See Karatu area lodges, which are great values near Ngorongoro. For those who want to be on or very near the Crater rim, we suggest the following.
This is a simple but interesting lodge located at the Ngorongoro Crater rim. It’s important to note that it’s set back from the rim edge so there are no views into the Crater, however the lodge itself is next to the forest with some grassland on one side, so it sometimes has animal activity right around it to fascinate you. It’s much smaller than the lodges located on the rim, which is a nice advantage to avoid the crowds. The rooms are very simple, small, and old-fashioned with very small bathrooms. The great surroundings but simple/small rooms mean it’s a great place for those on a budget, or those with more funds but more interested more in their surroundings than room luxury. The larger, more expensive lodges on the Crater rim have nicer rooms and Crater views, but Rhino Lodge has beautiful forest and animals, in a smaller more intimate setting at a great price. The rooms are on three sides of a grassy courtyard, across from the main building with the dining room. On a recent staff visit here, there were waterbuck and storks grazing on the lawn. The day prior, there had been elephant eating in the courtyard. So it’s an amazing place for nature encounters, but one has to be patient – if the elephant is in the courtyard, you can’t go walk to the dining room or your vehicle until it leaves! Availability can be tight at Rhino Lodge, and please be aware all of the other lodges/camps in this area are quite a bit more expensive. If Rhino is full, Karatu village lodges just outside the park may be necessary to stay within the same budget.
Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
Wildlife Lodges are a group of large hotels/lodges in Tanzania. While usually we prefer smaller lodge and camps, Wildlife Lodges are great for those who like a hotel style environment and are on a budget, though at this lodge the rooms and service may be sub-standard. They have great locations and views. Meals are usually served buffet-style.
Sopa Lodge Ngorongoro
Sopa Lodges are a group of large lodges in Tanzania's parks. While we usually prefer smaller lodges and camps, Sopa Lodges are well situated, have great views, and are more upscale than Wildlife Lodges (and the price reflects that).
Ang’ata Ngorongoro Tented Camp
Ang’ata camps are nice tented camps, for the mid range or slightly upscale traveler though they are not super luxe. Ngorongoro camp is set on the the Ngorongoro Crater Rim, though there may not be views down into the Crater itself. A great choice for those who want a tented camp on Ngorongoro Rim.