We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Amazing - but dont stay at tree camp”

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Amazing - but dont stay at tree camp”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2006

We stayed for two nights at NCL at it was overall amazing. Firstly i would like to point out its not 400 usd per night, but rather about 600 usd per person per night. so 1,200 usd, at least during high season, if you are two people.
Secondly, when we booked we were not told the difference between the camps, and there is a huge difference. About a month before going, I read one of the reviews on trip advisor and immediately called my guide and said i did not want to stay in tree camp. he said i was booked into tree camp and that he couldnt move me because there were waitlists for north and south camp. when we arrived we were taken to our room in tree camp and it was smaller, had virtually no view and was very dark. the dining room is also smaller than the other two and not nearly as grand. i felt like i was in a pit and said they needed to switch me. after telling me this wasnt a possibility because the other two camps were booked, they finally switched us as i was demanding to leave the hotel a day early.
when we arrived at north camp there was a huge difference, the rooms were double the size with the most spectacular views ever. and the dining area was great, bright and you would go to dinner every night and meet lots of people...very social. north and south camp each have 12 rooms, tree camp has 6. tree camp used to be more expensive (dont ask why) and i would say only stay there if you would rather be in a more private area where you saw fewer people and wanted a dark, smaller room with a small view...in my view depressing. my husband actually didnt believe me that tree camp was more expensive and when we were taken to our room in north camp he was asking how much more he was going to have to pay for that room!! he didnt believe it was the same price given how much nicer it was.
the safari into the crater is a must to see, but agree one trip is enough. you cant go offroad (like you can at kleins camp, another ccafrica property thats amazing), and every time there is a lion there are about 10 cars standing around to see it...so you feel a bit like you are in africa disney world...but combine it with a trip to kleins camp and its good to see for a day...we visited the massai village as well and although they like to scam you for every dollar you have, we found it pretty interesting (though they have worked out the whole tourist situation).

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank MissLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

642 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    543
    66
    20
    7
    6
See reviews for
147
350
17
9
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2006

Ask me any time of any day where I would like to be at that moment and the answer will be "The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge."

I am typically a budget traveler, so I never get to stay at high-end places like this. But this was a once-in-lifetime opportunity and it was worth every cent.

Everything--EVERYTHING-at the NCL seems chosen to delight in some way. The architecture (the Massai Versailles) is of course overwhelming, but even down to the door hardware, the bottles of shampoo, the decanter of sherry, even the note of welcome awaiting you in your room, everything goes a few steps beyond common. Even the men's bathroom in the main lodge was totally cool! Its clear right from hot coffee and snacks awaiting us upon arival at the airstrip, NOTHING is overlooked.

On this trip, we stayed at three CC Africa locations (NCL, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, and Grumeti River). Our traveling companions had stayed at two others in South Africa. Frankly, I can not imagine going on Safari with anyone else.

I could go on for pages about lodge itself, but that's well covered, and it is only part of the experience. CCA guides are what make the experience. Their guides are all exceptionally well trained. They are excellent at finding a resting lion in stand of tall grass, but ask about anything you see or hear (or smell) and they can tell you everything you want to know. So many of their guests are just after the Big Five, but if you want a more meaningful experience ask about the birds the plants and even the bugs. It seemed like the more we took interest in these often overlooked things (like huge termite mounds and the masses of safari ants) the more the guides seemed to enjoy their work (which they enjoy plenty as it is) and our experience was so much richer as a result.

As for safety I could not have felt safer. Our guides could "read" the animals quite well. The lions were completely uninterested in us, but we encountered a few groups of surly adoloscent male elephants blocking our path. We had a few mock charges which scared the hell out of us, but our guide was unfazed. He explained that the elephant's ears were extented. They do that to look bigger to intimidate their foe. When they really get ready to charge, the fold their ears flat and tuck their trunks. Good to know.

Another reason to love CCA is their committment to supports the villages around their properties through the CCA Foundaiton. We had a rare and very special opportunity to visit one. We were met by the Chairman of the village, a grand and lovely woman, and the village council. We were toured around the school and clinic supported by the CCA Foundation. We were embarassed to be treated like visiting royalty, and were very moved by their warmth and grace. As amazing as the CCA safari experience is, this was the best day of our trip and an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I hope no one will listen the clueless and arrogant reviewer about avoiding the Massai village. The overly pampered tourists who only want to see a lion kill something, might find this a waste of time. Yes, it is set up for tourists, but why shouldn't they profit from tourism to their lands. The houses are made of cow dung (they are nomadic pastoralists and live on grasslands its not like they are going to build out of brick), which draws flies that seem to settle on the faces of the children, which is unsettling. Yes, they try very hard to hawk their crafts but their beadwork is beautiful (and they wear it themselves, even when tourists aren't around). Is it "authentic"? Not really. But is cool to talk to a Massai? You bet.

Just remember this: Safari means Journey in Swahili. You could fly all the way to Africa, see the animals, enjoy the luxury, and it would just be a "trip". Take an interest, meet people, learn something, challenge a preconcieved idea, and then it is a journey.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Ken_SF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
116 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2006

the only thing that could surpass the incredible service and architecture of the hotel is the amazing views and location. what a great feeling to have a personal butler! the rooms were awesome and they always plan a special surprise on the last night of your stay. views are indescribable. its hard to say that a $400/night hotel as a great value, but it really is.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Atman S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2006

I stayed for 2 nights in NCL last April. I recommend to everybody if you can afford it!!
The reception is very warm and food is fantastic.
The butlers are great and very polite.
Its a one of the most beautiful places on Earth, honestly.
They seem to have some plumbing problem, as the water was very hot and it was difficult to take a shower (at this price per night it should be sorted out).
One thing was out of control - prices in the boutique !!!! In a place where some or most people make 50 USD per month, they were selling Masai figurines 30-50 usd per piece,

Also, the Masaai village is a bit of a tourist trap - the chief gets 50 USD from each visit, then he buys more cows to get more wifes. The men dont work in the village and they are lazy bums, so visiting them make the men even more lazy and the women have to work more to produce the souvenirs !! Disgusting. Please do not visit their villages

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank jetsetdi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2006

The Crater Lodge is blessed by an unbelievable setting, perched at the rim of this beautiful crater. The other reviewers capture the essence of the place, with one or two omissions. We arrived with our 2 kids and one of their friends after 6 days on a huge game reserve (new) elsewhere in Tanzania that goes beyond anything else in Africa, so Ngorongoro had a lot to live up to. It came close!

First, do not fall for the misdirection to stay at Tree Camp. While it has a really remarkable living/dining area, the rooms are a bit smaller than the South Lodge, have much more obscured views, and the toilet and shower are less private. We moved to South Camp and were much happier.

The only negatives about our stay at the Lodge are as follows: The power goes off for 3 hours twice a day. A pain if you're charging camera batteries or computers. When it comes back on, there can be a huge power surge. We learned the hard way, as it blew up two computer chargers and a kid's iPod. Thank God we were on the last 2 days of the trip! It could have ruined the entire photographic aspect of the trip. The roads down to the Crater floor are really horrible most of the time. Our driver was hugely skilled, but it is very unpleasant, bumpy and a bit scary, both ways. Finally, the crater itself is kind of a fishbowl, and we were told can get up to 200 vehicles at a time, making it the Grand Central Station of safaris. We were the only guests in all of the Crater Lodge our last day, and there were about 20 vehicles in the crater -- and even with this small contingent, game sightings immediately attracted 4 or 5 rovers.

In short, the Crater Lodge is a great accomodation, with terrific food influenced by Morroccan and Masai flavors, great service, and beautiful rooms and public spaces. I think in high season the safari experience will be a bit zoo-like. You can not go off the roads in the crater, so many things are viewed at a distance (like the rhinos and the hyena pack devouring a wildebeeste kill). The animals seem totally blase about vehicles, which were all closed-sided (perhaps a rule?) so there was no sense of danger -- which may be a good thing!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank MikeONYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
66 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2006

This place is heaven, the view takes your breath away and the rooms provide a view from the bedroom to the loo! Our room was exquisite, beautiful chandeliers, a huge bed, 2 armchairs by the fire, a vast bathroom with a massive freestanding bath behind which was a huge container with at least 40 red roses. It had every comfort and after the evening game drive you returned to a crackling fire and a steaming bath and the bath mat strewn with rose petals. The food was fantastic, really imaginative and my vegetarian husband always had a special dish created for him. The game drives were excellent with superb guides. We had a breakfast picnic in the crater it was really special. I can't wait to return. This spoils you for anywhere else. CC Africa have really got the art of excellent service without you feeling overpowered by it. Wonderful.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lilacrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ngorongoro Conservation Area
1.1 mi away
Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
#2 of 2 in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
3.5 of 5 bubbles 607 reviews
7.9 mi away
Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge
Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge
#1 of 39 in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
5.0 of 5 bubbles 396 reviews
2.4 mi away
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
#6 of 39 in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,101 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
13.7 mi away
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
#7 of 39 in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,480 reviews
12.2 mi away
Gibb's Farm
Gibb's Farm
#1 of 47 in Karatu
5.0 of 5 bubbles 614 reviews
10.8 mi away
The Manor at Ngorongoro
The Manor at Ngorongoro
#4 of 39 in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
5.0 of 5 bubbles 297 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Property: andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Address: Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted banana thatch suite at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is adorned with graceful antiques and unforgettable opulence. Ensuite bathrooms, with a centrepiece of fresh roses, feature huge showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs, while floor-to-ceiling windows ensure breathtaking views from all around. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Crater Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Ngorongoro Crater

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing