NGORONGORO CRATER

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is a great place to view the Big Five animals in Africa (lion, elephant, wild buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros). It is also home to cheetahs, hyenas, and hippopotamuses. The magnificent Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest caldera in the centre of Ngorongoro. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s most famous peak, was believed to be higher before its emission. Game viewing on the crater floor in Ngorongoro is an unforgettable Tanzania safari experience. The Ngorongoro Crater is a distinctive geographical feature with various habitats such as grasslands, swamps, rivers, and woodlands. This unique combination of habitats makes it a place of exceptional abundance in both wildlife and vegetation. The crater is a natural formation that allows animals to move in and out freely throughout the year. It is well-known as a top destination for local and international tourists who can observe wildlife behaviour efficiently and interestingly.

While game viewing on the crater floor remains the primary attraction of Ngorongoro, visitors can enjoy various other activities during their Tanzania Safari excursions. These activities include bird watching, cultural excursions, mountain trekking, and walking safaris. Some lodges even offer dinners outdoors, allowing guests to take in the African skies while enjoying nature and the sounds of wildlife. Would you like to experience Tanzania’s most fantastic destinations? Please get in touch with Precious Safaris for more information.

Attractions in Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is the main tourist attraction in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is also the world’s largest intact and unfilled volcanic caldera, at 610 metres. It is known for its breathtaking natural features and is considered one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders. The area is home to over 25,000 animals, including the big five: elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, lions, and leopards. Additionally, many other animals, such as hippos, hyenas, warthogs, zebras, elands, gazelles, and wildebeests, can be found here. Due to its diverse wildlife population, the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best sites in Tanzania to spot and watch the Big Five and other wild species

Empakaai Crater

Empakaai Crater is a volcanic crater situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater is located in the Ngorongoro Highlands and is surrounded by steep-sided wooded cliffs about 300m high. The crater is home to lush green natural vegetation, diverse wildlife, and numerous bird species. Almost 8 kilometres wide, the crater’s floor is mainly covered by a deep soda lake home to flamingoes and other water birds. Empakaai Crater is a famous destination for walking safaris. Tourists hike for about one to two hours, depending on their fitness level. Visitors can also explore the lake and the dense rainforest inside and around it near the floor.

Olmoti Crater

Omoti is a Maasai name that means a big cooking port. The area is a sunken caldera covered in grass and divided by a river valley, providing reliable water sources and suitable pastures for wild animals year-round. From its excellent vantage point, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding area, home to various grazing animals, including antelopes and eland. The renowned Munge River, which ultimately flows into the Ngorongoro Crater, offers a breathtaking view of Munge Waterfall. To reach the viewpoint, you can take a delightful walk through the forest that leads to the crater rim. After that, you can descend to the crater floor at Olmoti. The area has abundant water streams, various plants, and numerous wild species.

Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge is considered one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world. It has yielded numerous fossils and artifacts that provide evidence of human evolution and cultural development over the past 2 million years. The gorge’s name comes from the Maasai word “oldupai,” which means “the place of the wild sisal,” as it grows abundantly in the area. It was first discovered in 1911 by German entomologist Wilhelm Kattwinkel, and later excavations by archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey in the 1930s and 1950s revealed the remains of early human species such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus.

Shiftting sand

Shifting sand is among the attractions in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It refers to the movement and displacement of dunes and particles in that particular place. The game drive is a previous interest for tourists visiting Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Numerous causes, such as wind, water, and human activities, contribute to this phenomenon. This is one of the most stunning ash dunes on the move in the world. It slowly moves westward across the plains, covering a distance of about 15 to 29 meters each year. The dune has removed the lighter ash particles from the area, leaving behind the heavier, dark-colored, iron-rich minerals that make up the dune. The crescent-shaped black dune, made of volcanic ash from Oldoinyo Lengai, is 5 meters high and 100 meters long.

Ndutu Plains

The Ndutu Plain is in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, on the outskirts of the Southern Serengeti Plains. Ndutu is an excellent game viewing area throughout the year. However, the best time to visit the Ndutu plains is from the end of December, when the Great Migration herds begin to arrive from the north, until April when millions of wildebeest, gazelles, and zebras start their journey northwards again. Due to the seasonal rains, massive herds of wildebeest and zebras can be seen all over the plains at this time of year. Ndutu is also a home for new creatures on Earth, as thousands of calves are born there during the calving season. The area is home to giraffes, impalas, elephants, dik-dik, lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, bat-eared foxes, genet, jackals, wildcats, and many others. Additionally, the plains, marshes, and lakes in the woodland attract an abundance of bird species.

Things to do in Ngorongoro Crater

Game Drive

The game drive is a previous interest for tourists visiting Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. The crater is a natural wonder and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is the world’s largest intact caldera, formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano millions of years ago. The crater is home to diverse wildlife, including the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino. Visitors can also spot other animals such as wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, hyena, and many more. The game drive typically starts early morning, when the animals are most active. The crater’s road is well-maintained, making it easy to access and comfortable for visitors. Tourists driving through the crater will witness breathtaking landscapes and many animals.

Hiking on Crater rim

Walking along the crater rim is a great experience for tourists visiting Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Visitors can enjoy a guided walk along the top of the crater wall; however, no one is allowed to walk down the crater floor. The hikes offer stunning views of the crater and the surrounding landscape. The upper rim of the crater is covered in dense tropical forest, home to many different types of trees, plants, and creepers. The crater is home to many animals, such as elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, zebras, wildebeests, and many more. Visitors can also see various birds, such as ostriches, flamingos, and vultures. Visitors can always remember their safari experience in Ngorongoro.

Empakaai Crater hike

The Empakaai Crater hike is an ideal way to explore the unique landscape and wildlife of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater is at an altitude of approximately 3,200m on the western side and 2,590m on the eastern side. Since the crater is situated at a high altitude, it is always cloaked in mist, and the lake inside appears to have an emerald or deep blue hue. Visitors can delight in walking safaris in the Empakaai crater, which comprise hiking for about an hour and then returning by walking for about two and a half hours, depending on their fitness level. The hike is considered moderate and a good activity for nature enthusiasts looking to explore the unique landscape of the Empakaai Crater.

Maasai village visit

The Maasai Village visit in Ngorongoro Crater is a unique cultural experience that allows visitors to learn about the traditional way of life of the Maasai people. Visiting a Maasai village in Ngorongoro Crater offers a unique opportunity to learn about the tribe’s customs, beliefs, and way of life. The village is typically made up of small, circular houses called bomas, made of mud, sticks, and cow dung. During a village visit, visitors can interact with the Maasai people, learn about their daily routines, and participate in traditional activities such as milking cows, herding goats, and making fire. The Maasai are also known for their intricate beadwork; visitors can observe and even purchase handmade jewellery and other crafts from the villagers.

Getting to Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area can be reached by road and air. The Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) is the closest international airport to the Area. At the same time, the Arusha Airport in Arusha and Manyara Airport in Manyara are the nearest local airports. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area has two airstrips: the Ngorongoro Airstrip, which is adjacent to the Ngorongoro Crater rim, and the Ndutu Airstrip in the Ndutu area.

-Driving distance from K ilimanjaro International Airport to Ngorongoro Conservation Area is 227km

– The driving distance from Arusha Airport to Ngorongoro Conservation Area is 165km.

The best time to visit Ngorongoro crater

The best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from June to September. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and it’s easier to spot wildlife. If you’re interested in bird watching, the wet season from November to May is ideal since bird life is active. However, please remember that the heavy rain season from late March to early May can make roads challenging to navigate.

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