Ngorongoro Crater

One of the most spectacular sights in Africa.


The Ngorongoro Crater is a wildlife haven in northern Tanzania. It is both a breath-taking sight and an extraordinary place. The great buttressed slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater lies at the south-eastern edge of the Serengeti. Nearly 3 million years ago, Ngorongoro towered alongside Kilimanjaro as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Now all that remains is the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world, at 18km wide.

A steep 'wall' of thick atmospheric forest surrounds the rim of the crater. And from this rim you look down onto a natural amphitheatre, 260 sq km in size. The mineral-rich crater floor is host to an unbelievably high concentration of game, with water being provided by Lake Magadi. So naturally most of the game have no reason to leave.

It is understandable that an Ngorongoro safari remains virtually a ‘must’ on anyone’s first safari to Tanzania. However this popularity has naturally brought its own issues. Somehow the lions continue to hunt in complete disregard for the safari vehicles following them. But sometimes it is more difficult for the visitor to ignore the game-viewing crowds.

Ngorongoro safari - crater rim approach

The Tanzania wildlife authorities have tried to limited access to the Ngorongoro Crater by increasing park fees, but this has not had much effect. (The Ngorongoro crater is en route to the Serengeti so it is natural that people will want to visit.) You will have excellent game-viewing on your Ngorongoro safari. But it will not be an exclusive experience!

So, at Cedarberg Africa, we aim to combine a visit to the Ngorongoro crater with a greater focus on untrammelled wilderness elsewhere on your Tanzania safari.

Rhinos on a Ngorongoro Crater safari

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Why you may love it

  • Complete eco-system comprising of nutritious grasslands, swamps, lakes, rivers, woodlands and forest
  • Hundreds of Flamingos
  • Abundance of wildlife including predators
  • Visit local Masai Villages

When to visit Ngorongoro Crater

Mid-October to March

Summer in Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro crater is different from the Serengeti due to its mountainous terrain and altitude (2300m or 7500ft at the crater rim). It has rain for much of the year with the only real dry season being June to September. The Summer offers the warmest temperatures (23C during the day) but it’s still cool at night given the altitude. On the crater floor, given the altitude is slightly lower (1700m or 5,600ft), it tends to be 3-4C warmer than on the crater’s rim. There is moderate rain all summer, often in the form of thundershowers in the afternoon or evenings. But there’s also plenty of sunshine.
MAX TEMP 23 ℃ / 73 ℉
MIN TEMP 10 ℃ / 50 ℉

April to May

Long rains in Ngorongoro Crater

This is the wettest period and the Ngorongoro crater is noticeably wetter than the Serengeti and the Tarangire. April is the wettest month by far and is not an ideal month for safari. May tends to be drier and quieter than many other months so it could be a good option.
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 67 ℉
MIN TEMP 10 ℃ / 50 ℉

June to mid-October

Safari season in Ngorongoro Crater

This is the prime safari time in the Ngorongoro crater as it is the dry season. We recommend earlier as being less busy in the crater. Temperatures are cool during the day (19-20C) and noticeably cold at night (8C on average). Mornings are usually cloudy with the sun burning off the cloud during the morning to give sunshine from late morning onwards.
MAX TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉
MIN TEMP 8 ℃ / 46 ℉

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Mari Jacobs

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I'm Mari, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience
Did you know
  • Size610m deep and 260 km²
  • HIstoryCreated when a volcano erupted and then collapsed on itself 2.5 million years ago

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