Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area

The crater floor offers a good variety of terrain and landscape. With grasslands, swamp and areas of acacia forest, it provides habitats for a good variety of different animal and even a small soda lake. With springs feeding the fertile soil, the grazing is good which encourages the animals to stay put rather than migrate in search of new pastures. This in turn keeps the carnivores happy! It is also a haven for the endangered Black Rhino, attracted by the lush grazing and thick forest in which to live. Add to this the backdrop of the crater rim and you get an idea as to why it is known as the eighth wonder of the world.

Access to the crater is restricted to between 7 am and 4 pm in an attempt to control the volume of traffic that enters. As it is a comparatively small area, it is busier that the wide open spaces of the Serengeti, but still offers a unique safari experience. It is a good idea to stay as close to the crater as possible, if budget allows, for instance at Lemala Ngorongoro or the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. This way you can descend at first light, being on the crater floor well before the crowds who will journey in from Lake Manyara lodges and Karatu.

The crater itself is but a small area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a protected zone that covers some 8,300 square kilometres. Only the indigenous people, the Maasai, are allowed to live within it and they grant concessions to the lodges to operate on their lands. Soda lakes, volcanic peaks, rich forest all add to the diversity of the area and you can add to the list the world-famous Olduvai Gorge. It was here that the Anthropologist family the Leakeys discovered some of the oldest remains of early man, dating from some 1.8 million years ago. Subsequent excavation have increased these discoveries and include footprints dating back an estimated 3.7 million years.

The Crater and conservation areas offer some of the most beautiful landscapes in the whole of Tanzania. Beautiful lodges offer breath-taking views and excellent service. No safari to Tanzania would be complete without a visit to one of the most famous safari destinations on earth.

Safaris visiting this attraction

7 days
From £2515
Classic Tanzania Lodge Safari

A classic private drive-in safari exploring the northern circuit including Tarangire, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater

13 days
From £3440
East Africa Trails - Kenya and Tanzania Small Group Escorted Tour

An excellent small group guided safari tour of both Kenya and Tanzania

8 days
From £3530
Lemala: Crater & Plains (NORTH)

Safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and track the Great Migration in the Serengeti (June - November)

8 days
From £3575
Lemala: Crater & Plains (SOUTH)

Safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and track the Spring Migration in the Serengeti between January and March.

8 days
From £3995
Tanzania in Luxury

From the wilds of Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti, this is a safari with serious style.

7 days
From £1985
Tanzania Trails: Small Group Escorted Tour

Small group safari tour visiting the Northern Circuit: Lake Manyara, Tarangire, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater

13 days
From £5220
Tanzania Wildlife Extra

Our most comprehensive private safari of Northern Tanzania, visiting Tarangire, the Serengeti, the wider Ngorongoro area and Lake Manyara

8 days
From £2835
Tanzania Wildlife Week

A private safari staying in a lovely mix of atmospheric camps and lodges in Lake Manyara, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire

12 days
From £10000
Ultimate Tanzania

Stay in a treehouse in Manyara, in a spectacular lodge on the sunrise rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, and in a tented camp in the Serengeti before relaxing on a paradise island.

Nearby Camps


Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area
Nearby Camps