Known as 'the eighth wonder of the world' the Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa's best-known wildlife arenas. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers a unique biosphere, which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. Deep within the Crater, enclosed by towering walls, some 25,000 large mammals wander the plains, lakes and forests of 'the land that time forgot', dominated by enormous bull elephants, rhinos and lions.
Hugging the contours of the jagged Crater rim, the lodge takes its inspiration from the so-called 'Cradle of Mankind', the prehistoric site of Olduvai Gorge, which lies close by. Linked by arched stone passages and timbered decks, its walls are decorated with stylized prehistoric cave paintings and lit by flaring torches. At the stone heart of the lodge burns a glowing fire, which is kept constantly alight. Decorated with cave paintings, the rooms are strung around the Crater rim. Each has its own rock- enclosed balcony, and all enjoy completely uninterrupted views of the volcanic amphitheatre far below.
The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, lies immediately adjacent to the Serengeti National Park and 180 kilometres from Arusha.
By road: transfers by road from Arusha take approximately 4 hours.
By air: there is an adjacent airstrip and a 'meet and greet' and transfer service is offered.
Strung around the Crater rim, each with its own rock-enclosed balcony, the rooms feature brass lamps, embossed leather headboards, wildwood mirrors, Maasai carvings and stylised prehistoric cave paintings. Each room enjoys uninterrupted views over the Crater's unmatched splendour.
The split-level rock-built dining and bar area features a wall of windows, which look down on to the constantly changing vistas of the crater below while double doors lead out on to a broad viewing terrace. Clustered around a glowing central fireplace, the space is decorated with prehistoric cave paintings and lit by stylized torches.
The different peaks were created over many millions of years by a series of eruptions that heralded the birth of the Great Rift. Many of the older volcanoes have since collapsed to form the craters that give the range its name. The main residents of the area are the Maasai, who have grazed their cattle here for hundreds of years.
To the west of the crater lie the alkaline Lakes of Ndutu and Masek. In the east of the conservation area is a string of volcanoes and craters, most but not all of which are inactive. Further east, just outside the NCA's boundaries is the archaeological site of Engaruka and Lake Eyasi. North east of the NCA in the arid expanses near the Kenyan border is the alkaline Lake Natron.