Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is perched right on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater rim. Constructed of local stone, the lodge is gradually blending into the mountainside as indigenous plants cover the buildings.
The interior decorations follow the theme of Ngorongoro's prehistoric past with the original use of stone metal and wall paintings. Strung around the crater rim, each of the 75 rooms has its own rock-enclosed balcony. The rooms feature brass lamps, embossed leather headboards, wildwood mirrors, Maasai carvings and flamboyant prehistoric wall motifs depicting giraffes, gazelle and buffalo. Each room is fully centrally heated and air-conditioned and enjoys uninterrupted views over the Crater.
At the end of an action-packed day, guests can follow a gentle nature trail that loops around the Lodge through moss-hung glades and plunging ravines, take a guided walk to the Crater's rim, relax with a herbal massage, or watch the sun setting behind the mountains from a unique vantage point on the heights of the Crater's rim.
The Maasai-inspired, split-level dining and bar area features a two-tier wall of windows looking down on to the constantly changing vistas of the crater below. There is a traditional circular fireside meeting area, and a recurrent motif of massive 'prehistoric' cave paintings, stone-studded walls, Maasai spears and blazing jewel-hued wall lamps. The atmosphere is relaxed and candle-lit whilst the menu choices include traditional Maasai fare, long-time safari favourites and internationally themed menus. All areas are complimented by log fires (Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is at 6,000 feet) which greatly enhance the atmosphere especially in the evenings.
Facilities at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge include laundry, valet, babysitting, and children's menus and internet connectivity. A nurse is on call 24 hours a day. Beauty treatments, hairdressing and massage are available, and there is a gift shop and boutique.
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is 180 kilometers from Arusha - a 4 hour drive or a 40 minute flight from Arusha Airport to the Ngorongoro airstrip.
"Being one of the four lodges on the crater rim Serena is in a prime position and it does blend into the forest being covered in rocks. But personally, I prefer the location and feel of the Sopa on the other side of the rim. The rooms at Serena are tiny and it feels like a bit of a prison with the 'underground' feeling of the corridors surrounded by rocks and dark walls. The main restaurant area felt very dated with sticky carpets and not very inspiring buffet food. It's used a lot by package tour companies and if you want a nicer view and bigger rooms, I'd opt for the Sopa. If Serena refurbish this lodge in the future it could be much better, reflecting the modern style of some of their other hotels in East Africa."