Famous for its immense natural beauty, the focus of this stunning area is the gargantuan Ngorongoro Crater. Measuring about 16 miles in diameter, a visit to the once volcanic Crater is a feature of almost every single northern circuit safari and there's no surprise why. Breath-taking scenery and an abundance of mammals and birds is standard for this kaleidoscope of colour and life.
On a Ngorongoro Crater safari discover towering crater walls covered with dense forest and a crater floor boasting a diverse range of habitats, encompassing open grassland, an area of mature forest, wetlands and a permanent lake. There is a profusion of wildlife here and in a relatively short time you are bound to see lion, elephant, buffalo, black rhino, hippo, zebra, wildebeest, antelope and, occasionally, you can even find leopard.
The views from the rim are phenomenal and the crater is packed with animals all year around. There are a number of good lodges nearby, although those situated on the crater rim are most noteworthy: their vistas are generally considered spectacular. An excellent addition to a safari itinerary encompassing the Serengeti and other northern parks, the Crater can be incorporated at any time in the Northern Circuit, although we normally arrange for your visit towards the beginning of a safari.
Holidays to the Ngorongoro Crater's broader conservation area takes in more than just the crater itself and includes montane forest, flat grassy plains and volcanic peaks. Activities in the surrounds are slightly more diverse than traditional game drives, with mountain biking and some excellent walks on offer. A visit to the small town of Karatu and its coffee plantations can be very pleasant while the famous Olduvai Gorge, known as the 'cradle of mankind', is a must see, as this is where the Leakeys unearthed the secrets of man's early evolutionary heritage.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Ngorongoro Crater
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An off-the-beaten-track camp offering superlative views into the Ngorongoro Crater and across the Serengeti.
Set in 50 acres of wilderness and only 20 minutes from the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater, stay in comfortable log cabins at this excellent lodge.
A working farm, this property is found on the forested slopes of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and retains the charm of its heritage, originally built in 1929.
Perched on the edge of the vast Ngorongoro Crater, aptly named Crater Lodge is the perfect gateway to exploring the Crater's spectacular array of species, from huge elephant to lion and black rhino.
Experience traditional life on the farm - a great stopover before visiting the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park this is a great family option.
A large comfortable hotel built on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, expect incredible views from private balconies and exciting game viewing.
This stylish high altitude camp is situated on the slopes of Olmoti Volcano with dramatic highlands landscapes and Ngorongoro Crater on its doorstep.
Surrounded by coffee plantations and set in almost 3 hectares of land, Plantation Lodge is superbly positioned for exploring the hinterland with the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park nearby.
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