logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Adventure Living Site

BellaOnline's Adventure Living Editor

g

Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater


Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater rates as one of Africa’s highlights because of its concentration of diverse wildlife. Among the 25,000 animals that roam the crater floor are lions, hyenas, gazelles, zebras, buffalos and wildebeest as well as endangered black rhinos. Near the rim lies another legend: & Beyond’s Crater Lodge, often described as “Versailles meets Masai.”

After breakfast, Kim, our ranger at & Beyond’s Crater Lodge, takes us on a day-long game drive. A thick, white collar of clouds rims the crater walls, blue in the morning light. Descending nearly 2000-feet, we enter the stark northwest region, whose brown, barren earth looks moonlike. A “kimbunga,” Swahili for “whirlwind,” this one of dust, spirals ahead.

But not all the landscape is inhospitable. Although we don’t spot leopard in the yellow bark acacia trees in the Lerai forest, we come upon baboons feeding in the fig trees. In the tall grass near the Munge River, three lionesses stroll among the paused vehicles.

When one sleek muscled hunter rubs up against our Land Cruiser’s door, we suck in our breath and grow wide eyed with wonder. The lioness then plops herself down in the shade behind the rear wheels. Now, we understand why only closed game vehicles are allowed in the crater. (Also, mornings can be cold).

En route to Ngoitokitok Springs for lunch we pass a dazzle of zebra and a herd of wildebeest. Hippos soak in the spring’s freshwater, resting their enormous heads on each other’s backs, occasionally snorting and honking to the delight of onlookers, of which by 1 p.m there are many. As one of only two places for crater picnics, the parking lot fills with scores of vehicles.

That’s part of the downside of exploring Ngorongoro. With limited routes and no off-road driving in the crater, a lion or cheetah sighting invariably draws more vehicles than animals. The experience is intense, but not personal.

That comes at & Beyond’s Crater Lodge. Upon our return, Msisi, our butler (every room comes with one), surprises us with a rose petal strewn bubble bath. Our big Victorian tub, illuminated by a tiered chandelier, faces a picture window overlooking the lawn and the crater.

Our suite, like the main lodge, incorporates eclectic elements. The thatched roofs and rounded buildings evoke Masai dwellings. The medallion carved wooden screens, bureaus and low tables reference Morocco and the suite’s wood paneling feels English. The main lodge’s gilt mirrors, Persian carpets and cranberry silk drapes suggest European drawing rooms where Edwardian explorers related tales to pearl-draped ladies sipping tea.

While architectural purists gasp at the mixture, the odd juxtapositions grow on us. By the second day we’re comfortable with the fantasy of otherworldly, grand manse at the edge of the awe-inspiring crater. And we’re seduced by the service.

Msisi brings us coffee and tea with cookies in the morning and the afternoon. A rose, a signature element of the lodge, always brightens the tray. Our room blooms with four dozen fragrant red beauties and in the main lodge dozens more in red, white and pink greet visitors.

The food is good and the staff mindful of our lactose intolerance, serving us delicious non-dairy soups and tasty entrees. And at night Msisi stokes the fire in our room, then says “Lala salama,” “sleep well” in Swahili.

Related links
www.andbeyond.com
www.ngorongorocrater.com


Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to Twitter Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to Facebook Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to MySpace Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to Del.icio.us Digg Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to Yahoo My Web Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to Google Bookmarks Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to Stumbleupon Add Tanzania%92s+Ngorongoro+Crater to Reddit




Pet Lion cubs and Giraffe
Explore Etosha National Park Namibia'sJewel
How to Choose a Family Safari
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Adventure Living Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Candyce H. Stapen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Candyce H. Stapen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Candyce H. Stapen for details.

g


g features
Tips for Road Trips with Dogs

Historic Homes & Art in Winston-Salem, NC

Tucson, AZ, Highlights

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor