Around three million years ago, and extinct volcano collapsed forming a huge caldera known today as the Ngorongoro crater. If it still stood as a volcano, it would have been higher than Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Today, this natural wonder of the world is one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth.
The crater is incredibly scenic, with a myriad of plant and tree life climbing its walls and covering its surface. Fever and fig trees cover a vast area of the crater floor providing shade for an incredible array of wildlife. Maasai tribesmen continue to tend their herds on the crater floor offering stunning dots of purples and reds in their robes (known as shukas) when viewed from a distance. The Maasai add to the drama of this incredible scene.
On the crater floor lies a large soda lake full of pink flamingo. This is perhaps the only park where it is still possible to spot the endangered black rhino. Everything is here from large elephant herds to healthy lion prides with incredible black manes typical to the crater. With approximately 25,000 animals inside this area, it’s easy to tick off most animals on your wish list. The downside? You’ll be ticking off your list alongside a countless number of lists inside vehicles which enter and depart every day year- round. At 610 metres deep and 260 square kilometres, although a huge caldera, it is one of the smaller wildlife preserves making getting away from the crowds an impossibility. We prefer to take our guests to view the crater from its rim as we think this the most dramatic view.
This is the park to come to tick off your wildlife wish list. There is very little that is not here. Even rhino. This is perhaps the one park where visitors to Tanzania still have a chance to see black rhino. Due to the how busy the park can get, we recommend people go in early and leave by noon or early afternoon thereby avoiding the hottest and busiest times of the day.
This is all about the drive. It is one hell of a view from the rim and a beautiful area but full of cars and expensive to get in as far as government fees go. They charge per car so if you have a full car, the price is less than just for two.
Best time to visit
Visitors come here year-round. The only months to avoid are the rainy season months of April & May.
How to get there
Whilst there are scheduled flights of light aircraft from Dar es Salaam landing at Lake Manyara airstrip where visitors could be met by a vehicle and taken into the Ngorongoro conservation area and then the crater, most people stop off here with their own car and guide coming from Arusha and on their way to or from the Serengeti.