Ngorongoro Crater

  • Destinations
  • Tanzania
  • Ngorongoro Crater

Why Go

Go on an Ngorongoro Crater Safari

The Ngorongoro Crater delivers Africa’s easiest Big Five game viewing. An ancient volcanic crater lying close to the Serengeti, it is home to some of the densest concentrations of big animals in Africa. As well as the Big Five – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard & rhino – the Ngorongoro Crater is also home to cheetah, hyena and hippo. There are herds of cattle too, tended by watchful red-robed Maasai herdsmen, for the Ngorongoro Crater is where man and nature come together in a single view.

And it’s a place made for views. Several Ngorongoro accommodations are set right on the rim of the crater itself, offering the most astonishing panoramas. Others are set away from the crater on sweeping savannah grasslands or on elegant coffee estates.

The Ngorongoro Crater is a popular destination, especially as it can so easily be combined with the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and even Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve. Honeymooners will love the idyllic views from their crater-side suite; families will find lodges that welcome children and offer family safari programmes and child minders.

And although it’s game viewing on the crater floor that is Ngorongoro’s main draw card, visitors will find plenty of other activities on offer: bird watching, cultural tours, mountain-biking and walking safaris. Lodges often serve meals in outdoor settings under a starry sky and several accommodations have a resident wellness therapist/masseuse.

You need to make a decision about where to stay. Ngorongoro accommodation is neatly divided into two groups: the camps and lodges located on – or very near – the Crater Rim, and the accommodation found in the town of Karatu, lying some 50 kilometres (30 miles) away. The question is: do you stay on the Crater Rim or Karatu?

Talk to Safari Online about an Ngorongoro Crater safari. We’ll recommend the best tour or accommodation for your requirements. We can also tailor-make an itinerary for you including the Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara. We can also combine the Ngorongoro Crater with a beach holiday on the Indian Ocean coast – ask us how.

Ngorongoro Crater on the map

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The Crater

What to do at the Ngorongoro Crater

1. Spot the Big Five

Africa’s most sought-after sightings – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard & rhino – can be enjoyed with ease at the Ngorongoro Crater; indeed, it’s not unusual to see all five in a single game drive.

2. Search for Predators

Lions & leopards join a long cast of predators in the Ngorongoro Crater: cheetah & spotted hyena are also resident along with jackal, wild cats & many birds of prey.

3. Stay on the Rim

There are exclusive lodges on the rim of the crater: not only will you get truly spectacular views but you’ll also be among the first onto the crater floor for the morning game drive.

4. Bring the Family

Easy game viewing, a comfortable climate & family accommodation – the Ngorongoro welcomes families with children, providing special activities, meal times & even childminders.

5. Live on a Plantation

There’s a choice of accommodation located away from the Crater; our favourite ones are set on picturesque old-world coffee plantations, complete with spa & massage service. (Ngorongoro Crater Rim or Karatu)

6. Visit a Local Community

Maasai communities dot the Ngorongoro landscape & several lodges offer the chance to visit local villages, chat to locals & gain an insight into life on the savannah.

7. Crater View Walk

This popular late afternoon walk along the western rim of the Ngorongoro Crater allows guests to experience various natural habitats, including the acacia woodland, thick lush forests and open grasslands.

8. Crater Floor Banquet

After your scenic descent into the Ngorongoro Crater, enjoy a tasty hot lunch served in breathtaking surroundings at a private picnic spot on the Crater floor, in the midst of the wildlife action.

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Reviews

Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved.
Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on! This year we went back to Luangwa and had a terrific six days there. It was very dry so a slightly different environment than in past years when we have found October to be more conducive to wildlife viewing. Walter couldn’t have done more for us!

Roger (UK)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver. She responded to our requests promptly and gave us several options with links to each option; we ultimately chose Lukimbi. We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. Tongazebi was one place we stayed in a tree house amazing and friendly place our safari was in Savanna Lodge an incredible place to stay and amazing safari we got to see the big five and many others birds and animals. All very close you would not believe how close you get to the wildlife. We are so happy that this was organised for as we have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

I have so many wonderful things to say about Walter and Safari Online that I don’t even know where to begin! Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

I have a severe intolerance to chemical products such a fabric softener. This can create difficulties when you travel. But the team at Safari Online made sure that all the destinations on our itinerary met our unusual demands. Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)
Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip.
Our expectations were exceled!!! We’ve been to three different Wilderness lodges in Botswana and Zambia. It was more than WOW.
The lodges itself, the service, the food, the kids (8+10) care and the animal world. All the connections by plane, boat and car were perfectly organized. There was always a responsible person waiting for us. We felt very special from the first to the last day. We highly recommend safari-online.com and we’ll do our next Wilderness tour definitely with them.

Lukas (Germany)
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Actually got to see the Big 5 which was perfect. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Neena