We've seen some pretty precariously perched eco-resorts here on Inhabitat, but never one that actually sits on the edge of a gigantic crater. Often referred to as the 8th world wonder of the world, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is a lavish hotel located on the perimeter of a collapsed volcano in Tanzania. Guests are invited to relax in the the lap of luxury while peering out at spectacular views of the surrounding World Heritage site. But these accommodations don't come at a cost to the environment - Ngorongoro is celebrated for the responsible and sustainable measures it takes to preserve the animals and land that make it a truly one of a kind destination.
While the word “safari” usually conjures up images of dusty tents and meager meals, that couldn’t be further from the truth at Ngorongoro. Despite its secluded locale, the lodge is decked out with grand halls, opulent suites, chandelier–lit bathrooms and glamorous decor. And come dinnertime, you won’t be roasting your morsels over a campfire. Hungry guests are served at white tablecloth-lined tables with a carpet of rose petals under foot.
During the day, though, get ready to get your hands dirty. The crater, whose walls are approximately 2,000 feet tall, is home to more than 25,000 animals and a bevy of gorgeous plants. Professional Tanzanian rangers are available to take you around to see everything from rhinos to zebra to wildebeest and even lions.
After experiencing the beauty of the crater, you may be wondering what the lodge is doing to make sure all of it stays that way. Some of the sustainable measures the resort takes include energy saving bulbs, laundry dried by the sun and the wind, water flow meters to monitor monthly usage and reduce consumption levels and sending all used glass garbage to the Shanga River House to be melted and re-shaped into beads for jewelry and other goods. In addition, kitchen wet waste is collected by Catholic nuns for a piggery project which keeps their pigs happy and well-fed while also giving the lodge a great way to dispose of their garbage. Not the most conventional reuse project but effective nonetheless!