I have stayed on and around the crater several times before and was looking for a more homely and friendly place that the usual Lodges. I chose Rhino Lodge for its location as I thought it should be good for birding and other wildlife encounters. It was.
Rooms are simply but comfortably furnished with twin beds and chairs and (wonders of wonders) a set of shelves for your clothes s you can unpack. Bathroom area was clean and everything worked. A wooden balcony overlooked the forest and the formal gardens were well kept. There was a Wood burning stove and Hot water bottle provided for those with thin blood but I did not bother with them. The blanket on the bed was more than adequate. Food and drink were served in a cosy Restaurant warmed by a log fire. I don't really care for buffet style service, too many strangers breathing, and sneezing, over my food is not my idea of hygiene. I found some chinese guests particularly bad at covering the mouths with their hand.
When they then pick over what is on offer before making their choice I just cringe and avoid that dish. Don't folks bother to read the menu first? Apart from that the food was good, thoroughly cooked and nourishing.
Noise from next door could be intrusive if voices were raised but who is in the room that long anyway.
We had wildlife visits from Elephant to Water Buck daily although no Lions. What we did have was plenty of colourful birds to watch from two species of Sunbird, Tacazze and Double Collared (the Golden winged I had hoped for failed to show up) and up to four splendid Schalow's Turacos in the tree next to my room at one time. Flycatchers and Weavers everywhere.
I could spend longer here if I was allowed to enter the forest. My only disappointment was the inability to bird on the road due to the speeding Safari Cars training for the Grande Prix. If they did not hit you you would choke on the dust.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rhino Lodge is ideally located on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater rim. The Lodge was originally the home of Ngorongoro’s first conservator, and its developers have maintained the house’s original rustic, low-impact style and natural setting.Rhino Lodge offers a perfect base from which to explore the Ngorongoro crater and its surroundings. Game drives into the crater, and, for the more adventurous, walking safaris in the forest reserve and visits to nearby Maasai villages, can all be arranged from the lodge.And, on return after a long day, 24 comfortable ensuite rooms with forest views, a cozy living space, friendly local staff and generous African-inspired meals offer guests a warm welcome home. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ngorongoro Rhino Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area