Situated a few hundred metres from the southern rim of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, Rhino Lodge offers comfortable accommodation and friendly staff. While not on the rim of the crater itself, the lodge has beautiful surroundings and provides easy access to the road into the crater. Here, one can marvel at Ngorongoro's concentration of wildlife, including the Big Five, and breathtaking scenery.
- Easy access from the lodge to the road into the crater
- Spectacular game viewing both in the crater and surrounding areas
- Opportunities to meet local Maasai people
- Beautiful walks to suit all levels of fitness around the lodge and in the area
- Warm and comfortable accommodation with woodburning stoves
Rhino Lodge has 24 en-suite rooms arranged around a courtyard, with a veranda facing onto the beautiful montane forest. Although the living quarters get blocked off at night, the courtyard area is unfenced so wildlife ambles past, including an elephant fondly called Jino Moja.
The rooms are simple but comfortable, with woodburning stoves for chilly nights. En-suite bathrooms have a toilet, basin and shower with hot water. Bright blankets and throws made from Maasai fabrics add a splash of colour.
Main lodge area
The main lodge is simple and practical, with stone walls, floors and fireplaces to keep the highlands chill at bay. Comfy sofas provide the perfect spot to read a book after a day spotting wildlife in the crater. A small curio shop sells gifts and mementoes.
The restaurant has beautiful views overlooking the forest, with a wooden deck on which to sit if you'd prefer to eat al fresco. Inside, two fireplaces create a warm and cosy setting for the simple yet delicious food which is a mix of local and international tastes. Depending on the number of guests at the lodge, meals can be buffet or à la carte.
Game viewing activities
Most people coming into Ngorongoro come with their own vehicles and guide but, if not, Rhino Lodge will happily connect guests with local guides and vehicles. Vehicles are only allowed into the crater during the day. An early start and easy access from the lodge into the crater ensure an incredible safari experience.
Due to the high concentration of wildlife on the crater floor, you can expect to see vast numbers of animals during a day drive, including the rare and endangered black rhino, lion, elephant, zebra and many varieties of antelope.
Things to do
Ngorongoro Crater is within the vast Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which encompasses a number of great places to visit, including the fascinating archaeological site at Olduvai Gorge and Ngorongoro Crater's smaller sister crater, Empakaai.
While walking safaris are not allowed on the crater floor, the surrounding areas offer a wide range of activities, from trekking and hiking to mountain biking and meeting with the local people to learn about their culture and traditions.
There are numerous guided hiking trails to suit all levels of fitness, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the spectacular African bush.
By car - Rhino Lodge is about three hours by car from Arusha.
By air - The flight from Arusha to Manyara airstrip takes about 40 minutes. From there, it's a scenic 45-minute drive to the lodge. Arusha is served by two airports; the domestic Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Our take on Rhino Lodge
Rhino Lodge is simple but comfortable, with great staff. While it doesn't offer views over the crater floor, its affordability, the views over the montane forest and of passing animals and its close proximity to the road leading to the crater floor make up for that. From here, you can get an early start and miss the crowds that often build up at the gate into the crater.
- Accommodation and all meals
- Tourism development levy
- Items of a personal nature
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Ngorongoro is a Tanzanian must-see. The Ngorongoro Crater, a caldera or collapsed volcano, while only covering 260 km², includes a diverse range of habitats including montane forest, grasslands, acacia forests, a salt-lake and swamps. The diversity of the habitat provides home to an incredibly wide range of birds and animals, including the Big Five, in a concentrated area. Accommodation around the rim of the crater provides spectacular views and easy access to the crater.
Ngorongoro Crater is a Tanzanian must-see. Situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a vast park of spectacular beauty, this caldera or collapsed volcano has created a mini game reserve with many habitats in a very small area. This provides a home to an incredibly diverse range of birds and animals including the Big Five in a concentrated space.