When we arranged our Nov 2009 trip to northern Tanzania we specifically included the Ngorongoro Crater Sopa Lodge. Positive experience on 3 earlier trips, reasonable price and proximity to the crater access road encouraged our decision making. Either rules for entering the Crater had changed or our guide was misinformed as we were not able to enter the crater on the nearby road (only exiting). Rather a lengthy drive to the other access road. However, our stay at the Sopa was very positive. The Sopa is geared to handle large numbers of travelers but we were pleasantly surprised to see relatively few there particularly in the dining room. There we were attended to by three servers and enjoyed creamy zucchini soup, chicken with roasted potatoes, veggies, rolls, and chocolate mousse. Breakfast was simply super! I enjoyed a personalize omelet. The breakfast buffet had tremendous variety as to side dishes, meats, fruits, juices and pastry.
Our room was rather plain but clean and comfy with more space than we could ever use. Since ours was practically the farthest from the main lodge we had a nice exercise to and from the room. From the sunroom (with rocking chair) we had a view of the nearby rainforest with a grassy/weedy strip next to the building. An abundance of birdlife was quite noticeable as well as dung from herbivores possibly elephant (cows and calves) and cape buffalo. The walkway to the main building was bordered with flowering shrubs again with a proliferation of birds. Hot water was plentiful (we showered in the evening). The room was quiet for a good night’s sleep. The gift shop was well stocked with gift items as well as personal affects.
The view from the pool area and patio was simply grand. The Sopa is noted for its great sunsets. I could not help but chuckle at the fresh pile of buffalo dung at the mileage sign near the pool and the rather large grasshopper also near the pool. We did not frequent the lounge area this visit but others seemed to be enjoying drinks, nibbles and conversation there.
Yes, the Sopa is geared to handling large numbers of safari-goers but more than met our needs in regards to clean, comfy and safe accommodations, very good food, attentive staff and yes, opportunity to see wildlife (at least various birds and the occasional monkey) right from our room. For those travelers less inclined to walk the distance to some rooms, arrangements should be made ahead of time to get one closer to the main building.
- Also Known As:
- Ngorongoro Sopa Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area