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Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is built on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
  Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Getting there
The Ngorongoro Crater is situated 3–4 hours' drive (or 185 km/115 mi) from Arusha. The first 2.5 hours are on good to very good tarmac, the rest on poor to fair dirt road. You pass Lake Manyara National Park en route.
Travelling from the west, it's a 3-hour drive on mainly poor dirt road from central Serengeti to the crater rim.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is situated a 10-minute drive from the crater rim airstrip, which is mainly operated by chartered flights. The airstrip isn't always open, because of fog or low clouds around the crater rim.
The western descent road from the rim into the crater and the southern ascent road out of it are very poor. The eastern descent and ascent road, mainly used by safari-goers staying in Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, is better, although not good.
Ngorongoro CA map
Map of Ngorongoro Conservation Area .
Ngorongoro Crater map
Map of the Ngorongoro crater.
Tanzania map
Tanzania map.
Safari glossary
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Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is a luxury lodge on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. It has been said to be one of the 20 best lodges in the world. Much comfort await the guests, and like the other lodges on the crater rim, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has a splendid view of the crater.

Top standard
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has one northern and one southern part, each one with 12 suites. There is also a 6-suite Treecamp. All suites are top standard. They have spacious bathrooms with WC, washbasin, shower and bathtub, a fireplace in the room and a private veranda facing the crater.

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Dressing for dinner
The lodge shows an ambition to present elegance in old colonial style. Dressing for dinner is normal, and a private butler is available day and night to service you. In general, service is very good, and the overall atmosphere quiet and relaxed.

The lodge is set just above 2,200 m/7,200 ft above sea level. Evenings and mornings may be cool, especially as the crater rim is often windy. Bring a warm sweater and socks.

Up until the mid 1990's, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was a basic standard lodge. Old sources may refer to this lodge. The new lodge, set in the same location, is a completely different place, by far outclassing its predecessor as to quality.

View of the Ngorongoro Crater from the southern crater rim.

Lions in the Ngorongoro Crater.

More about the Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater, which is situated in a huge park called Ngorongoro Conservation Area, is all that remains from a high volcano that once stood here, but eventually collapsed. Today, the crater is known for its dense wildlife population; some tens of thousands of large mammals live in the crater. Best known are the black rhinos (or browse rhinos), which are often seen on game drives in the crater. Other herbivores found are wildebeest, zebras, buffalos, gazelles, warthogs and hippopotamus. Large elephant bulls, some with truly impressive tusks, are often found around the marshes on the south-eastern crater floor.

Lions and cheetahs
There is also a healthy predator population; lions, cheetahs, hyaenas and jackals are often seen, while leopards, servals and bat-eared foxes may be spotted with some luck.

There are no lodges or camps on the crater floor, so the closest place to stay is on the crater rim, 600 m/2,000 ft above the floor. The descent and ascent roads to access the crater are very poor and require four-wheel drive. If you go there on a self-drive safari, you will probably be asked to hire an official guide at the park headquarters (located on the rim) to be allowed into the crater.

The Ngorongoro highlands
The Ngorongoro highlands, of which the Ngorongoro crater is one part, is an area of some ten extinct volcanoes, some of them reaching above 3,000 m/10,000 ft. Two of these volcanoes have, like Ngorongoro, collapsed and formed craters.

The nature and the views from the winding mountain roads are beautiful, and there are some nice areas for trekking. On most safari tours, the visit in Ngorongoro Conservation Area is focused on game driving in the Ngorongoro Crater, though. The crater floor is fairly small compared to other safari areas in the region, and a half or full day visit in the crater is fine.

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Page updated 18 February 2009