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“OK service, but hard to get there”

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Crater Forest Tented Lodge
Reviewed June 19, 2012

According to their info sheet, the location is 10km away from Ngorongoro. This is not from the crater itself, but actually from the entrance to the Ngorongoro wildlife protection area. A little bit misleading if you ask me.

The sign at the exit from the tarmac road says the lodge is only 4km away, which may be correct, but the drive over the very bad road takes almost an hour. Or even more if you get lost in the maze of roads in the coffee plantation. The next day the drive back to the tarmac road evidently also takes an hour of your time. This is a huge drawback, especially at the end or the beginning of a full day of safari. Our stay was at the beginning of the dry season, but I cannot imagine the road condition during the height of the wet season: it must be horrible.

After that long drive you expect a location with amazing views, but this is not the case. You get to see the forests on the crater, but not very interesting and far from breathtaking. For me this was not worth the long drive.

Tent could not be closed with a lock or door or anything, like in other lodges. People fearing items could be stolen, should not go here or bring their own lock.

Tent can be cold at night, but a fireplace in the tent an be filled by the friendly Masai staff with glowing hot coal to help keep the tent warm.

Mosquito protection is supposedly not needed due to the high altitude of the location.

Service is OK but not great. Same goes for the food. We did enjoy the hot cocoa we ordered and also the dessert at dinner. Those were very tasty.

OK for this one night, but I would steer clear of it and pick other accommodation in the Ngorongoro area.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank straal79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 14 of 38 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2012

It was difficult to get there, the long and bumpy road to this desert place was very hard to drive caused by heavy rainfalls. (other people had to go by foot). But it was worth the trip.

In the middle of a beautiful forest some nice large tents are set up with great views above the trees. Water in the bathroom was not really that hot. Pressure was quite low.
But we had two really quite good nights here, and slept very well with decent comfort.

The food in the restaurant is not really special or inventive, or don't have any choice in what to eat, but it's tasty enough.

Staff is friendly and helpful.
The location of the camp is worth a visit.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jelvdb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2011

It was a long drive to the lodge after a full day in the crater, but well worth it. Small enough to be relaxing, but large enough to have presence.
The tents were amazing. You're in the middle of the forest and in the midst of nature. We caught a glimpse of a herd of elephants crossing along the hillside. The landscape is soothing and the air fresh and clean.
I'm picky about my coffee, but I can truly say that the coffee on this coffee estate (you drive through it on your way in/out) was the best I've ever had. The staff will jump on a bike and bring you as much as you'd like to take back with you. If you're buying coffee in Tanzania, this is the best deal you'll ever get.
The tents were huge, with a stove (that you can ask to be lit if it's cold) and the washrooms comfortable and well designed. Sitting around the big thatch (and earlier that evening near the fire pit) make for a perfect evening.
Ask for a room in one of the taller tents that are on higher stilts- you'll have an unobstructed view of the hills...
Look out for the nuns farming along the drive into the estate. The agricultural fields make for great photography.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in one of the taller tents that are on higher stilts- you'll have an unobstructed...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank ezelion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2010

Don't be put off by the long and bumpy drive to get to this lodge, because once there it is a really charming place to stay. The rooms are spacious, the bedding doonas fluffy and the views over the forest superb. The complimentary room gifts were a lovely touch and the hot water is hot! The staff are friendly and lit our bedroom fire urn to combat the chilly evenings. The food is great (they catered to our vegetarian needs well) and the dining room has a fantastic ambience due to the central fireplace and the use of hurricane lamps to light the room. The curio shop also contains some great buys. Overall this was the best accomodation in our safari.

  • Stayed: June 2010
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Thank XTWO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2010

From Tarangire we went to Crater Forest Tented Camp southwest of Karatu near Oldeani. The tents and service were not up to the standards of the Asilia camps but the price, décor, views and ambiance made up that. Plus, they had on demand hot water! One note, if you go there, bring shampoo because they do not provide it.

We walked in the area escorted by a Maasai. He was the real deal. We had no common language but he was very pleasant, a little shy and self conscience. I found this combination surprising given the fact he was one seriously tough dude!

The next day we were off to Ngorongoro Crater. Due to the camps location we entered the crater at 10:30am,

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank rwcorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2010

While the staff is helpful and kind, the facility is aged and poorly maintained. I have stayed in several tented camps in the area and this was the worst. From the sub par tents (much nicer to be found for much less), the smoke-filled lounge where they (apparently) haven't learned how to draft the fire, to the pleasantly monotonous, bland meals, this place fails to impress. Stay somewhere else and get more for your money.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank JHM5S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2009

Overall the hotel is pretty good but our agency sold it to us as an upgrade. In the end we didn't think it was worth the extra money as the service was comparable to the other lodges we stayed at.
The track to the hotel is long and very bumpy but is pretty scenic and crosses coffee fields.
The room was really nicely decorated with a cute little fireplace which we used as the night was a little chilly. Very romantic. The shower was a little basic but OK. There was a deck in front of our room but unfortunately no view (unlike what the agency sold us).
The restaurant area is lit by storm lamps which makes it a little dark but give it a real camp atmosphere. We enjoyed the fireplace there. Dinner was good. Breakfast wasn't as good as at other lodges (no buffet, small portions served at the table).

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank iloveJD79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crater Forest Tented Lodge

Address: on Kirin Coffee Estate, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $171 - $371 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Crater Forest Tented Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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