Looking to book a Ngorongoro Safari? This is the only guide you’ll need.
I visited Ngorongoro Conservation Area on my 3-day Tanzania Safari with Altezza Travel, and this was one of the highlights of the trip!
Read on to discover everything there is to know about a safari in Ngorongoro Crater including how much it costs, where to book, and what to expect.
QUICK ANSWERS: NGORONGORO SAFARI
Let’s start with the essentials you should know before visiting, such as where to book, how much it costs to take a safari in Ngorongoro Crater, the best time to visit, and more.
NGORONGORO SAFARI STATS
- Size: 8,292km² / 3,202mi²
- Altitude: 1,027-3,522 m / 3,369-11,555ft
- Best time to visit: June to September
- Best attractions: Ngorongoro Crater
IS NGORONGORO CRATER WORTH VISITING?
Absolutely, the Ngorongoro Crater is 100% worth visiting.
Despite potential challenges like the cost and the crowds (it’s one of the most popular spots for a safari), it’s one of the best parks in Tanzania.
Apart from the wildlife, Ngorongoro Crater offers stunning views and a unique landscape.
If you have more time available, you also have the chance to learn about, and potentially visit, the Maasai people who live in the area.
WHERE TO BOOK A NGORONGORO SAFARI?
I personally booked a 3-day private safari with Altezza Travel which included a 1-day Safari Ngorongoro, a day in Tarangire National Park, and a day in Arusha National Park.
Altezza is a premier tour operator who has extensive expertise when it comes to the service and logistics of safari tours within Tanzania’s national parks.
They have an impressive safari fleet of Land Cruisers with a convertible pop-up roof that provides a panoramic 360° view. They’re also equipped with amenities such as a fridge for your refreshments, Wi-Fi access, and power sockets.
Each safari is customizable, tailoring the ideal dream tour to align with your specific travel style and comfort preferences.
When it comes to accommodation, you’ll be presented with options that include luxurious stone-built lodges and more authentic tented lodge experiences.
Special Offer: Altezza extends a 5% discount on all Tanzania Safari to my readers when you include the code JONNYMELON during your booking inquiry.
WHAT IS THE COST OF NGORONGORO SAFARI?
The cost of a Ngorongoro safari will vary depending on your itinerary and the tour operator.
For a budget safari, you can expect to pay around $150 per person per day. On the other hand, for a more premium experience, you will find safaris for over $1,000 per person per day.
A mid-range option falls somewhere in between at around $300 to $500 per person per day.
HOW LONG DOES A SAFARI NGORONGORO TAKE?
A safari to Ngorongoro Crater is typically a one-day visit.
When entering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you’ll descend into the crater itself for a 6-8 game drive.
However, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is often included as part of a longer safari package that also visits other top Tanzanian destinations like the Tarangire and Arusha National Parks.
I took a 3-day safari in Tanzania which included the national parks I mentioned above.
BEST TIME TO DO A SAFARI NGORONGORO?
The best time to visit Ngorongoro Crater for a safari depends on what you’re hoping to see and experience.
Wildlife viewing inside the crater is great almost all year long. However, you’re better off coming in the dry season from June to October for spotting animals more easily.
This period is also popular because the wildlife is more visible in arid landscapes and stays closer to water sources.
If you’re interested in seeing newborn animals, consider visiting in February or March. This is when hoofed animals like wildebeest and zebra give birth.
For those who prefer a greener landscape and fewer crowds, the wetter months of November to May might be a better choice.
In particular, the main April to May rainy season (lowest season) is often considered a great time to visit as there are fewer tourists.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE NGORONGORO SAFARI
As I mentioned previously, I visited Ngorongoro Conservation Area as part of a 3-day safari. We arrived in the afternoon and spent one night on the crater rim at Ngorongoro Tented Camp.
The following day, we left the camp at 6 am as animals are most active in the morning, and I recommend you do the same when visiting.
From the camp, it was a quick 15-minute descent into Ngorongoro Crater.
Once we got there, it was easy to see why the crater is so famous. We saw countless animal species like buffaloes, elephants, zebras, lions, hippos, and hyenas, to name a few.
Ngorongoro is also one of the best safari locations in Tanzania to see the black rhino, and we got incredibly lucky to spot around four rhinos, including a baby rhino.
After driving around the crater and taking photos of all the fantastic wildlife, we headed to the lake for a delicious picnic lunch.
Post-lunch, we resumed the game drive for another hour before exiting the crater and making our way back to Arusha to conclude our incredible 3-day Tanzania safari.
NGORONGORO TANZANIA – FAQ
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect on a Safari Ngorongoro, below are some answers to the most frequently asked questions from first-time visitors.
HOW WAS THE NGORONGORO CRATER FORMED?
The Ngorongoro Crater was formed around 2 to 3 million years ago. It’s the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The formation of Ngorongoro Crater is linked to the geological activity in the Great Rift Valley, a tectonic rift system running through eastern Africa.
About 2 to 3 million years ago, a large volcano approximately the size of Mount Kilimanjaro was present in this area.
After erupting several times, the magma chamber beneath the volcano was empty. Without the support from underneath, the top part of the volcano collapsed inward, creating a large caldera.
The collapse resulted in a crater that is approximately 610 meters deep, 19 kilometers wide, and covers an area of about 260 square kilometers, and is now known as Ngorongoro.
WHAT ANIMALS TO SEE ON A NGORONGORO SAFARI?
A safari in Ngorongoro Crater offers an incredible opportunity to see a wide variety of African wildlife in one place.
Below are some of the key animals you can expect to see;
- The Big Five: Ngorongoro is one of the few places in Africa where you can see all of the “Big Five” – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros.
- Hippos: The crater’s lakes and swamps are home to large populations of hippos.
- Zebra and Wildebeest: These two species are among the most common in the crater, and you can often see large herds roaming around.
- Giraffes: While not as common as in other parks, giraffes can still be spotted.
- Antelopes: Several different species of antelope live in the crater, including gazelles.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A SAFARI IN NGORONGORO CRATER?
Here is a quick overview of what to pack for a safari Ngorongoro;
Clothing: Comfort is key on a safari. Pack lightweight cotton clothes, long-sleeved shirts, and pants to protect against mosquitoes. I suggest packing layered clothing, as mornings and evenings can be cool while days are warm.
Footwear: Comfortable shoes like trainers are recommended.
Essentials: Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat for protection against the sun. Also, carry a day bag for your everyday essentials.
Camera Gear: A camera with extra memory cards, batteries, a power bank, and a charger will help you capture the best memories from your trip.
RELATED ARTICLE: BEST CAMERA GEAR FOR TRAVEL
WHAT IS BETTER – SERENGETI OR NGORONGORO CRATER?
While both are incredible safari parks to visit, there are a few differences to consider.
Serengeti National Park is renowned for its vastness and variety of wildlife, including the annual wildebeest migration – one of the most famous events.
On the other hand, Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest preserved volcanic caldera, is known for its high density of wildlife, making it easier to spot many species during a safari.
Despite its smaller size compared to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater offers a more concentrated wildlife viewing experience.
If you have limited time, Ngorongoro Crater might be a better option because you can visit it in 1 or 2 days. However, if you have more time, the Serengeti might be more appealing.
IS THERE WI-FI ON THE SAFARI?
If you have a local SIM card, the mobile network is relatively consistent in Ngorongoro National Park.
This means that you will be able to use your mobile data for browsing the internet, posting on social media, and staying connected as a whole.
The safari vehicles are also conveniently fitted with a Wi-Fi dongle.
Some lodges inside the park offer free Wi-Fi and most hotels in cities and towns also have Wi-Fi available for guest use.
Yet, keep in mind that you’re in a remote location and the connection might not always be strong.
WHERE TO STAY IN NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA?
Inside the conservation area, there are a few accommodations available and we personally stayed at the beautiful Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp.
Intimately set in an ancient acacia forest close to the rim of the crater, Ngorongoro Tented Camp has 10 spacious tents featuring two queen-size beds, roomy en-suite bathrooms, warm winter-weight duvets, and gas heaters to ensure a cozy night’s sleep.
The mess tent is beautifully furnished with dining tables and chairs, comfortable sofas, and a bar. Guests can also enjoy a sundowner while sitting around the campfire.
Dinner and drinks are included for all guests.
FINAL THOUGHTS – SAFARI IN NGORONGORO CRATER
I hope you enjoyed reading this Safari Ngorongoro guide, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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THANKS FOR READING
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