Ngorongoro Crater Safaris
One of the natural wonders of the world, with some of the best game viewing
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.
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