Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is one of the most unique locations in the world. One can hardly believe it is a work of nature and not man seeing as the crater was formed when a volcano the size of Mount Kilimanjaro rose in the East African country and erupted, forming the largest non-flooded caldera on Earth. It is that caldera which forms the Ngorongoro Crater – a stunningly breathtaking expanse of plentiful wildlife, which is deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Best Time To Go
Average Safari Cost
From $200 to $600 pp/day
Highest concentration of predators in Africa, Big Five, dramatic views of the crater wall, engaging in the culture of Maasai tribes
Why Visit Ngorongoro Crater?
As a part of the Northern Circuit, the Ngorongoro Crater is a very popular tourist destination in Africa – and rightly so seeing as it has so much to offer. The Crater makes up a segment of the 8,300 square kilometres Ngorongoro Conservation Area and is a world away from other parks in Africa due to its remarkable geographical features, most notably the dramatic 1968ft-high crater wall surrounding you.
At Ngorongoro, there is an extremely high density of the Big Five (elephants, buffalos, leopards, lions and rhinos) and it’s likely that you’ll spot all of them in just one day, making for an unusual safari experience. But that’s the beauty of the Crater – it is such a highly concentrated and very dense area for these spectacular animals while at the same time being large enough for them to roam with enough space. It’s truly enthralling.
For more information on the Northern Circuit vs Southern Circuit safaris see our Tanzania Safari - Complete Travel Guide.
Pros And Cons
- Ngorongoro is at the top of its game for predator spotting
- You can experience the Maasai culture by visiting local villages on organised trips
- It’s a superb natural location
- Ngorongoro has a great black rhino population and they are easy to spot, unlike at other large parks, such as Serengeti, where they are either incredibly rare or nonexistent
- You can also spot flamingos at Ngorongoro Crater, adding to the diversity of the site
- The Ngorongoro Crater gets very crowded throughout the year
- Temperatures get very cold in the night, especially if you’re staying on the rim of the crater
- It can become quite an expensive trip, so be sure to budget efficiently
Best Time To Go
We recommend heading to the Ngorongoro Crater in June through to September, which is the dry season in Tanzania, because animal spotting is much easier. Vegetation is thinner during this time of the year, meaning smaller animals in particular cannot disguise themselves effectively from you as much and animals are also conveniently heading to watering holes, meaning you can watch them all together in one place.
As well as this, rain is minimal in the dry season, meaning your trip is less likely to be interrupted by unpredictable weather and there are less mosquitoes flying around, so there’s a slimmer risk of malaria.
However, if your preference is to head to Tanzania in the wet season, November through to May, then the benefits are as follows: the Crater is less crowded and the scenery is luscious and replenished, creating a gorgeous green expanse.
Wildlife viewing at this time of the year is still second-to-none and bird spotting is actually better. Migratory birds are present during the wet season, adding to the possibilities of species to see, but there are more storms and rain, which can potentially interfere with your plans.
Start your African Adventure
4 Days Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Safari
The Big Five Wildlife Discovery is supported by a team of friendly and attentive camp staff and led by professional English-French-Spanish- and/or Italian-speaking guides. Retrofitted “stretch” 4 x 4 Land Rovers are fully equipped with window seats and open hatch space for each passenger assuring 360 degree wildlife viewing and photography.
7 Days Camping Safaris Serengeti and Ngorongoro
Join this awesome 7 day camping safari to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater!
5 Days Ngorongoro Trekking Highlands
Wild root safaris and adventures based in Arusha Tanzania. We organize safaris holidays trips to Tanzania and beyond. Is owned by indigenous Tanzanians and Canadian who are well organized, focused and dynamic professionals with a deep understanding in the tourism and hospitality sector by sharing common values The Swahili language is filled with words that evoke images of a warm welcome to the land of Kilimanjaro and wildlife Nature heritage. Wild root safaris and adventures is recommended as best operator in the spotlight for memorable wildlife safaris and Mountain trekking.
Wildlife And Birds
- Black Rhino
- Wild dogs
Frequently Seen Animals:
- Black rhinos
Wildlife at Ngorongoro is sublime – and incredibly special. The Crater is host to the marvellous black rhino, which are seldom found elsewhere. It is also home to gracious elephants, daring cheetahs and prowling lions, all of which collectively make your expense well worth it. And the starring appearance of cheeky flamingos at the Crater really adds to the awe-inspiring nature of this location.
- Spotted ground-thrush
- Papyrus yellow warbler
- Eastern imperial eagle
- Banded sunbird
- Dappled mountain robin
- Ashy starling
- Pemba white-eye
- Tanzanian red-billed hornbill
- Rufous-tailed weaver
- Mrs Moreau’s warbler
- Fischer’s lovebird
Getting There And Safety
Please note that malaria risk is high around the year in all areas below 1,800m. To protect yourself you should avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeve tops and long trousers especially in the evenings, using insect repellents and, when required, sleeping under a mosquito net.
For more details about vaccinations, see our Tanzania Safari - Complete Travel Guide.
Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Tanzania. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.
Check the World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of the safari trip cover.
You should pack clothes suitable for both hot and cold weather as days can be very hot followed by very cold nights. Your clothes should be in neutral tones, not bright colours. Other items to pack include: insect repellent, camera, torch, binoculars, sunglasses and sun block.
For more details on what to pack see Safari Packing List.