Lake Ndutu and the Serengeti plains

wildebeest migration calving season tanzania safari Ngorongoro Conservation Area is essentially an eastern extension of the vast Serengeti-Mara ecosystem - indeed, it formed part of the original Serengeti National Park as it was gazetted in 1951 but was split off shortly afterwards to appease Maasai protests against being evicted from their traditional grazing lands. Today, the southeast of the conservation area, around Oldupai Gorge, remains an important component of this migratory ecosystem, a fact of which you will be in no doubt should you pass through the area en route to the Serengeti National Park during the rainy season (late November to early May), when large herds of wildebeest and other ungulates disperse across the short grass plains and calve en masse in February. At other times of year, the area is a good place to look for cheetah, bat-eared fox, eland and ostrich. The game viewing centrepiece of the region is Lake Ndutu, which straddles the Serengeti-Ngorongoro boundary at the epicentre of the wildebeest dispersal, when it offers truly dramatic game viewing.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)

day 1

First day of your African adventure
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)

day 2 to 3

Onwards to Ngorongoro, the perfect start
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)

day 4 to 7

The Great Migration, it is hard to imagine
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)
  • Late January to end March 2019 Calving Season (Value-for-money)

day 8

End of calving safari!

View Full Itinerary

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Ngorongoro in May

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Solo travel to the Ngorongoro

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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…

Empakaai Crater

The second-largest crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Empakaai is almost 8km in diameter and its floor is dominated by a saline crater lake and enclosed by sheer 300m high walls that rise to an elevation of 3,200m on the eastern rim. On of East Africa’s most underrated and seldom-visited scenic gems, the crater lies about 90 minutes’ drive northeast of Ngorongoro Crater via…

Olmoti Crater

Credit: Travel Buckhead Another dramatic relic of the volcanic activity that shaped the Crater Highlands over the past ten million years, Olmoti - a Maasai name meaning Cooking Pot - is a sunken caldera whose rim is reached along a 30-minute footpath from the ranger post at Nainokanoka. Covered in grass and bisected by a river valley, this shallow crater doesn’t quite match Ngorongoro…

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…

Popular Ngorongoro Crater Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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