High on a hill overlooking the Shangri-La Coffee Estate on the rolling hills south of Ngorongoro Crater sits a grand manor. The Manor at Ngorongoro combines old world grandeur with a homey feel that made us feel more like we were visiting with old friends than at a hotel. Though most guests will use The Manor as a base to eat and sleep while driving into Ngorongoro Crater as their main activity during the day, we think the lovely estates warrants a longer visit.
The elegant manor prides itself on its friendliness and service. That was evident immediately as we climbed out of the Land Cruiser and were greeted with refreshing tools before being escorted to a picnic on the lawn with local cheese, meats, vegetables from the manor’s very own garden, and refreshing glasses of lemonade. The snacks hit the spot after our flight from Kuro Airstrip in Tarangire National Park to Manyara Airstrip and the long drive up to the Manor due to an afternoon rain. By the time we’d finished, our butler had already transferred our bags to our cottage and we had nothing to do but relax after a busy morning wildlife spotting in Tarangire.
The 10 luxurious cottages each have two suites in each cottage with an upscale farmhouse feel. We loved the central fireplace that you could enjoy from the living room or while laying in bed. The bathroom has heated floors, which are a treat for your feet, separate rain shower and pedestal bath that would gloriously be drawn when we returned from dusty game drives. While the main Manor House does serve tea, coffee and drinks, we could also relax in our cottage or on our patio with tea, coffee, and whiskey right in the comfort of our own cottage. We practically didn’t want to leave!
The Main Manor House
The main Manor House is equally as inviting, with tasteful decor and amenities to keep guests entertained. There are plenty of places in the main house to steal away for a bit of privacy and numerous fireplaces to curl up in front of. Even in Tanzania’s hottest months, the nights are cool and a crackling fire is lovely.
If you’re looking for little more to do than compare game drives with the other guests over appetizers and drinks, head to the billiards or movie rooms downstairs. You can even have a wine tasting in the wine cellar. Or leave the men to the billiards and movies and head to The Manor’s on-site spa for a little pampering.
There’s plenty to do outdoors too. With on-site stables, you can arrange a horseback ride or a bike ride. There’s also lawn games like croquet or lounge around the gorgeous pool.
With the Adirondack chairs overlooking the rolling plantation and pastures where the Manor’s own horses graze beckoning you to curl up with a good book, you can’t help but want to spend time on the lovely grounds. The view was so lovely that on our final day at The Manor, we opted to skip the game drive to Lake Manyara and enjoy lunch on the lawn looking out to the plantation.
We ate well on our entire SkySafari, but The Manor is faced with far less challenges with supply deliveries and because big game wildlife don’t wander the grounds, they even have their very own herb and vegetable gardens. We had our favorite meals at The Manor, including a surprise dinner especially created for us because the staff had got word that we were celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary.
We were treated to a private table in our own romantic room of the main Manor House decorated with candles and rose petals. We enjoyed prawns, carpaccio right from The Manor’s farm, and lamb with vegetables right from the garden. We enjoyed a delicious bottle of South African red wine and were presented with a cake specially made and decorated for us.
Breakfast is a la carte choices and I highly recommend the eggs benedict with cheese from the farm. A picnic lunch is sent with you on game drive days and was an impressive spread of pasta salad, roasted chicken, cucumber salad, and dessert. If you opt to stay at The Manor, you’ll have your choice from the day’s lunch menu and to dine outside on the lawn.
We definitely enjoyed our time at The Manor at Ngorongoro and were extremely sad to leave. It felt as though the staff had become old friends in just a few days time.
Our trip to Tanzania was hosted by SkySafari by Elewana in order for us to bring you this story. As always, all opinions are entirely our own.