Part two of Reena Patels amazing luxurious safari adventure took place at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge for two incredible nights – boasting 30 sumptuous safari suites, perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Once a gigantic volcano, it is the largest intact caldera in the world and shelters a permanent population of more than 30,000 animals. Nearly three million years old, it shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on Earth. It is also a World Heritage Site and one of the Wonders of the World.
Our andBeyond guide drove us through the misty clouds, down rocky rubble roads and to the Crater floor in a pop up roof vehicle. Here, we saw endangered black rhino, which are protected within this natural Eden, giant tusked elephants wandering the forests, pink and white flamingoes crowding the soda lakes, ostrich and so much more. On our way back up to our cabins, we also came across a large number of the local Maasai, who follow tradition by grazing their cattle on the Crater floor.
The magnificent architecture of each stilted suite at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is inspired by the Maasai mud and stick manyatta (or homestead). The raw materials used are typically African, from mud plaster on the external walls, to banana leaf ceilings and makhuti palm roofs. Each remarkable lodge features an eclectic mishmash of interior furnishings and fittings with African styles and European influences: graceful antiques, African treasures neatly placed, beaded chandeliers hanging above large gilt mirrors and billowing raw silk curtains that brush the tops of beautiful Persian carpets.
Each camp has its own lounge and dining room, outdoor dining area and viewing deck, plus a spectacular en-suite bathroom that features a huge shower and ornate free-standing bathtub. Our beds were made extra toasty on colder evenings with electric heated blankets.
Personal butlers discreetly tend to every need. Ours politely offered us wake up calls, to bring us tea in bed, stoked the fireplace in our room and even drew us a luxurious bath after a long game drive, whimsically laced with rose petals.
We were awestruck by the decadently domed dining room and bar at this lodge, which is bedecked with lavish design features such as crystal chandeliers, rugs, utterly cosy cushioned sofas and not forgetting all-important Wi-Fi, to gain access to the rest of the world.
andBeyond owns and operates 33 individual and intimate lodges and camps in select breath-taking high-spots across Africa, India and Sri Lanka. The noble measure is that with andBeyond, it doesn’t just entertain pure guest indulgence. This pioneering luxury safari travel company holds a strong commitment to sustainable responsible travel. It also has a core ethic of ‘Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People, to enrich and empower the communities that surround the reserves. By choosing to travel with this multi-award winning company, guests are also making a difference to ongoing biodiversity protection and conservation development.
A captivating and almost indescribable experience, andBeyond gave us an almost indescribable journey to Africa that we will never forget.
You can view part one of Reena Patels amazing journey here