side of the rim it is far away from the other lodges.  It is a good value options for a one or two night stay but if you are looking for something with a little more character and charm with the sacrifice of crater view, then look at Plantation Lodge in the Ngorongoro highlands, or if you want opulence then the Manor or the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

More information about Ngorongoro Crater Safari – Best Places To Stay In Ngorongoro Crater Safari


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Where to stay on the crater rim



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