top of page

Self contained eco-system

There are moments in my life when I truly think I am having an outer body experience. Normally it is associated with travel and sports experiences I have dreamed of seeing and then done everything in my power to reach that goal. Today was one of those days. The planning and research I have done has given me a little taste of what to expect and I knew that Crater Lodge was going to be special.

The car arrived at the gates and we were welcomed by a friendly security guard who waved us through. The honeymoon couple were dropped off at their lodge (there are 3 on the grounds) and I was driven around to my lodge. The welcome committee were out in force and the sounds of their singing was a real reminder of where I was. This special display is such a treat and always brings a smile to my face. I was greeted with a drink and a cool face cloth to wash off the days dust and grime. My bags were whisked away to my room as I was taken to the lounge where I would sign my life away ;-) My personal butler then escorted me to my room which was the second one away from the main lodge.

We entered the room and that is when it hit me just how extravagant this place really was. Like many others have described the design is Versailles meets Masai. A large bedroom with a lovely fireplace and sitting area was enhanced with a lovely balcony overlooking the crater. It then led into the bathroom area which housed a massive freestanding bathtub with its own view, a huge open shower was behind this and of course a separate toilet with its own view. Unbelievable!

I made my way back to the main lounge where I enjoyed a quick bite to eat and then packed my gear for our afternoon drive into the crater. The crater is really its own mini eco system. Supporting all of the animals who rarely leave it during their lifetime. Of course the apex predator is the lions and there seems to be a healthy pride co-habitating with the other big cats, hyenas, rhino, hippos, elephants, giraffe, zebra, impala and many types of birds including ostriches. It is a very beautiful area and something that many people do not have the opportunity of seeing.

The Tanzanian government recently increased the park entrance fees considerably as well as the amount of time a car can spend in the crater to try and protect this fragile ecosystem. There is also a limit on the amount of cars at a sighting and where the cars can drive. Unlike private reserves we could only drive on the designated roads which does limit the animal viewing.

I would recommend people to start their safari at The Crater because it gives you a taste of what is to come and allows you to appreciate more off road adventures and closer interaction with the animals in the other parks.

The afternoon drive was really just an opportunity to have a quick look around. The time it takes to get into the crater is about 45 minutes and there is a time limit to when the last car can enter as well as when you leave the crater. This can mean having to drive pretty quickly to make sure you have left by closing time. The drive back to the lodge is a long and bumpy one. Definitely make sure that everything you own is strapped down, sports bra on and hold on. Finally we made our way back to the lodge for a welcome hot bath and then sundowners on the deck before a lovely 3 course dinner.

All in all a wonderful first day on safari in Tanzania!

Where I Stayed - Crater Lodge, Ngorongo Crater, Tanzania

Crater Lodge is a beautiful lodge situated on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. The views from the rooms are wonderful and only surpassed by the amazing layout of each of the "over the top" rooms. The rooms provide every conceivable luxury to allow guests to relax in the privacy of their own suite. The wonderful bath with views over the Crater and the fireplace were my favourite places to relax after a day on safari.

The staff are absolutely brilliant and only contribute to the wonderful ambience of the lodge. My safari guide Henry was really fun and was delightful company during one of the evenings he joined me for dinner. I was very happy that Henry convinced the other two guests that were in the vehicle to wake up early for our one full day in the Crater. This meant that we were the first people in the Crater and happened to come across a lioness looking for food. A wonderful way to start the day. This is definitely worth getting up extra early for. The drive into and out of the Crater is long but this is a once in a lifetime experience.

My preference is tented camps to be closer to nature but staying at Crater Lodge was something I was glad I did to enjoy this amazing place.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Me
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page