Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted banana thatch suite at &Beyond 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.
Perched above cool, swirling mists on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, the sumptuous safari suites at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offer breath-taking views. Inspired in design by the Maasai mud and stick manyatta, or homestead, this is without doubt one of the most spectacular lodges in Africa.
Three separate and intimate camps totalling just 30 suites are reminiscent of a bygone era. Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted mud and thatch suite is adorned with graceful antiques, grand chandeliers and elegant African treasures. The bedroom, sitting room and ensuite bathroom boast floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the magnificent Crater below. Beaded chandeliers hang above large gilt mirrors, while antiques, billowing raw silk curtains and leather-backed chairs blend harmoniously with African art elements. Ensuite bathrooms with a dramatic centrepiece of red roses feature spacious showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs. Personal butler discretely cater for each guest’s every need, bringing tea in bed, stoking fireplaces and drawing luxurious bubble baths. Frequently described as Maasai meets Versailles, each camp has its own guest sitting and dining areas, as well as viewing decks. The domed dining room, with its fireplace, crystal, silver and massive wooden platters, turns every meal into a special occasion.
Once a gigantic volcano, the Ngorongoro Crater is now the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that, before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 metre deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point.
Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth. Endangered black rhino are protected within its rim, giant tusked elephants wander the forests, black-maned lions stalk the grasslands and flamingos crowd the soda lakes. An estimated 25 00 large mammals are resident in this bowl of plenty, including a population of approximately 6 000 resident wildebeest, a handful of highly endangered black rhino and a number of prides of lion. Cheetah move in and out of the Crater, while leopards are most often encountered in the spectacularLeraiForest.
A number of airlines operate a twice-daily scheduled flight from Arusha Airport to Manyara Airstrip, where guests are warmly welcomed. The drive from the airstrip to the lodge takes approximately 1½ hours in a closed game viewing vehicle.
Weather & climate
Summer is from October to March and winter from April to September. It can be cold on the Crater rim from May to September and we suggest that guests plan to dress in layers, as temperatures heat up towards midday. The Crater experiences minimum temperatures of 8°C and maximum temperatures of 30°C. Rainfall occurs predominantly in April, May and November. The Crater floor experiences approximately 700 mm of rain, while the rims gets about 1 500 mm.
The currency is the Tanzanian shilling, however, most tourist destinations will require non-Tanzanian residents to pay in US dollars. It is difficult to exchange South African rand, so it is a good idea to obtain your foreign exchange in advance. Please note that dollar bills printed between 1996 and 1999 are not accepted in KenyaorTanzania, as the illegal processing of bills was rife in East Africa during that time.
Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are accepted by most restaurants, shops and hotels, but proof of identity may be requested.
Visas and documents
Although visa requirements change often, South Africans travelling to Tanzania currently require a visa. While it is a good idea to obtain a visa before leaving South Africa, visas can also be obtained at the airport on arrival. If you are planning to get your visa at the airport, please note that you will need to pay for this in US dollars. Make sure you have enough cash available and try to have smaller denominations, as you may not be able to obtain change at the visa counter.
Travellers to Tanzania must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months from date of travel and should have at least two blank pages available in their passport.