Wildlife lovers, culture lovers, active travelers, honeymooners, families, multigenerational families & photographers
Game drives, highland walks, Maasai cultural experiences
Private sundowners with Maasai dancers, Maasai orpul experience and a private picnic brunch complete with chef on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater also available with supplementary cost
A New Perspective on a Famous Site
For many the Ngorongoro Crater is a popular but quick stop where you spend a day on safari exploring the crater floor and learning a bit about the geology before heading onward to the Serengeti. In reality, this area is home to a cultural history as fascinating as its natural one. Entamanu Ngorongoro offers experiences that beautifully blend these two elements to create an enriching and unique visit to the Ngorongoro Crater that steps beyond the expected.
Perched right on the rim in a pocket of forest, this thoughtfully designed camp overlooks the entire sweep of the crater. We love the location of Entamanu, which is found directly across from the majority of the other rim-based camps, well off the beaten track. Best of all, it is located the closest to the sole descent road, which provides access to the crater floor, saving you up to of an hour of extra driving before even beginning your game drive. This means that you can easily be the first into the crater in the morning, giving you precious exclusivity in a notoriously popular destination. Since most guests only spend one day on safari there, having the early morning with no crowds is invaluable, especially for photographers.
Even if you only spend a few nights at Entamanu Ngorongoro, they are sure to make an immense impact on you. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most unique ecosystems on Earth thanks to a serendipitous mash-up of geological and ecological factors. Formed about 2.5 million years ago when a massive volcano collapsed in on itself, it is now the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. Rich volcanic soil, a warm climate and proximity to vast, fertile grasslands was the perfect recipe for biodiversity to flourish.
While on safari on the crater floor, you can hardly turn your head without seeing an animal in this remarkable self-contained habitat. Grazers abound and predators ranging from lions and hyenas to bat-eared foxes thrive with the abundant prey. There are even rhino, leopard and caracal for those lucky enough to spot one. Lake Magadi is home to seasonal flocks of flamingos and pelicans that turn the alkaline lake into a watercolor swirl of pinks and whites.
In the Footsteps of the Maasai
On the outer slopes of the crater, dozens of Maasai villages dot the land. To honor this, Entamanu has curated a wonderful collection of experiences that center around their culture and heritage. Go for a nature walk with a Maasai guide, learning about medicinal plants and looking for wildlife as you hike along the rim, the crater on one side and the Serengeti stretching to the horizon on the other. Our favorite way to do this fully-customizable experience is a 2-3 hour hike that ends with a spectacular brunch on a bluff overlooking Lake Empakai, the Oldupai Gorge and the Serengeti beyond.
With your guide you can visit a Maasai village to take in their daily life. Learn how they build their unique houses and boma, including stepping inside a home to see their sleeping and cooking quarters. You will meet their beloved livestock and enjoy a beautiful song and dance performance. Their rhythmic chanting will echo in your ears long after you leave the boma behind. We loved how authentic and relaxed this experience felt. Only the guests from Entamanu have the privilege of visiting this particular village, so it never felt put-on.
For an even deeper dive into Maasai culture, opt for a private sundowner with a traditional dance performance or the Maasai Orpul experience, a strengthening ceremony for men and boys where they gather in the bush for at least two weeks, away from the boma.
Africa Meets Alpine
Back in camp the experience is just as unique. Entamanu feels like a Tanzanian take on Scandinavian hygge (the art of coziness). Canvas walls blend with white-washed wood, fluffy white pillows and plush woven rugs. Plump armchairs encircle crackling fireplaces. Lampshades beaded by the Maasai, cowhide rugs echoing the Maasai herds, and tapestries depicting Tanzanian folklore infuse local flavor throughout the design. It doesn’t sound like it would work in a safari camp, but it absolutely does, and it does so effortlessly. It’s curated, but unfussy. Cozy, but chic.
With the cool misty mornings and chilly evenings (you’re at 7,500 feet of elevation on the rim!) the alpine inspired design beckons you in. Imagine sitting on your deck with a steaming mug of coffee and a warm fudgy brownie (stay tuned for the recipe), watching the golden light and wispy clouds play across the caldera…you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve found heaven.
Check out our Grasslands of Tanzania itinerary, which sandwiches a stay at Entamanu Ngorongoro with stops in Tarangire National Park and the famed Serengeti National Park.
Why this itinerary is great:
Visit the remarkably diverse ecosystems of Northern Tanzania
See the iconic Great Wildebeest Migration and all the predator action that does along with it
Walk with the Maasai in their sacred homeland
See massive herds of elephants roaming the river valleys of Tarangire National Park
Easily add on time in the Mahale Mountains to see wild chimpanzees or on Zanzibar for the idyllic beaches and sleepy island pace