Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

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Nov 27th, 2005, 01:05 PM
  #1
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Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Africa. I think we have the safaris all figured out. We are going to do Singita and then the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Comments? Will we enjoy both places? Are they different enough from each other to warrant doing safaris in both?

Also, any recommendations for resorts at/near Kilimanjaro? Possibly with stunning views of it?

Thanks for all of your help!
Shari is offline  
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Nov 27th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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Shari,

While both Singita and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge seem like great places (I have only visited Singita, but I will visit Crater Lodge in two months), they are in totally different parts of Africa.

Singita is in South Africa's Sabi Sand and the Ngorongoro Crater is in Tanzania. It would be a shame to visit either country and miss out on all the other places besides the lodges you mention.

In South Africa, you have Cape Town, the Garden Route, the Cape Winelands, as well as other wildlife areas that would be worth a visit.

In Tanzania, you will be passing right by highly regarded parks such as Tarangire and Lake Manyara before you reach the Ngorongoro Crater. Then, once at the Ngorongoro Crater, you are going to be at the doorstep of one of the best regarded wildlife parks in the world, the Serengeti.

Myself, here is what I am doing for my own Crater Lodge visit:

Manyara Tree Lodge, Lake Manyara (2 nights)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, NC (2 nights)
Olduvai Camp (1 night)
Nomad Masek Camp, Serengeti Border (2)
Nomad Piaya Camp, Serengeti Border (2)
Mbuzi Mawe Camp, Serengeti (2)
Palms Zanzibar (3)
Serena Inn (2)

This would be considered about as luxurious as it gets in Tanzania and Zanzibar. Personally, I could not imagine skipping any of it.

Likewise, if I were to choose Singita, knowing what I know now, I would want to visit a second Sabi Sand lodge such as Londolozi, Mala Mala or Simbambili.
From there, I would want to visit Cape Town and beyond for a minimum of five nights.

It would be very strange to come to Tanzania to only visit a resort with a Kiliminjaro view and the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge when there are so many other places worth visiting, as well.

I would suggest that for your first trip to Africa that you concentrate on either Tanzania or South Africa, or even another country like Botswana at a place like Kwando (www.kwando.com) or Wilderness Safaris camps or in a country like Zambia at some of their luxury lodges like Luangwa River Lodge (www.luangwariverlodge.com) and Chiawa (www.chiawa.com). Zambia would be the most reasonably priced of the destinations allowing for a longer safari. Really, for three nights of Singita, you would be able to stay for four nights at Luangwa River Lodge AND four nights at Chiawa Camp, possibly then adding on the majestic Victoria Falls.

I have a feeling that you likely picked up a fancy brochure or a magazine like Conde Nast Traveler and have seen the beautiful pictures of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and Singita, but that you do not really understand the distance between the two lodges and all of the other must-see places that surround these lodges.

Feel free to e-mail me if you need any assistance.
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Nov 27th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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I neglected to mention that I am starting out with 3 nights at the Moivaro Coffee Lodge. While this offers views of Kiliminjaro, it is far from a luxury resort. However, it will allow me to get over my jet lag, as well as to do the Kiliminjaro Half Marathon on February 26th, prior to starting my safari. I think this is one of the only places in Arusha that enjoys Kiliminjaro views. However, again, neither Moivaro nor any other place around the area would be considered a luxury resort by Western standards.
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Nov 27th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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I agree with Rocco. It would be a mistake, I think, to visit the Crater and skip the Serengeti, which is, based on my visits, the very best wildlife experience in Africa. A trip to a top lodge in the Serengeti, like those on Rocco's itinerary, together with a short stay at the Crater Lodge, will be much easier and productive than adding in Singita. I think in another post you mentioned 4 nights at the Crater Lodge, and I recall reading in some other posts that the authorities limit the number of descents each visitor can make into the Crater, and most visitors stay one or two nights at the Crater. Its awesome, but not enormous, and two drives are usually sufficient to see it all. As between the Sabi Sands and the Crater, the Crater is much more beautiful.
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Nov 28th, 2005, 04:42 AM
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Thanks for all of your opinions. We are aware of the distance between the two places. We are also aware of all of the beauty in the small towns and cities that we will be passing over. For this trip, we are concentrating on wildlife viewing only, so we wanted to hit two countries and enjoy them both. We are used to being tired from planes.

Rocco: could you please elaborate on what you mean by this comment, "Likewise, if I were to choose Singita, knowing what I know now, I would want to visit a second Sabi Sand lodge such as Londolozi, Mala Mala or Simbambili.
From there, I would want to visit Cape Town and beyond for a minimum of five nights."

You have been quite helpful.

Best!
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Nov 28th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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sandi
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If September is your chosen travel time, in addition to Tanzania (including a visit to the Crater) the Migration is taking place in the Masai Mara in Kenya. September is probably the best month here and there are quite a number of luxury camps in/around the Mara area.

For game viewing as your primary interest combining parts of Northern Tanzania along with the Mara in Kenya, you can even hop over to The Seychelles to conclude your safari for some R&R. However, there are a few top luxury properties off the Kenyan coast - Alfajiri (Angelina and Brad were recent visitors); or in Tanzania - at Mnemba Island (haunt of Bill Gates when it first opened) off the coast of Zanzibar - a private and exclusive resort or The Palms (top notch)on the Southeast coast of Zanzibar.

You can consider something like:
Day 1 - Arrive Kilimanjaro - o/n Arusha
Day 2 - Drive to Tarangire - o/n Treetops or Swala camps
Day 3 - Tarangire (there is a mini-migration taking place here bet. June-Oct)
Day 4 - Drive to Lake Manyara - o/n Tree Lodge
Day 5 - Drive to Ngorongoro Crater - o/n Crater Lodge (if available)
Day 6 - Crater Tour - o/n Crater Lodge.
Day 7 - Drive to Arusha, fly to Nairobi for connecting flight to Masai Mara - o/n here (lots of lux choices - Saruni, Bateleur, others)
Day 8 - Masai Mara
Day 9 - Masai Mara
Day 10 - Masai Mara
Day 11 - Fly to the Seychelles or to Mombasa coast at Alfajiri or to Zanzibar at Mnemba or the Palms
Day 12 - Island resorts
Day 13 - Island resorts
Day 14 - Island resorts
Day 15 - Homebound

Much easier than doing both South Africa and East Africa. High-season, with high prices... but easier on the body.

No matter how used to some of us are with lots of air travel, you have to remember that flight schedules between countries in Africa certainly aren't hourly, sometimes not even daily.
 
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