Rhino Lodge is simple but comfortable. It is the most affordable option within the Ngorongoro conservation area. Staying here allows you to beat the crowds that often build up at the gate into the crater.
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With 24 comfortable en-suite rooms, a cozy living space, friendly local staff and delicious African-inspired meals, Rhino Lodge offers an affordable stay with panoramic views over the montane forest and distant Mount Oldeani.
Guests regularly encounter wildlife such as elephants, buffalo and waterbuck at the lodge, which you can view from your room’s private deck.
Rhino Lodge is also located in close proximity to the main entrance and road descending to the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater. You will be able to enjoy an early breakfast and still make it into the crater before the main traffic from Karatu arrives to ensure that you can make the most of your time at the Crater.
The lodge is situated at an altitude of 2,200 metres above sea level, and it can get quite cold at night. To make sure guests are cozy in their rooms, each room has its own wood-burning stove, which staff will light for you on cold evenings. Guests are also supplied with a hot water bottle.
Unpretentiously rustic, the lodge does not overlook the crater itself but enjoys glorious vistas of misty montane forest and distant Mount Oldeani. It is relatively spartan, but for the more adventurous traveller, it is an interesting and very economical place to stay, with enviably close access to the crater floor. We recommend including Rhino Lodge on a privately guided driven safari around some of northern Tanzania's famous national parks, perhaps starting at Arusha, visiting Lake Manyara on the way to the crater and then finishing your safari in the Serengeti before taking some time to relax in Zanzibar. An example trip following this routing is the Northern Tanzania Safari and Zanzibar.
Stretching out in two L-shaped rows from the main area are 24 semi-detached rooms set around a central courtyard. Outside each room is a long wooden deck overlooking a stretch of high montane forest. Bright Maasai blankets add a splash of colour to the whitewashed walls. The property has double, twin, triple and family rooms.
All rooms have a compact en-suite bathroom with a hot water shower. As the lodge is situated at an altitude of 2,200 metres above sea level, it can get quite cold in the area, and each room has its own wood-burning stove, which staff will light for you on cold evenings. You will also be supplied with hot water bottles that can be filled to keep the cold at bay.
In the bar/dining room, there are two large fires which are a natural focus where guests like to meet and exchange stories of the day. Here you can enjoy the delicious African-inspired meals and have a drink. The restaurant’s deck looks across the grassland towards the forest, also making it a superb spot for morning coffee.
Facilities include a bar, a restaurant for communal dining, a TV room, complimentary internet access, mobile connectivity, a balcony/deck, detached private bathrooms, electrical outlets, and a fireplace.
Your stay is usually on a full board basis consisting of an early breakfast, packed lunch and dinner served as a buffet when the lodge is full or a three-course set menu at times when the lodge is quieter.
Rhino Lodge is operated in conjunction with the governing body of the area's Maasai to ensure that they benefit from the lodge's success. Almost all the staff come from the local village, and part of the lodge's income goes directly to the Maasai community.