Ngorongoro Crater

One of the most spectacular sights in Africa.

Overview

The Ngorongoro Crater is a wildlife haven in 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.

Is the Ngorongoro Crater too crowded?

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 problems. The vast number of safari vehicles daily descending into the crater in peak season can destroy the very sense of wilderness that you seek. Some how the lions continue to hunt in complete disregard for the safari vehicles following them. But it is more difficult for you, the visitor, to ignore the dust and the relative crowds. The Tanzania wildlife authorities have tried to limited access to the Ngorongoro Crater by increasing park fees, but this has not had much effect. You will have excellent game-viewing on your Ngorongoro safari but it will not be an exclusive experience. So, at Cedarberg, we aim to combine a visit to the Ngorongoro crater with a greater focus on untrammelled wilderness elsewhere on your Tanzania safari.

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Milandi Joubert

Africa Travel Specialist
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. More enriching, more restorative and making more of a difference. Discover how working with a specialist adds value to your African adventure.

Features

Why you may love it

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

Explore the Ngorongoro Crater map

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.
AVG RAINFALL 130 mm
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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.
AVG RAINFALL 108mm
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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.
AVG RAINFALL 108mm
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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Friendly & happy

"Daffa, our driver, was excellent. How he stayed cheerful after a 5 hour drive on those roads is amazing; no easy task. He was friendly & happy the whole trip and we were all pleased with his knowledge. Wildlife does what it wants, when it wants. But he did his best to give us good views of the animals and birds, especially anything out of the ordinary; we weren’t disappointed." Dale Family, UK
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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