SERENA SAFARI LODGE
About the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Regularly voted one of the best hotels in the world, this
unique lodge clings to the rim of the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, the
largest and most perfect volcanic crater on Earth. Long and low, the lodge
is built from local river stone and camouflaged with indigenous vines.
Designed to blend completely into the landscape, it is entirely invisible
from the floor of the Crater 600 metres below. Known as ‘the eighth
wonder of the world' the Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa's best-known
wildlife arenas. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers a unique biosphere,
which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. Deep within
the Crater, enclosed by towering walls, some 25,000 large mammals wander
the plains, lakes and forests of ‘the land that time forgot', dominated
by enormous bull elephants, rhinos and lions. Hugging the contours of
the jagged Crater rim, the lodge takes its inspiration from the so-called ‘Cradle
of Mankind', the prehistoric site of Olduvai Gorge, which lies close by.
Linked by arched stone passages and timbered decks, its walls are decorated
with stylized prehistoric cave paintings and lit by flaring torches. At
the stone heart of the lodge burns a glowing fire, which is kept constantly
alight. Decorated with cave paintings, the rooms are strung around the
Crater rim. Each has its own rock- enclosed balcony, and all enjoy completely
uninterrupted views of the volcanic amphitheatre far below.
The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, lies immediately
adjacent to the Serengeti National Park and 180 kilometres from Arusha.
By road: transfers by road from Arusha take approximately
By air: there is an adjacent airstrip and a ‘meet
and greet' and transfer service is offered.
75 rock-built rooms with panoramic private balconies Rock
built dining room and bar with central fire Extensive viewing terraces
Game drives into the Crater daily Wedding planning and honeymoon venue
Gift shop, business centre, WiFi Tented conference centre Extensive selection
of sports and activities Cultural dance and music TV room with satellite
Dining at Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp
The central tented lounge features a stylish bar and a
selection of wildwood seating. The dining room is presented in classic
tented style with a panoramic terrace looking out over the plains. The
camp also offers a circular barbeque and campfire area.
The balloon safari and bush breakfast
Up up and away over the Serengeti
One of the most magically memorable of the Serengeti experiences, a
balloon safari allows you to drift in silence above the splendour of
the plains, to dip down to visit the hippo pools of the Grumeti River,
and to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the wildlife theatre as it is
enacted below you.
Awakened by an early-morning cup of tea (around 5.30 am)
you will be driven to the balloon take-off point, where you will meet
your fully-qualified balloon pilot and watch as the team inflates the
vast rainbow-coloured balloon. As dawn breaks, the balloon slowly rights
itself, the guests are helped into the wicker basket (a typical balloon
carries around 8 passengers and is equipped with seats and safety belts),
the sandbags are cast off, and the balloon rises majestically into the
cool of the morning air.
Driven by the wind, and guided by jets of hot air from
the gas-burners (which allow it to rise or fall according to the pilot’s
direction), the balloon will fly for a period of around 45 minutes (trailed
by a team of ground vehicles). Eventually, it descends to a gentle controlled-landing
on the plains. To celebrate, the ground crew offer the guests a glass
of chilled champagne, while the pilot prepares their personal ‘flight
certificates’. Later, everyone sits down to a full English breakfast,
which is traditionally cooked on the burners of the balloon. After breakfast,
guests can enjoy a leisurely game drive back to the camp.
The Bush Breakfast
The real ‘Out of Africa’
One of the classic safari highlights, the bush breakfast is an experience
not to be missed. Typically, guests are awakened by a very early morning
cup of tea; they then set off on a game drive, which is timed to offer
the very best chance of spotting ‘The Big Five’.
Setting off ahead of the guests, our hospitality team will
arrive at the chosen breakfast spot in time to set up table, chairs, campfire
and ‘bush kitchen’. Upon arrival, the guests are typically
met with a glass of chilled sparkling wine and fresh-pressed orange juice.
They can then sit down to enjoy a uniquely scenic full English breakfast.
Meanwhile, our chef will cook their choice of sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes
and toast. After breakfast, there’s another game drive back to the
The Bush Dinner
Dine in the wild and taste safari-life at its best
Nothing is quite so essentially ‘Safari’ as
the traditional ‘bush dinner’, especially when it is enlivened
by the presence by a group of scarlet-clad Maasai morans(warriors).
Typically, the Mbuzi Mawe Bush Dinner takes place at a
scenic location on the plains. Timed to coincide with the setting of the
sun, which on the Equator is around 6 pm, the bush dinner will commence
with a short game drive. Arriving at the chosen location, with fabulous
views across the plains, our guests will find that a table and chairs
have already been set up, and that a campfire, lanterns, and bush kitchen
Beginning with sundowners around the campfire, we are proud
to entertain our guests with Maasai dance and song while their 5-course
dinner is prepared on the blazing charcoal BBQ. The choice of meat, fish
and poultry will be supplemented by vegetarian choices, salads, fruit
and desserts from the main camp, and a full safari bar will be provided.
An essential part of traditional safari life, the concept
of having drinks whilst watching the sun go down dates back to the
time of the great safaris of the 1920’s, all of which featured
the serving of elegant ‘bush’ cocktails against the unforgettable
backdrop of the African sunset.
Rooms and suites
Strung around the Crater rim, each with its own rock-enclosed balcony,
the rooms feature brass lamps, embossed leather headboards, wildwood
mirrors, Maasai carvings and stylised prehistoric cave paintings. Each
room enjoys uninterrupted views over the Crater's unmatched splendour.