Ngorongoro Crater

Created by the implosion of a massive volcano, this vast flat-bottomed caldera in Tanzania, the largest in the world, measures 12 miles across, and contains a world of safari in miniature.

Natural Wonder of AfricaNgorongoro Crater

What is Ngorongoro Crater?

Ngorongoro Crater is located 30 miles south of the Kenya border in East Africa. The crater is in northern Tanzania and is a popular African tourist destination. So popular that the crater was part of an Oscar-winning film called “Out of Africa.” According to scientists, Ngorongoro crater was formed over two and a half million years ago when a volcano as large as Mount Kilimanjaro erupted then collapsed on itself. After collapsing on itself, the eruption created a large caldera. Today the caldera is an African conservation area that has over 40,000 people living there with more than 30,000 animals occupying there along with endangered species. The crater has been called the “garden of Eden” due to the crater’s beautiful landscape, majestic vistas, and an animal paradise. This breathtaking caldera is a natural wonder of Africa. The caldera measures as 600 meters deep and 20 kilometers across. The area is unflooded, unlike other broken volcanos throughout the world.

Ngorongoro Crater is a natural creation of beauty. This popular vacation destination was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. UNESCO sites are places that have “outstanding universal value” under UNESCO conventions for areas that have world cultural and natural heritage. The area is well appreciated internationally that local and international leaders monitor the crater to ensure that the tourism level is not too high. By keeping the tourism at a reasonable level, the area can be preserved for future generations that want to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

What Makes Ngorongoro Crater Unique?

Ngorongoro Crater is a unique place to travel and enjoy. The quiet outdoor landscape is not the only appreciation that you will have visiting here. The experiences that you will have here will be unlike any other experience that you will have. The crater is not a piece of art but has unique wildlife that roams freely amongst the majestic vistas. The wildlife is very exotic and includes animals that are on the endangered species list. Going on a safari in the area can take you up close to animals as they freely roam the area giving you vision unlike any other in the globe. What makes walking, driving, and traveling to this area so unique is you will be a part of wildlife and terrain that does not have urban involvement. This place is a true getaway from the hustle of everyday life and gives you an authentic glimpse of what life was like hundreds of years ago for most people.

When is the Best Time to Travel?

Deciding when is the best time to go? The best time to travel to Ngorongoro Crater is anytime during the year. The area, however, has different seasons that you should be aware of. The different seasons make the space unique and, depending on what your travel goals are, could affect what time you choose to travel here. Generally, you can choose the dry season for an optimal safari experience. Or you can select the off-dry season where there are more heavy vegetation and greener pastures.

For those who love safaris, you should choose to travel here during the dry season. The dry season is from July to October when the weather is sunny and dry. Expect less dense vegetation in the area during this time. The less-dense plant helps you see more wildlife as animals have fewer places to hide and will be seen hanging out near smaller water holes. During the dry season, you will have a better view of the overall ecosystem of the entire caldera as you will see beautiful scenery with animals roaming freely.

During the off-dry season, there might be a few short showers of rain from November through January and even in March. Long rains usually come to Tanzania in April and May. Some tourists love the off-dry season because there are fewer tourists around, more luxurious greener vegetation, and a little colder. Ngorongoro crater safaris run year-round so you will not be left out of the ability to see the beautiful wildlife and landscape.

Ngorongoro is a year-round destination that celebrates wildlife, adventure, with accommodations for any budget and style. There are luxurious lodges with exceptional views and more modest places to stay. Depending on your preference of dry or the possibility of rain the Ngorongoro crater is a top travel destination for those adventure seekers.
hippos laying in ngorongoro crater

Ngorongoro Crater Safari Expectations (What to expect on safari)?

Safari tours are a necessary part of an overall Ngorongoro crater safari experience that will last a lifetime. You will have amazing experiences that photos cannot capture but can only help you remember. On this safari, you should bring your best lenses and photo equipment. You will likely see things that you have never seen before, including animals you have never seen before. You will see the crater from certain heights so you can grasp the beauty and vastness of the entire crater. Best of all, the Ngorongoro safaris and tours are designed to have you in mind.

Ngorongoro Crater safaris will bring you close to the wildlife in the crater. During the safari trip, you will be given a chance to eat. Just be aware that there are animals in the area. Baboons and flying birds are likely to steal your food if you are not looking. Do not worry. These pesky animals are easily avoidable, and your safari guide will be with you to ensure you do not get hurt. Rhinos are rare throughout Africa due to poaching efforts. In this crater, you could see Rhinos roaming freely along with other animals. Zebras are a common sighting and even lions chasing them. Lions are the king of the jungle and are likely to roam around your area freely. Sometimes the lions will roar to let you know and others that they are there. Cheetahs are a rare sight but are spotted. What is even more special about safaris is sometimes you will see the wildlife walking with their tiny children.

Some of the other notable wildlife you will see are:

  • African buffaloes
  • Hippopotamus
  • Blue Wildebeests
  • Zebras
  • Gazelles
  • Waterbucks
  • East African Wild Dogs
  • Impalas
  • Hyenas
  • Flamingoes
  • Exotic Birds

The only African animal that you will not have the ability to see is the giraffe. Throughout history, giraffes were physically unable to enter the crater from the outside.

Safari leaders are very knowledgeable professionals who will point out certain wildlife, terrain, and hotspots in the area. Best of all, the safari guides will never put you in a position to be in danger. They are trained professionals who understand every aspect of the area. Safari guides will put you at places that are safe and have the best view of the area. Safari trips can last a day, two days, and even four days. The length of the safari will depend on what kind of adventure you want. What I know is the more you spend time roaming around the crater, the more likely you will experience something that you will share with others.

Ngorongoro crater safari experiences recently have been given a five-star rating by thousands of visitors. Visitors include expert photographers, business professionals, outdoor enthusiasts, and people from around the globe. The safari experience is a community of people who want to enjoy the surrounding nature of one of Africa’s seven wonders. Interact with a group of international visitors and experience the crater with them. You get to see their reactions and enjoy the human experience together.

What Activities Can you Do in Ngorongoro Crater?

Safaris usually begin in the early morning where you will enter the crater park. This is the best time to enter the park because you will see the crater ecosystem awaken. You will hear exotic birds chirping and see animals from a distance awakening to a new day. Most of the day, the safari guide will drive you through the crater with an eye for roaming animals. You are not allowed to leave the safari vehicle until the vehicle has stopped at a designated picnic area where you can enjoy your food. Your safari guide will bring you to strategic points that are safe and enjoyable so that you can take photoshoots.

For your safety, safaris are limited to game drives. Game drives are where the safari driver drives the vehicle in the crater to places where the guide driver believes there is animal life. If you are interested in more of an experience that is outside of a vehicle, you should consider outdoor activities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Tours and activities include walking, trekking, excursions to the famous Olduvai Gorge and visiting tribal areas (Maasai Cultural Village Tour).

In Summary

There are very few places in this world where you can see wildlife that is free from the restrictions of the technological world. One of those very few places is the Ngorongoro Crater. This crater was built by nature 2.5 million years ago when a volcano exploded and caved inward. This allowed capable animals to enter and inhabit a land that is surrounded by majestic vistas. The natural terrain has kept populations out of the area that wants to abuse the ecosystem. This makes the area a natural oasis for people, like yourself, to enjoy a vacation free from the requirements of everyday life. A vacation that is filled full of experiences with an international crowd that is rated higher than a beachfront resort. Enjoy the rare animals, the accommodations, and best of all, experiences that last forever. Book your vacation, safari, and tour here today.

Photos taken by one of our guest- Lindsey Potter

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