Ngorongoro is one of Tanzania leading safari destination famed for the 21 km long crater depression believed to have formed some 2 million years ago. Here, visitors are treated to one of the most awing geological experience in Africa. All game drives take place in side the crater which mostly encompasses swathes of open savannah and sections of riverine covers along the streams running from the crater wall forming one of Tanzania most consistent dwelling for the big game of Africa. However, there are no accommodation facilities found inside the crater and guests has to descend from outside for safari drives. There are majorly three main types of accommodation when defined by location. These include accommodation in the rim of the crater, accommodations in Karatu area and one asilia location on the Olmoti crater.
Accommodation on the rim of the crater
The heavily forested rim stand high 2000 feet from the floor of the crater. Most of the accommodations perched on the crater rim are in luxury category offering the quickest access to the floor of the crater and unmatched world class services. Here guest enjoy a spectacular view of the floor of the crater each uniquely designed with a crater facing private deck where you can relax and enjoy the view. Additionally, Ngorongoro rim is one of the highest points in the northern region and accommodations in different positions will as well offer an incredible view of features in the areas. For instance, guests in different locations of the rim can view as far as lake Natron in the north west and lake Eyasi in the south. Ngorongoro Serena lodge and AndBeyond Ngorongoro crater lodge are the best facilities in this category. Besides being on the crater rim the facility are closer to the Magadi floodplains which are the most spectacular features you can view from the crater with hosts of flamingos
When to choose accommodation on the crater rim
- When you want an accommodation that is closest to the crater. Staying close to the crater spare the time spent driving on the rugged road before starting your game drives. All the facilities on the crater rim are less than 30 minutes drive from the floor of the crater which is considerably convenient.
Accommodations on the Karatu highlands
The Karatu area is popular with spectacular view of coffee plantations on the Ngorongoro highlands. Guests are also in the best position to interact with the local Masai and Datoga communities with several villages situated close by. Though the Area is about one hour drive from the cater guests have more accommodation options coming in different budget. At Karatu you also have an opportunity to engage mountain biking and horse riding, activities not available within the conservation area. Some of the accommodations are set in scenic location that inspire the ideal safari experience. For example Neptune Ngorongoro luxury lodge is in forested setting overlooking a waterfall. As you head out to the crater from Karatu, you will pass through the alluringly dense highlands forest that forms the rim of the crater creating one of the most exciting en route safari with possibility of encountering with animal like baboons, buffaloes, gazelles, elephants and some small animals. Some of the best facility in Ngorongoro Karatu area include plantation lodge, Ngorongoro farm house, The Manor Ngorongoro, and Kitale lodge.
Why choose an accommodation in Karatu highlands for your Ngorongoro safari
- Offers the most affordable accommodations. At Karatu you can get a pocket friendly accommodation at less than 100 USD.
The highlands lodge at Ol moti crater
The Asilia owned lodge is the only major facility set outside the Karatu and crater rim areas. The highlands is uniquely in a forest setting on the skirts of Ol moti crater. There a few zebras, hertabeest, buffaloes and leopards living around these areas. This facility offer the best access to the Ol moti and Empakaai crater the smaller dykes of the Ngorongoro crater. Even though you can not view the floor of the crater from this facility, the sights of flora on the lowlands inside the collapsed crater is quite an inspiring experience. The camp also offer the best view of Serengeti Ndutu plains. From this facility you have an opportunity to have a more detailed experience in walking trails and the most ideal for guests who would like to have the walking experience as a family. Importantly, there are a several Masai Villages in the neighborhood giving some of the most exciting cultural visits.
Why choose a stay at Ol moti crater
- If you are seeking to also visit the other two smaller craters asides game drives inside the main crater. The highlands offer a quicker access to the two craters. The facility has walking guides who have offered services along these trails for years.