Serena Ngorongoro: The Lowdown

Perched right on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, the Ngorongoro Serena has one of the finest locations of any hotel in Africa. The view down the crater floor is utterly breath-taking and when we last visited we spent about an hour just gawping through the vast sheet glass windows at the magnificent panorama below. Sorry- did we say gawping? That was meant to read working…

What’s the hotel like at Serena Ngorongoro?

The Serena has 75 rooms built on two storeys along the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. The architecture’s certainly unusual, but the rocky-style structure has been designed with an admirable goal in mind- when you’re down on the crater floor, it’s pretty tricky to pick out the building on the rim up above. Each has a small balcony or sitting area (we slightly preferred the upper-level rooms for this reason) looking out towards the crater. A hotel of this size and standard comes with many of the facilities you might not expect in such a remote part of the world- a large restaurant serving mainly buffet-style food, wi-fi, hair dryers and there’s a gift shop for treasures to bring home (some of these are made by local women’s projects, so by buying them you’re directly supporting the local Maasai community). Usually though we’d expect you’d be out on safari, enjoying the many wonders the Ngorongoro Crater has to offer.

Feel-good factor at Serena Ngorongoro:

This small hotel chain is owned by the Aga Khan Foundation, and we’ve always been impressed by their dedication in putting something back into the areas in which they operate. At the Ngorongoro Serena the lodge supports tree planting programmes, classroom building for the local school, and orphanage. The Ngorongoro Serena also attempts to limit its impact on the local environment through rainwater harvesting and recycling.

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