The Ngorongoro Sopa lodge rests on the eastern rim of the collapsed volcano, the Ngorongoro Crater which is a world heritage site, the eighth wonder of the world. You will love the magnificent view from your balcony.
A hot towel upon arrival and then cold drinks, swift check-in and voila - before you know it - you're admiring the view of the crater from your room! The spacious lodge will give you a breathing space. You will be pleased to know that there is a hair dryer, warm water (from 5-8 pm and from 5-8 am), an Internet area, a bar, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a coffee corner.
I was well attended to. The female staff were very attentive. Because I did not bring the right plug, I have asked the Receptionists to charge my phone and camera and they gladly did it for me.
The waiters felt sorry for me because they thought I must be lonely to travel alone. So they made sure I had the drinks and food that I ordered.
My only mistake: I did not bring a book. Why a mistake? Well, there are no TVs in the rooms.
Each suite has complimentary bottled water and has bathroom amenities. Twice daily there is maid service including evening turndown of beds.
Nothing can beat the location of the swimming pool because it is on the rim of the crater. The view is spectacular.
Tea/Coffee and tidbits are on the house at around 4:30 p.m.
Cocktails are quite okay. Setting is romantic or cozy. You'll like it in the lounge bar. It has open fireplaces and can accommodate about 100 people.
There is a gift shop inside but unless it is your last day, I'd recommend you check out souvenirs elsewhere because the prices, in my opinion, were high.
The camp ground at Ngorongoro is at 2500M so gets very cold at night - especially if you have just gotten used to hot days in the Serengeti! The camp ground, like the Serengeti, has wild animals roaming so safety needs to be considered when walking about at night. The camp ground has 2 sets of shower blocks with separate male and female facilities.
Serena Lodge – Ngorongoro Crater
Perched high on the crater rim,blended into the cliffs is this wonderful lodge. Even for the toughest critics this lodge would not disappoint.It has a wonderful atmosphere with lots of exposed stone, both inside and out , heavy beams and a cozy fire pit in the lobby/bar area. Drinks came with a bowl of warm roasted cashews. Who could resist? Our room was located down a stone walled corridor . We had a huge king bed and floor to ceiling windows to look out over the crater. All the food was great and dinner was truly 5 star, delicious and elegantly served. It was four courses chosen from a menu. We had pork tenderloin as our main. We enjoyed the Serena Lodges so much we considered trying to change the reservations for the other lodges for our remaining trip to Kenya.
This was the most luxurious of the places we stayed in Tanzania, and one glance at the photo on the website below will show you why we thought it was worth splashing out on. It has the most stunning of settings, perched on the crater’s edge with views from all public rooms and bedrooms. And its clever design means that viewed from below it almost disappears into the landscape.
At the centre of the lodge is a large lobby bar with a huge window to make the most of that view, and opening from this is the restaurant where we had a couple of excellent dinners and equally good buffet breakfasts. Long passageways, partly open to the crater views, lead out on both sides along the rim and take you to your room. If you find walking difficult you should perhaps say so when booking, as our room was a good five minutes from the centre, but for us that was fine and the walk was part of the charm of this special place. Once in your room you have your own private balcony from which to enjoy the view and of course all the facilities you expect from a five star hotel. To be honest though I don’t remember a lot about our room – it was definitely the setting and the bar/restaurant area that made the biggest impression on me.
The blurb on the website is perhaps a little over the top, but will give you an idea:
” Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers, the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Sensitively constructed so as to take nothing from its environment whilst affording endless vistas over the heat-shimmering reaches of the crater below, the clustered boulder-built buildings of the Lodge hug the crater rim, linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the buttressed roots of ancient, liana-hung trees.
The interior, radiating out from the primeval log fire glowing at the heart of the Lodge, blends the concentrated hush of a game-viewing hide with the ochre, rust and charcoal images of a prehistoric cavern. Lit by flaming wall-lanterns, clad in gigantic volcanic boulders and decorated by the iron spears, bright-beaded robes and intricately carven artefacts of the Maasai, the Lodge is a unique blend of world-class luxury, timeless volcanic splendour and ethnic style. As for the views, from lilac-streaked sunrise, to indigo star-studded night, the immeasurably ancient Ngorongoro Crater delivers a theatre of vistas, most unchanged since the dawn of time.”
See what I mean? Over the top maybe, but irresistible too ...
All this luxury doesn’t come cheap, but you can save a bit by visiting in the wet season (current rates quoted vary from $238 - $540 per room depending on the time of year) or by booking a package.
It was very comfortable. I dont know how much it cost us, it was part of the safari expenses. The campground had a community kitchen that the cook (provided by the safari company) uses to make dinner. The view of the crater was magnificent.
The only thing to worry about is the cold. The rim of the Ngorongoro is so high that there are no mosquitoes. Make sure you bring warm clothing, or get a good sleeping bag. The temperature is about 5-10 deg C.
I did not see any animals next to the camp ground. Usually animals stay away from places inhabited by humans, unless there is food involved.
- It is the only lodge having prime position on the eastern rim of the crater
- Too bad it was too cold water in the pool! Otherwise it was nice sitting in the cool garden in the evenings :)
Camping at Ngorongoro Crater was a fab experience.
We set up our tents with a view over the crater that was astounding, we made a big campfire and sat around that eating a dinner of rice that night.
Even though this is Africa, at night it was FREEZING.....wear layers and make sure that your sleeping ag is sufficent.
Falling asleep to sound of the animals is an amazing experience. We had zebra in our camp and later on that night while we were all sleeping we had bush pigs come in scuffling around looking for food.
The main rule is - if you wanna be safe - dont have foof in your tent - then you will be fine and have a great time!
We spent two nights while on our Tanzanian safari - one at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge and one at Gibbs Farm. Since both places are actually closer to Lake Manyara than Ngorongoro, we decided to put those tips on our Lake Manyara page.
We highly recommend Gibbs Farm!
The public campsite is right on the crater rim. Don't get there too late in the day as this site will get very busy in high season.
Whatever the time of year you must take some warmer clothes to wear in the evening. It gets quite cold on the crater rim at night so you will need something warm to put on.
Get up in time to see the sun come up over the crater. Sensational. The view is breathtaking as you stay right on the rim.
When we got up in the morning, you could see 3 layers of cloud, 1 above the soda lake, 1 around the rim of the crater, and 1 above us. So odd but fantastic.
Also, we had elephants come right up to the campsite, and even nightime visits from zebra and bush-pigs!
This was a large camp site with armed guards to protect us from wild animals. We were at the outskirts, and had to walk quite a bit to get to the shower- / toilet room. We were advised to use a torch, as bushpigs used to come to the camp to steal food. We thought it was a joke! But it wasn't. On my way back to the tent, I suddenly heard weird noices and looked around, and there I saw them, running between the tents in search for food. Back by the tent I told my son, and he and one of the others went looking for them. After a while we heard a tremendous noice, and saw that the pigs had run straight through our cooks's outdoor kitchen! This time we had local guides / cooks, and they had been eating when ambushed by the pigs. Luckily nobody had gotten hurt, and the guys who lost their food got some from the others. (Afterwards my son admitted to me that he had been chasing the pigs when it happened ;-)
I did not get any picture of the bush pigs, but caught this African Marabou Stork waiting for a bite.
It's a wonderful place, we enjoyed our stay (only 1 night) very much. The restaurant is fabulous.
Unique situation (on the crater rim with a superb view on the crater floor), unique architecture ("nature-friendly").
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge:
As the other Lodges in this park, this one is situated on the rim of the crater, which means it is over 2600m high.
So in the evening it can get pretty cold, but the rooms are heated. At least there won?t be any mosquitos here.
The view in the crater is spectacular and with the very big windows in each bungalow room you can also enjoy it.
Of course there is also a pool, but as the manager himself says, there is never anyone in it -because it,s too cold in the evening and during the day all are in the crater.
This lodge is something different, located on the rim of the famous Ngorongoro crater every room has a view in the crater.
And when you get bored you can go upstairs to the bar, where you can have a drink sitting on the terrace and again enjoying a crater view. Try to spot some animals down there. (An elephant looks pretty small when it is 600 meters below you)
The lodge offers free coffee and tea in the bar area. The meals are usually included in your stay and are served in buffetstyle. Unless everybody else took a lunchbox into the crater they will then serve lunch at your table.
The lodge has an evening program most nights. Sometimes it is a cultural show, sometimes a nature video.
There is an internet connection in the lodge, they charged 5 US $ for 15 minutes though (oct 2004)
It was quiet a relieve... seeing that beautiful campsite with very, very green grass after two weeks of camping in Kenya and Tanzania where everything was so dry...
Untill I realised in the evening why it was so green.... it can be sooooo cold up there!
Be prepared for almost-freezing temperatures...be prepared.
Ok, now that was the bad news, now the good : you've got an amazing view into the crater and you're surely going to see some hyena's... around the tent! Oh yeah, don't get scared when seeing an elephant next to the toilets...
A classic safari lodge, situated on the rim of the crater with excellent views of the crater from almost everywhere in the entire hotel. Although there are far pricier options to stay on the crater rim, we decided to opt for this one and were very pleased. Dinner is buffet style like everywhere else on the safari. Breakfast is buffet style too, and lunch bags can be packed at the hotel before you head out into the crater for the day.
Great views of the crater and nice sized rooms makes this place a steal. Hotel Terrace has long range binoculars and the staff is very helful in helping you look for elephants, rhinos etc.
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