Ngorongoro Crater

The best luxury accommodation and Itineraries in the Ngorongoro Crater with Africa Wildlife Safaris

The largest un-flooded and unbroken volcanic caldera on the planet – the Ngorongoro Crater – lies on the border of the Serengeti National Park. Inside its ancient walls is a mosaic of grassland, forest, marsh and lakes, home to 25,000 large animals including all the “Big 5”, as well as spectacular birdlife. At various points the crater walls reach up to 400m in height. The rim sits around 7,500 feet above sea level and is covered in ancient forests draped in lichen.

There is no accommodation within the crater itself but a number of outstanding lodges and safari camps are located on its rim, offering sweeping views of the landscape. Visitors can also stay in Karatu, a pretty area of flower farms and coffee plantations. Many of the lodges here are styled to resemble colonial homesteads and offer an insight into the life of early European settlers.

Visitors can enjoy game drives in 4WD vehicles into the crater, however, off-road driving is not permitted. Stay in a property close to a park gate to get a head start on everyone else in the morning, or choose a tented camp set in a more remote section of the rim.

Aside from wildlife viewing, things to do in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area include interactions with local Maasai or Hadzabe tribespeople, farm tours in Karatu and even volcano climbs. Visitors can also tour archaeological sites where early hominid fossils have been found such as Olduvai Gorge.

Location

Why should I visit the Ngorongoro Crater?

  • A geological and natural wonder
  • Filled with diverse landscapes teeming with wildlife
  • Daily 4WD excursions descending from the rim to the crater floor
  • A range of exceptional campsites and lodges on the rim
  • Hike the Olmoti Volcano
  • Visit working farms in Karatu
  • Interact with local Maasai or Hadzabe communities

When is the best time to visit the Ngorongoro Crater?

Gameviewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is excellent all year round, with the animals easiest to spot during the dry months (June to September). The wettest months are March and April; however, this is also the quietest time to visit.

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Our Recommended

Ngorongoro Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Tanzania experience.

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Our Recommended

Best luxury accommodation in the Ngorongoro Crater

Below are some of our preferred tented camps and safari lodges in the Ngorongoro Crater and Karatu regions. Please contact us to tailor design a selection of accommodation options to suit the style of your trip, and your budget.

Gibb’s Farm

Gibb’s Farm is a former colonial homestead comprising of a central farmhouse and 17 charming guest cottages located in Karatu, a lush area of flower farms and coffee plantations.

Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge

Nestled in 50 acres of pristine bush just 5 minutes’ from the Crater entrance, Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge comprises of 20 standalone, sumptuously appointed guest cottages.

Kitela Lodge

Exclusive Kitela Lodge overlooks the eastern wall of the Ngorongoro Crater, lush coffee plantations and a cascading waterfall. Guests are accommodated in 20 beautiful romantic suites.

Ngorongoro Farm House

Featuring 52 beautiful ensuite rooms, Ngorongoro Farm House is reminiscent of an old colonial homestead with its tasteful decor, thatched roofs and tranquil flower gardens.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Clinging to the edge of the rim, the exquisite Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is like something out of a fantasy. The property is renowned for its unique design and high standards of service.

Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Perched on the rim of the caldera, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge features 75 comfortable guest rooms built with local stone, each featuring uninterrupted views over the Ngorongoro Crater.

Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp

Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp is set in ancient forest on the Ngorongoro Crater rim, and provides guests with privileged access to the game-rich crater floor.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge sits on the highest point of the Ngorongoro Crater rim. Themed around traditionally circular African houses with conical roofs, it features 97 comfortable rooms all with a view.

The Highlands Ngorongoro

Located the slopes of the Olmoti Volcano to the north of the Ngorongoro Crater, the Highlands Ngorongoro offers guests an exclusive wilderness experience with all the trimmings of a premium

Entamanu Ngorongoro

Entamanu Ngorongoro is located high on the caldera rim offers views of sunrise over the Ngorongoro Crater and sunset over the Serengeti plains. There are just 6 stunning canvas guest tents

The Manor at Ngorongoro

Nestled in hills to the south of the Ngorongoro Crater lies The Manor at Ngorongoro masterfully blends old-world Afro-European grandeur and service with modern-day East African style and hospitality.

Tanzania FAQ

Tanzania is home to all members of the legendary ‘Big 5’: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo.  All apart from rhino, plus many other species, can be seen in Tanzania’s best game areas. The Ngorongoro Crater is the best place for seeing endangered black rhino, as they can’t move from the crater floor. Please note that the seasons, rainfall and drought can affect game movements. Our knowledgeable Destination Specialists know the best time of year to visit and where to see particular game species.

Tanzania Overview

What is the best thing to do in Tanzania?
A wildlife safaris is an absolute must as Tanzania is one of Africa’s great wildlife destinations. Witnessing tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra in the Serengeti is an unquestionable highlight, whilst the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the natural wonders of the world. A trek to the top of Africa’s highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro – is a bucket-list experience for any adventure enthusiast.

What is the climate like in Tanzania?
Much of the Serengeti is over 5,000ft so temperatures vary between 22°- 29°C. It is generally sunny and windy, with rain falling between November and May as isolated showers. The low-lying Rift Valley is much hotter (30°-35°C), while the coast is hot and humid. The Ngorongoro Highlands can be cool to cold at night.

How do I get to Tanzania?
There are only two European airlines – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Turkish Airlines – that fly directly into the country. Otherwise, flying via the Kenyan capital of Nairobi (where far more major airlines fly to including British Airways and Air France) is another option. From here travellers can then fly to numerous airports in Tanzania.

For travellers coming from the United States at least one stop is required. The easiest airlines for connections are either with KLM or Qatar Airways via Doha. From Doha there are also direct flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

What can I combine Tanzania with?
Tanzania is often combined with other countries including neighbouring Kenya or either Uganda or Rwanda for a trek to see the gorillas. A few days on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar is a very popular way to end a Tanzanian safari.

Want to know more about Tanzania?
Visit our FAQ page or call us:

Australia: 1300 363 302
United States: +1 (213) 460 3364
United States: +1 (646) 217 0354
United Kingdom: +44 (20) 4518 8166

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