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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge

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Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge
5.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Karatu district, Ngorongoro Conservation Area 6222, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Vancouver, Washington
Top Contributor
193 reviews 193 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

Sadly we only stayed here for one night before going into the crater and then on to a camp but I had to write about this wonderful piece of paradise. There is nothing that the management and staff have forgotten in providing service here.

The cabins are as good as it gets and it makes it hard to believe that you are essentially in the middle of the African "bush" The cabins are very tastefully decorated, large, open and have the best balcony to sit and marvel at the beauty of Africa. They come with a refrigerator that is stocked with drinks and snacks, nice and welcomed touch. I can also report that the lounge on the balcony makes for a great nap before dinner!

Food service whether room service of dining again makes it hard to believe where you are. And is only surpassed by the attentive service of the staff.

Access to the crater is simply and within minutes, we would suggest that you get an early start to avoid the crowds but are reason was that we had a five hour drive afterwards to get to our camp in Udutu.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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255 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
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English first
california
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

Staying at the Exploreans was a great way to end our safari in Tanzania. Super spacious rooms, comfortable beds, great food. The place is beautifully landscaped, you have an amazing deck where you can sit for hours and just soak up the view. Don't hesitate, stay at this lodge when visiting the Crater.

Room Tip: only comment is the pool water is a bit chilly!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I had a fabulous two-night stay at Exploreans in Dec 2012. We used it as a base to visit the Crater. Since it's outside the gate to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), it's only a fraction of the price of the larger hotels of the park -- but far more luxurious. Service at the front desk, restaurant and spa are top-notch, the staff is wonderful, friendly and helpful, the food is excellent and creative (though the wine list is limited), and the gardens are beautiful. I'm a bird watcher and it was fun to walk through the gardens early in the morning to do some birding. It is a bit of a hassle to get into the crater: the lodge is just 5 minutes from the main gate into the NCA but then there's always a bit of a line to get through the gate and check-in point, and then it's another 30 or 40-minute drive to the road that leads down into the crater. Compare that to hotels on the crater room which have only a 10-15 minute drive to the road that leads down to the crater. It's worth it, though. Exploreans is absolutely lovely.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the cabins on the lower level (front row) for a slightly better view from your own pr...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We spent five days at the Lodge - three generations, aged 5 to 75 - and we all appreciated our stay from our own perspective! We chose the hotel not only for its reviews and location, but given that it is an all-inclusive we felt that the food aspect was quite important (when you have little choice, you want it to be good!). We were not disappointed at all - on the contrary each meal had its own ooooh-effect! Stanley, the manager, runs a great team - everybody was so welcoming and made our stay so memorable... from the ladies at the spa to the nice young man at the pool, to the staff in the restaurant etc... Fabulous all of them! We found that they have struck the right balance between small talk and leaving us alone to have our privacy! If I were to say one aspect that i found difficult (not for my son or my husband) was that the pool was a bit chilly (wondering now if it couldn't be easy enough to heat it with solar power...).

Room Tip: All rooms are equally good!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

This is a newer lodge with beautiful villas overlooking the crater rim. Each villa is extremely large with a sitting room and separate/bathroom. The balcony is breathtaking, and there is nice furniture and art all around. We enjoyed the complementary beverages in the refrigerator and peanuts. My only complaint is that the mattress on the bed was beyond firm (no give whatsoever). The pool was small, but had a great view, and they even lit the firepit for us one night. The grounds are immaculate and landscaped very well. We celebrated my husband's birthday the first night we were there, and the staff came out with a cake and singing…very nice. The service was over the top trying to be attentive and helpful. It was nice having everything all-inclusive, especially when it came to sundowner time and wine with dinner. The dinner menu was diverse and very good. I ordered the meat entrée every night, and it was very nicely prepared. Wifi was included in our rate, but being able to use it was overly complicated by having to obtain a code each day. It is in a great location - less than 10 minutes from the Ngorongoro crater gate and 30ish minutes to Lake Manyara (which should not be overlooked). We self-drove on our safaris, and to make a long story short we made it back to the lodge basically on fumes. The lodge manager went out to get us a few litres of petrol so we'd be covered for the morning. They even washed our filthy cars. Like I said, way over the top service! We did notice a few growing pains, but they try very hard and that goes a long way in my book.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Ulm, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We've traveled for 20 years and have seen many places but this one is special. Our four night stay in late November was absolutely perfect. Stanley, the hotel manager was absolutely wonderful. Antigen (spelling ok I hope) was equally professional and attentive. The wait staff was excellent. The ladies at the front desk were quite helpful. Tarmac road all the way from Arusha to the property gate was good.
The cottages are huge, the porch out the back overlooks the valley. A flashlight is provided to look for animals at night. Our last day we saw 6 buffalo! The food is 5+ star, with veggies grown right in the perfectly manicured garden on the property. Housekeeping was excellent, the place is perfectly clean. Because it can get a little cool at night, we always found a hot water bottle warming the bed! We asked for coffee in the room each morning and it arrived exactly at the time requested. Our safari driver said he has been there a number of times since it opened and it's one of his favorite places to work from. They send wonderful picnic lunches with us on our day trips. It's a 2 minute drive to the Crater park gate and about a 45 minute drive to the crater floor. The roads inside the park are bumpy (we have back issues but managed ok) but the safari in the Crater is fabulous. If we go back to the Crater I would not stay anywhere else. If Tripadvisor allowed 6 or 7 stars, Exploreans would qualify!

Room Tip: Rooms on the lower tier have a better view. Farther from the pool area has the best views. There ar...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

This hotel is just right on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater park. The benefit of this is that you dont need to pay the park fee to go to the hotel, and it means that Elephants, buffalos and other animals come right up to the edge of the hotel. Sometimes they even visit throughout the hotel I was told.

We booked this hotel on Expedia not expecting it to be nearly as amazing as it was. its true 5 star luxury hotel for a very reasonable price. The swimming pool is beautiful and the service is amazing. The hotel is all inclusive, including drinks, which was just lovely. The food was excellent, fine dining overlooking the forest with the occassional elephant. You can hear the bush babies crying at night.

The rooms themselves are beautiful and huge. I had the African Hot Stone massage which was one of the best massages I have had in years. I still miss this place.

The staff are always trying to make you feel comfortable. They grow their own vegetables on site which is nice. Its truely a great place. It is great for single travelers as they charge half the rate for the same 'room' which is more like a house.

The only negative for me was that the beds were hard. Some people love that some people dont. They had a 'pillow menu' where you could order a scented pillow of differing firmness and scent.

Truly a great deal! Remember too you cant get into the crater park without visiting the bank in town first during business hours. We arrived on a Sunday so thank god we were staying outside the park.

Go! Enjoy!!

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the back. All the rooms are well situated though.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge

Address: Karatu district, Ngorongoro Conservation Area 6222, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in 50 acres of virgin Tanzanian bush in the Ngorongoro volcanic landscape, this all suites wood log cabin style retreat is located a few steps from the Game Reserve Gate and 20 minutes drive away from the Ngorongoro Crater that is said to have the most dense concentration of wildlife in Africa. This all inclusive property features 20 spacious private log cabins with fire place, a restaurant, a bar and conference facilities. Indulge in moments of relaxation at the swimming pool or at the Mvua African Rain Spa after a full-day game drive. ... more   less 
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