Where to go

Ngorongoro Crater Safaris

One of the natural wonders of the world, with some of the best game viewing

Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater

Lying to the east of the plains of the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater is arguably one of the locations to see in Africa, providing a unique opportunity to see world class game viewing in a spectacular setting. At approximately 19kms in diameter and around 600 meters in depth, the crater itself is the world’s largest, intact caldera. On top of this, it has resident game year round and some of Africa’s largest elephant.

On average most who visit the northern parks of Tanzania will spend at least a couple of nights on or by the Ngorongoro Crater, and for good reason. Originally estimated at around the same height as the nearby Kilimanjaro (approx 5,800m), the volcano is thought to have blown its top around 2 million years ago, with much of the debris landing on the Ndutu Plains in the south of the Serengeti (whish is part of the reason that this area of the Serengeti is favoured by the wildebeest for calving due to the rich mineral content of the grasses here).

Today, the volcano is a Mecca for those looking to witness a whole host of animals and to take in “that” view. The crater floor itself, with its flat expanse and fertile soil, has become the year round home for many of Africa’s largest animals such as the black rhino, black maned lion (the blacker the mane the older and more virile the lion) and the continent’s densest population of spotted hyena….to name but a few.

Often, when visiting the area, which is good in any season, the main decision that needs to be made is whether to stay in one of the larger hotels on the rim of the crater itself, or in one of the smaller and more personal hotels that lie on the slopes of the volcano.

When to go to The Ngorongoro Crater:

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    At a glance...The Ngorongoro Crater

    • Size 3,200 square miles
    • Location NW Tanzania, between Arusha and the Serengeti
    • Recommended time 2 nights
    • Time to visit Year round
    • Safari Activities Driving, walking (outside crater)
    • Topography open grassland with a few forests and lakes
    • Main species Wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, big 5, hyena

    Further reading...

    Our top five hotels & lodges in Ngorongoro Crater:

    1. The Highlands Camp - Bedroom

      The Highlands Camp

      The Highlands Camp is one of a kind! Inspired by the shape of the traditional Maasai homes (called bomas), eight dome tents were built and placed delicately on the slopes of the Olmoti volcano, taking full advantage of the breathtakingly vast views. The dome suites not only offer a unique and... More...

      Our rating:
      5
      User rating:
      5
      Price:
      4
    2. Entamanu Ngorongoro View

      Entamanu Ngorongoro

      Meaning ‘circle’ in a dialect of Masai, ‘Entamanu’ seems a fitting name for a camp that sits on the rim of the rounded Ngorongoro Crater. Opening its doors in August 2016, Entamanu is one of the newest properties on the rim owned by Nomad's, and is sat on the remote northwestern rim of the crater.... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4
    3. Plantation Lodge - Bedroom

      Plantation Lodge

      As discussed in the Ngorongoro Sopa review, often the choice at the crater is whether to pay for the view (by staying on the crater rim) or for the accommodation (staying in the Highlands). In the case of staying in the Highlands, then we recommend Plantation Lodge. This great little lodge is set... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      5
      Price:
      3
    4. The Ngorongoro Sopa - Main Lodge

      The Ngorongoro Sopa

      In the debate of whether to stay on the rim or in the Ngorongoro Highlands, the Ngorongoro Sopa is probably the place that we would opt for for those that don't have the budget to stay in the Crater Lodge. Located on the eastern side of the rim, the Sopa, while not overly luxurious really benefits... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      3
    5. Ngorongoro Neptune

      Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge

      Very much the new boy on the block, Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge is already taking the accolades for being the highest specification property in the Ngorongoro Highlands at the best price possible. Due to its location right at the entrance to the park, and the fact it is about half the price of... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4