&beyond Ngorngoro Crater Lodge
Once a gigantic volcano, the Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania is now the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that, before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600m (2 000ft) deep 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 elephant wander the forests, black-maned lion stalk the grasslands and long-legged flamingo crowd the soda lakes. An estimated 25 000 large mammals are resident in this bowl of plenty, including a population of approximately 6 000 resident wildebeest, 16 rare black rhino and around 70 lion. Cheetah move in and out of the crater, while leopard are most often encountered in the spectacular Lerai Forest.
Consistently recognised as one of the world’s most luxurious and elegant places to stay, andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is situated right on the edge of the crater, offering unbeatable views of one of the natural wonders of the world.
Perched above cool, swirling mists on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, the sumptuous safari suites at andBeyond 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.