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“Basic but Great!”

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Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 5, 2010

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.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wegoustay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 2, 2010

We appreciated the efforts of the staff on christmas eve and Christmas Day to create a pleasant atmosphere . Their motivation was very high and it was pleasant experience

It is very pleasant that we can stay in such a good hotel in the middle of the Ngoro ngoro wilderness - given the complex logistics of getting something to this hotel it is a miracle so many things go well and so few things go wrong .

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MrLoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2010

THe Lodge has a stunning location on the rim of the crater. Unfortunately, they seem to rely on their location to compensate for their shortcomings. THe bathrooms are quite nice, well lighted and very clean. The bedroom on the other hand was dark, dank and reeked of old cigarette smoke. There was not enough light in the room to read. No lamps at all, just a single wall fixture 5 feet above the bed with a small fluorescent bulb. Had to read with a flashlight. Service was indifferent to surly. It was Christmas and the place was packed, so a bit of confusion is reasonable, but it was chaos trying to check in and out. Would not recommend this lodge. Drive a bit farther to the Manor and really enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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Thank jackdog1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2009

We stayed at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge on the first night of our safari. The lodge is beautifully decorated, and the views of the crater are spectacular. The room we had was a bit extravagant for what we were expecting for a safari, but we enjoyed it of course. One really nice thing about the room was that they put hot water bottles in the beds, as it was pretty cold up there (Yay, warm!). The food was somewhat bland, but given the views and the beauty of the hotel and attentiveness of the staff, we really didn't care. Definitely worth it for the views.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Slobina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2009

We started out our safari at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. We enjoyed our stay there just fine. The rooms were big, and the showers were super.
See <http://ellieandabbie.typepad.com/bright_eyes_blue_eyes/2009/12/ngorongoro-crater.html> if you're interested in more details.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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Thank ea225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2009

We stayed two nights at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge during our 7 day safari. The resort is in an amazing location. The view from the lobby is breath taking. Standing at the pool overlooking the caldron is equal to viewing the Grand Canon or the Great Wall.
Rooms were neat and clean. You are high enough that mosquito nests are not needed. Showers were large and clean.
Meals were unremarkable as food was plain but then again you in the middle of nowhere Africa and you’re not coming for the food and the night life.
The only thing I found at all the Sopa Lodges, and we stayed at the Serengeti Sopa and the Tarangire Sopa as well, is the staff is trained to serve meals and drinks but missed the personal hygiene film. I could not believe how badly the waiters, waitresses and general staff smelled. It was so bad I would ask them not to pour my drink into my glass at the table because I didn’t want them standing there any longer then needed. This lack personal hygiene was so bad that many nights I really couldn’t eat much after having the waitress standing at my table, up wind of me, for 3 or 4 minutes. I don’t understand this as all the staff lived on site and I’m sure had access to hot water and soap in their quarters. It must be an African thing.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Paul119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2009

We had a wonderful time staying at the Sopa while on Safari. The food was good and the location can't be beat. The staff was very friendly and the rooms were comfortable.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MoensIowa
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 #8 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $554 - $707 (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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