Affordable safari in the Ngorongoro

tree climbing lion tanzania safari

Affordability is a relative thing when it comes to Ngorongoro and the other parks along the northern Tanzania safari circuit. All the parks are serviced by mid-range lodges but these tend to charge rack rates that would be considered upmarket in most other contexts. With Ngorongoro specifically, a good way to keep things affordable is to stay in or around Karatu - although it is less atmospheric than sleeping on the crater rim. Rooms in terms of quality are probably 50% cheaper outside the conservation area, and there are even a few genuine mid-range options that offer simple but comfortable accommodation at wallet-friendly rates. Accommodation and meals aside, most costs associated with an Ngorongoro or northern Tanzania safari (for instance, fuel, driver and conservation fees) are pretty much the same irrespective of whether it is labelled a budget, mid-range or upmarket safari, but the ‘per person’ cost of a safari will decrease significantly if these are split between a group of four or five like-minded friends or family rather than a solo traveller or couple.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 1

  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 2

Tarangire National Park | Lake Manyara
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 3

Tarangire National Park
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 4

Lake Manyara | Ngorongoro Crater
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 5

Ngorongoro Crater
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 6

Serengeti National Park | Ndutu
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 7

Serengeti National Park | Ndutu
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 8

Lake Masek and Matiti Hill
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 9

Serengeti National Park | Moru
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 10

Serengeti National Park | Seronera Valley
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)
  • Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (11 days)

day 11

End of Journey

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Luxury safari in Ngorongoro

Northern Tanzania boasts some of the most luxurious, exclusive and expensive lodges anywhere on the African safari circuit. Typically, these offer packages inclusive of world-class cuisine, house wines and beer, and game drives with guides who boast a higher level of expertise and far greater local knowledge than the average jobbing safari driver. These all-inclusive lodges also tend to…

Affordable safari in the Ngorongoro

Affordability is a relative thing when it comes to Ngorongoro and the other parks along the northern Tanzania safari circuit. All the parks are serviced by mid-range lodges but these tend to charge rack rates that would be considered upmarket in most other contexts. With Ngorongoro specifically, a good way to keep things affordable is to stay in or around Karatu - although it is less…

Weather in Ngorongoro

Although Ngorongoro and the Crater Highlands stand in the heart of the tropics less than 200km south of the equator, the high elevation (mostly above 2,000m) means the climate is surprisingly cool, seldom rising above 25°C by day and more often than not dropping to below 10°C by night. It tends to be sunny by day, but cloudy weather is far from unusual and the gap in altitude between…

Ngorongoro Crater

People visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is to see the eponymous crater. Ngorongoro is the world’s largest intact and unflooded caldera, the relict of a massive volcano formed by the same tectonic activity associated with the creation of the Great Rift Valley. In its prime, Ngorongoro would have towered as high as Kilimanjaro does today, but it collapsed in on itself around one-…

Maasai visits

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the last places in Africa where large herds of wildlife still roam alongside people. The people in question are the pastoralist Maasai, staunch traditionalists renowned for their ongoing adherence to a cattle-herding lifestyle and distinctive attire of toga-like red blankets, ochre-dyed hair and beaded jewellery. Several Maasai ‘cultural…

Lake Natron and Ol Doinyo Lengai

Set within the Rift Valley on the eastern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Natron is perhaps the most starkly beautiful of all the Rift Valley lakes south of Turkana. Almost 60km long but nowhere more than a metre deep, this primordial alkaline sump is renowned for its caustic and unusually viscous waters, which are enclosed by a crust of volcanic ash and salt, as well as a…

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