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Review: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Now, I should start this review with the preface that we were only there about 12 hours, if that, as we arrived around 7 and left early the next morning.

The lodge was the most “hotel-like” we stayed in, although you still went into open air to get from section to section. The main bar area was like a ski lodge, with big picture windows looking out into the crater, and a large central fire place to gather around. Everyone was playing cards or games and just sitting around drinking. There were young acrobats for entertainment who were pretty damn impressive.

The food was not buffet (which is unfortunate for picky eaters like me) but was good. However, we had very slow service which was a first on the trip. At first it seemed like there was a mix-up causing the delay, but even after that was fixed, things were still very very slow. Also, we had a weird drink thing happen. We had ordered various forms of soda in different places we ate, so we knew what to expect. I had ordered a ginger ale, and though the bottle was a ginger ale bottle, the contents definitely were not. We never did figure out what it was, but it was a sort of grapefruit-like Fanta. It was nasty. I later realized this was the only place we went to where they didn’t open the bottles in front of you, but brought you an opened bottle. I suspect it had been long opened and gone rancid or else something very odd was going on.

Service had been not good enough and there was enough of a language barrier that we let it slide. But, since you can’t simply ask for water w/o getting a 1.5 liter bottle, it pretty much meant I was drink-less the whole meal. Of the desserts, the chocolate eclairs were especially nummy! Breakfast was a good solid buffet, with extra snaps for having choco rice krispies and the sourest passion-fruit.

In terms of bathrooms, this place had THE strongest and hotest shower I’d experienced yet in Africa. It was fab. The rooms also had a hair dryer, robes, more little shampoo bottles, and when they turned down your beds they gave you hot water bottles (it’s a pretty chilly place so high up). They did still have the weird flush-thing going on as mentioned in the Serengeti Serena review. Don’t know what’s up with that.

Scale of 1-10. 7 (might have been higher if we stayed longer).

Ngorongoro Crater Serena Lodge (no captions)

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