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“It's at really high altitude!”

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Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Funny, altitude was not something we even thought about until we got there, and then our room was about as far from reception as you can go. Thankful for porters! but we were often out of breath by the end of the walk from the main lodge. The view from the main lodge is SPECTACULAR. It's a big hotel perched on a unique site, and the only one with a short drive down into the crater, for which we were very grateful. Meals are buffet, which is huge, but causes the usual issues with people taking their time to decide and figure out the process. Drinks from the bar were reasonably priced, considering where you are located. Staff was friendly and provided a choir for entertainment on one evening. Dining room is comfortable, but not spacious - you are a little close to other tables (making for entertaining listening if you are so inclined). Swimming pool is lovely, but it was too cold for us to use in May, although a couple of others did. Box lunches provided for our game drives were very good. It really is THE place to stay to enjoy the amazing sites in the crater.

Room Tip: Make your request according to your desire to walk to/from your room. It can be about 10 minutes!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ellen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 21, 2013

First off, let me explain what we were looking for. We were on a 12 day safari that we had requested tented lodges for the entire trip. Our coordinator convinced us to stay here because it is very close to the entrance road.
If you are looking for a hotel, you will be happy with Sopa Lodge. It was FAR to large for our tastes. We were in room 80 something if that is any indication.
The rooms were okay, but there was no balcony to walk out onto...instead there was a large window, so at sunset you couldn't really sit and watch the sunset because you have no air circulation and you feel like you are in an oven. We couldn't see the sunset well anyway because of the trees hiding the view. If you want to watch the sunset, you will have to go fight the hundreds of other guests for a chair near the restaurant. Relaxing? Not so much.
Eating was all buffet style. The food wasn't bad actually, especially the Indian choices. The restaurant was very large and very busy. Also, if you want a beer, be prepared to pay a LOT more than anywhere else in Tanzania for it, especially since they charge you more for a small bottle than most places charge for a regular size bottle. The wine isn't cheap either.
As I said, the rooms had everything you needed. The beds were comfortable and the water was hot and plentiful. The walls are a bit thin though--when you can listen to someone's entire phone conversation like they were sitting next to you, the walls are thin.
Of the 5 places we stayed during our trip, this would have to come in last. All the others were much more intimate with less people and more space. The view was nice for sure, but otherwise this could be a Holiday Inn.

Room Tip: the higher the room number, the further down the steep hill you are. Get ready for a trek in thin a...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank OnlyPassinThru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

This place is fantastic. Right on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater with unforgettable views! Everything was great: the food, the rooms, the service. I cannot comment about the price since I booked everything together with Basecamp Tanzania (it was US$350 per person per day, including car and driver, 3 nights Sopa Serengeti and 1 night Sopa Ngorongoro).

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Carlos H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We spent two nights here the middle of May. On the top edge of the crater, absolutely gorgeous views. Rooms were large, very clean with updated bathrooms. Electricity 24 hours a day, hot water at designated times but it was HOT! We would definitely stay here again. Excellent location for going game viewing in the cater. Lodge furnished escorts to take you back to your room at night and many people to carry luggage for our large group at check-out. Lodge was very organized and checked our large group (110 people) in very quickly!

Room Tip: Rooms with smaller numbers, those closer to the lobby will have a view.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank travelingnana0806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

This was one of my favorite places on our trip to northern Tanzania. It reminded me of the various lodges in Yellowstone Park, Yosemite Park, etc. in the states. As everyone has mentioned, the view over the rim is spectacular, although our room did not have a view. We stayed near one of the ends of the lodge on the ground floor. The lodge is a very long and narrow 3 story configuration with the dining and other amenities centrally located, rooms extending from both sides of the central lobby. It was a healthy walk to our room and the lodge provides an escort after dark. We found our flashlights helpful for the pre-dawn departures to meet our guide in the lobby for the descent into the crater. There is fabulous coffee in the lobby very early - French press; later in the morning they switch to brewed.

The room itself was very comfortable and large, with a nice enclosed porch. The shower had plenty of hot water. There was a hair dryer provided (the only place we stayed that had one), along with shampoo, soap, etc. We liked the privacy of being away from the central area, but if we had been closer and higher up we would have had a view of the crater.

The food was terrific. We had fabulous fresh fish for lunch one day with excellent vegetables. The appetizers included very tasty soups, beautiful salads, or selections like shrimp. The desserts were wonderful as well. Overall, the food was some of the best we had on our trip (and we stayed at one very upscale place in the Serengeti). We skipped dinner the night they had a buffet and the staff was concerned that we would not have something to eat. They knocked on our door to check on us (we were very tired from traveling and I was battling a sore throat) and then brought a very nice dinner to our room. I also met with the doctor the next day and she provided some complimentary antibiotics.

If we return to the crater, I will not hesitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joy-traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

At the edge of the Ngorongoro crater, you can't beat the breathtaking view. It was a bit too commercial for our tastes, but with the view, we couldn't complain. We had unit 48, which was the second last to the left of the main lobby, and it was far enough to be totally quiet at night. Our room had a view of the crater. Even the bathroom had a view! We arrived too late to enjoy the pool, but it looked very nice and clean (unlike the Mbalageti pool). The restaurant is a huge dome-like structure that houses a good 200 people for sure. The food was delicious and so fancy compared to the more rustic tented camps we had stayed at before. But again, the VIEW! Security patrols the night to ward off any wayward cape buffalo that might wander onto the grounds.

Room Tip: Free wifi and plenty of charging opportunities in the lobby area. Units 40+ are far enough from the...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank GoofyNatOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We drove to NCA from Kenya, and Sopa lived up to my expectations - delighting my family with the range of cuisine, especially the vegetarians! The bonus of going in off season meant we were only a few cars down in the crater - Sopa providing an easy early morning start, with access nearby down the escarpment. The evenings spent over sundowners and sunsets, looking out over that view, attended by attentive delightful staff were magic. Good hot showers, hotties in your bed, and space and plugs for laptops with loads of room for us sharing, is why I choose Sopa. The fridge and safe were a welcome bonus, useful, when on the road in your own car. Nice local coffee and tea, and juices to boot. They also arranged our guide for Empakia and a days treking. Even in the rain it was wonderful, and the best value - esp in low season!

Room Tip: At 9000ft, you may think of the puff in walking far to a room!
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Odile K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Address: Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $544 - $766 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Sopa Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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