Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Travel Blogs from Ngorongoro Conservation Area
We are awake early and getting our luggage organised for departure. The monkeys on the roof are very noisy and then they start jumping from balcony to balcony. They are very quick and agile and we nearly have one in the room as we try to take photos and leave the screen door open! Everyone else comes out to see what the commotion is after Sheila …
We woke to the most amazing sunrise over the carter, the clouds were rolling in on the sides of it was stunning. We scoffed a buffet breakfast before leaving the lodge early around 7am to get into the crater before the hoards of tourists. The inside of the crater is around 12 miles wide and 16 miles long, the animals here here have constant water …
Stopped on the way to Ngorongoro to visit a 'Cultural Village' where more than 120 ethnic communities co-exist; many are refugees from civil wars, with diverse religious groups, mainly Christian and Muslim. Produce enough food to be self sufficient, grow commercial banana crops and earn income through craft activities and guided tours. Money raised …
Finally have wifi - not too well connected in the wilderness. The elephants are constantly taking down the towers! Have seen everything - animals birds reptiles and plants i didnt know existed. Left Aberdare park on Aug 12 for Samburu National Reserve. Stayed two nights. It was very hot and dry but we had a pool at our hotel so it was refreshing …
So many animals! We saw a lion hunt down a wildebeest. Mosses our guide said we were really lucky because most people don't see a kill, and we saw two (along with the cheetah kill in the Serengeti)! The total number of lions we saw was 45 with the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater. Some of the lions were super close, too! There were a few laying …
How has this lodge rated in the past?
Really nice break from the dust of the crater. The service was top notch.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
TravelPod Member ReviewsNgorongoro Sopa Lodge Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Historical Traveler Reviews Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Much better than I expected
Our travel agent had recommended Serena as the better hotel (see seperate review), however due to lack of rooms we had to move to the Sopa for our last night. I actually much preferred it. The rooms were far larger, better furnished, with a beautiful huge window with rocking chairs overlooking the crater.
View of the awesome sunset much better from this side of the crater.
On paper, the menu was extremely creative but didnt really deliver - OK, but nothing special.
Bar area more atmospheric than Serena.
Small swimming pool but we didnt get the chance to use it so cannot comment on the quality.
This by far was one of the best lodges I stayed at whilst in Tanzania. You have a warm welcome at reception (drink and cold flannel to refresh after the travelling) The view from reception over the crater is amazing. We had quite a trek to the room which was a little bit disappointing but once you get inside its like a little haven.
The Ngorogoro Sopa lodge is a very large hotel on the eastern rim of the Ngorogoro Crater. The views are spectacular and it is the only lodge on the crater rim with a view of the sunset (the other crater-rim lodges are on the western side). The hotel itself was nice, though we prefer smaller, more intimate accomodations. The rooms could definitely use some updating. The windows in our room did not open, the paint in our bathroom literally fell off in large pieces when we showered and we had a problem with ants in the bathroom on the first night (nothing a little insect repellant couldn't fix). In general though, the rooms were very spacious and nice enough. The food at the lodge was good - better at dinner than breakfast. We stayed for 3 nights and all meals were buffet except for one night (Friday). The property has a very nice lounge with ample seating (inside and out) for watching the sunset, relaxing before/after dinner or enjoying a drink after a wonderful day in the crater. There is a very chilly pool for those who feel the need to take the plunge - we did not! The staff at the Sopa was fantastic - very friendly and accomodating. All in all, we enjoyed our stay. If you are planning on staying at a lodge on the crater rim, we would recommend the Sopa as a nice lodge, but especially for the location and the view.
Stayed at this lodge for 2 nights, rooms are a little tired but the food is excellent and plentiful. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The setting after a long days game drive to sit and watch the crater whilst drinking a cold beer is amazing. Some wildlife in the grounds mongoose, monkeys and a variety of birds.
You will get escorted to your room each night in case there are larger animals around. The pool is bracing and the weather every morning was cloudy and misty a light jacket may be in order. No mozzies when we went, the altitude may give some people some breathing difficulties but only slight. Overall an excellent place to start the safari. The view is worth it alone
Excellent hotel and great value
This hotel was one of our favorites while on safari. The rooms while not as nice as the serena or crater lodge are quite spacious and very clean. The hotel has the perfect location with the most amazing bar and restaurant with panoramic views of the crater. You can sit in the bar and sit by one of the four fireplaces while enjoying a nice glass of wine or safari beer. The restaurant has the best bread and food cooked by their well trained Masai chef. This hotel was a great experience for us and I would easily reccomend it to anyone.
We stayed here for two nights as part of a week long safari with Eclipse Direct (the second week was spent in Mombasa). As other reviewers have stated the ride here was bumpy and long but well worth it. We were greeted with hot towels and juice and our rooms were well equipped and comfortable. The views into the crater were breathtaking and looking through our binoculars we could see herds of game roaming the crater floor. The staff are very attentive and friendly but not in a false and smarmy way (if you know what I mean). The game drive into the crater the next morning will be etched into my brain forever....when anyone asks, I have to tell them that the emotion I experienced was something akin to the film Jurrasic Park when they first got into the landrover and started to see the fauna and flora...as we descended into the crater at early o'clock, a herd of elephants appeared and crossed our path with small babies and massive matriarchs and I was more than a little intimidated. Our guide, Livingstone, was amazing and we saw all of the big five and more besides before we had even got to the Serengeti! All in all, I am amazed that anyone is able to provide this level of service in the middle of the African bush. At the bar we heard guests complaining that their beers weren't cold enough...the fact that they weren't warm was an achievement!!! We loved the place and can't wait to go back.
We stayed here for 2 nights as part of a safari in Tanzania (all Sopa lodges we stayed at). For standard, I would say this was the best lodge, as the rooms are lovely with a sitting area with two rocking chairs by the window with great views over the crater. Our room had two double beds, and the beds were so comfy, it was very hard to crawl out at 6am in the morning for your game drive! Although this lodge is the other side of the crater than the others, it has its own road to get in and out of the crater floor, so you don't tend to get that many safari vehicles using this route. As you are 7000 ft above sea level, it was a bit cooler at the lodge and although there was a swimming pool, it was too cold to swim, and it did tend to rain in the afternoons (but not in the crater itself), but we didn't need the raidators on in our room though! This lodge is a great place to watch the sunsets over the crater aswell. The food was good - there was a menu to choose from and the staff were very friendly and made you feel very welcome. Watch out for the elephants/buffalos walking outside the lodge of a night - but great to watch in your rocking chair in your room!! A great place to stay.
We had a two night stay at the Sopa Crater Lodge during our June 2004 Tanzania/Kenya trip. We were looking forward to staying there again as the 2002 experience was very positive. When we planned that trip I heard from a colleque who takes groups to Tanzania that we were fortunate staying there being that the access road into the crater is quite close and comes into the east side of the crater while vehicles from other lodges require a lengthier drive. I recall pulling into the entrance way to be met by staff with cold juice and hot towels. The lodge has a spacious lobby, two gift shops, a huge bar/lounge, and area for tea time and a very large, high ceiling dining room. That room, circular in shape has huge, long beams coming together in the center of the high ceiling. Outside walkways were taste fully bordered with flower beds. The pool area and grassy patio area behind a high stone wall made for great viewing of sunsets. Our room was just about the farthest from the main lobby. We had maybe a 100 yard walk down a stone/brick paved walk. View from our sun room was that of the nearby rainforest with sign that large animals frequented the area (a pile of cape buffalo dung was immediately under the window and the guests in the adjacent room had elephants at their window. We later saw cape buffalo. The food was excellent. One meal I particularly recall was baar-be-que ribs as an appetizer, wonton soup, tilapia w/veggies, and a chocolate brownie for desert. As we walked back to the room a staff member pointed out a chamelion on a bush, a hyrax in the tree, huge beetles and an owl in the courtyard tree. Entering the room we noted the heat had been turned on (it gets cold on the crater rim particularly as fall was upon us). We did not need mosquito netting. The breakfast buffet was quite impressive with quite an array of fruits, pastries, juices, meats, etc. One chef prepared custom omlets and paper thin pancakes. Our first morning it was windy, misty and chilly.
Before coming to Tanzania, I had no idea what to expect in the way of hotels and expected something quite primitive. I was presently surprised by all of your lodges while on safari. They were all unique and had character. Each room/lodge provided everything you would need. If you come to Tanzania, expecting the Holiday Inn or a JW Marriot, you will be sadly disappointed. Go to Tanzania for the experience with no pre-conceived notions and you will high enjoy yourself! A safari in Tanzania is one of the greatest vacations and an awe-inspiring experience!