Described as one of the best-known natural landmarks of the world, Ngorongoro Crater is perhaps one of the most spectacular natural wonders that exists. As well as being the largest intact caldera in the world, the floor of Ngorongoro Crater offers unsurpassed game viewing, where vast herds of animals and even some extremely rare species such as the black rhino can be seen during an afternoon's game drive around the area. Ngorongoro is volcanic in origin and was created during the same fracturing process that formed the Rift Valley about 20 million years ago. At its peak in size it would have matched Mount Kilimanjaro at its current height. The rim is still high at roughly 2220m so a good fleece or jacket is essential.
The floor of the Ngorongoro Crater has several main physical features. A permanent hippo pool can be found at Ngoitokitok Springs. Lerai Forest consists mainly of Yellow Fever Acacia Trees. The shallow soda Lake Magadi is constantly changing in size and shape depending on the season, as does the Gorigor Swamp. However the crater floor mainly consists of open grassland supporting large concentrations of grazing mammals and the predators that go with them.
A typical game drive will reveal vast herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, topi and various gazelles. The resident elephants are all old males, often with very large tusks, whilst the herds of females with their young pass though from time to time. Hyena are perhaps the most commonly spotted predator, although lion are also present in large numbers. Leopards remain elusive in the forests and are occasionally seen, and a few cheetahs have now also taken up residence in the crater. Black rhinos are often spotted though they tend to keep their distance. And of course you will come across the Masai grazing their cattle.
The wildlife in the crater has become habituated to the large processions of vehicles that descend to the floor everyday. This does mean that getting close and taking good photos of the animals behaving naturally is relatively easy, although you also run the high risk of having another 4x4 safari car in the background!
Ngorongoro Crater Accommodation view all
- Lake Masek Tented Camp
- Lemala Luxury Camps Ngorongoro
- Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
- Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
- Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
- Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
- Rhino Lodge
- Simba Campsite
Lake Masek Luxury Tented Camp is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area with a view over Lake Masek. This spuerb location is on the route of the Wildebeest Migration. There is resident game all the year round.
Lemala Ngorongoro is an exclusive, seasonal camp set in ancient acacia woodland on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. The camp offers luxury accommodation under canvas in just 8 luxury tents (accommodating 16 to 20 guests) and 1 family tent (accommodating 4 to 5 guests)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge sits on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, this exclusive, opulent luxury lodge has truly spectacular views of the World Heritage Site in which it lies
Perched on the rim of the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge offers incredible views across the spectacular expanse of African habitat below. Built from stone boulders, the dramatic appearance of Ngorongoro Serena Lodge fits in with its remarkable surroundings.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge is located on Lemela Hill on the eastern rim of the Crater at an altitude of 2375m, with fantastic views over the surrounding volcanic landscape. All rooms in the luxurious Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge are spacious suites with breath-taking views and central heating. All have two queen-size beds and fully equipped modern bathrooms. The restaurant at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge offers a fine range of food and the well-stocked bar provides the opportunity to relax after a day spent game driving in the world famous Ngorongoro Crater.
Situated on the rim of the ancient collapsed volcano, Ngorpngoro Wildlife Lodge offers guests spectacular and uninterrupted views of the Ngorongoro crater. All rooms have private balconies, and are pleasantly furnished. There is a warm and inviting bar, great for the chilly evenings on the rim. The Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge main lounge area has awe-inspiring views across the main caldera, and from a seat here you canw atch herds moving across the crater floor and elephants stopping to drink in the waterhole.
Located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Rhino Lodge lies only a couple of hundred meters away from the crater. Offering accommodation for the budget seeker, while relaxing in an amazing atmosphere, conveniently located at the entrance of the conservation area when coming from Arusha.
Simba Campsite lies on the very rim of Ngorongoro Crater and has an excellent view across the caldera. A fantastic sunrise over the crater rim opposite makes a fine breakfast scene. Often there are elephants wandering around the camp!