ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF

What are you looking for?

ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
Hello traveller!

It's in Cape Town now.

We're sorry. Our safari planners aren't available now. Our office hours are 08:00 - 19:00 (GMT+2).

Call us to speak to an experienced safari planner.


Alternatively, we recommend...

travel-form-icon

Complete our travel enquiry form to connect with a safari planner

ENQUIRE TODAY
Email us
(optional)

Ngorongoro Travel Tips

Africa's best authentic tailor-made safaris

View Photos

Ngorongoro Travel Tips

Team Member Headshot

By Andre Van Kets

Co-founder, Discover Africa

Safari Enquiry

lion wildlife ngorongoro crater tanzania safari

Ngorongoro Conservation Area can only realistically be explored in a solid 4×4. The 150km road from the northern Tanzanian ‘safari capital’ Arusha to Lodware Entrance Gate, the only access point along the eastern border, is now surfaced in its entirety, and can be covered in less than three hours. All roads within the conservation are unsurfaced, however, and most – including the bumpy descent and ascent tracks to the crater and corrugated strip of fine compacted ash running west to Serengeti National Park – are pretty rough going. Tanzania’s safari industry is not really geared towards a self-drive approach, and the roads are unsuited to large coach tours, which means that almost all visitors to Ngorongoro either join a bespoke or small-group safari with a local driver-guide, or fly from Arusha to a camp offering a package inclusive of game drives. In theory, Ngorongoro Crater could be visited on a standalone one or two-night safari out of Arusha, but in practice it usually forms part of a longer (5-14 day) safari taking in some or all of the other highlights of the northern Tanzania safari circuit i.e. Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park and Arusha National Park. – A day trip to Ngorongoro Crater is worth planning carefully. Vehicles are forbidden from entering the crater before 07h00, and they must leave before 18h00, and a hefty ‘crater service fee’ is payable every time a vehicle enter the crater. This combination of rulings has forged a situation where most safaris breakfast at their lodge before going on a game drive and carry a picnic lunch. Far preferable, however, to take a packed breakfast and lunch, allowing you to get down into the crater as early as possible, partly because early morning offers the best photographic light, but also because the place is at its most magical before the tourist hordes descend, with the main procession usually starting the descent from 08h00 onwards.

credit the highlands ngorongoro tanzania safari 4x4 drive
The Highlands Ngorongoro

The conservation authority forbids tourists from staying overnight within Ngorongoro Crater. But several tourist lodges and tented camps are perched on the lofty crater rim, offering fine views over the floor and its teeming wildlife, and there is also a campsite. Plenty of accommodation is also available in and around the town of Karatu, which straddles the main surfaced road from Arusha about 15 minutes’ drive from Lodware Entrance Gate. The lodges on the crater rim are preferable in terms of views and for placing you as close as possible to the heart of the action, but accommodation in and around Karatu tends to offer better value for money. Either way, the elevated altitude of the crater rim and Karatu largely negate their near-equatorial location and nights can be decidedly chilly, so bring plenty of warm clothing to wear in the evening and early morning game drives.

How it Works

2

Contact us or fill out an enquiry form and one of our travel experts will help you tailor make your perfect safari

3

Enjoy an authentic African experience, with peace of mind

Travel with Confidence

With over 20 years of experience, our team will help you choose the perfect African safari for your adventure.
24/7 Support
Flexible
Authentic
Personalized

Why travel with us?

Recent reviews from travellers who planned and booked their Africa trips with Discover Africa Safaris
Great advice led to a great experience

11 Days Johannesburg, Kruger & Cape Town Safari Review

Stuart & David, United States
13 Oct 2023
Amazing service- catered to all my needs and very reliable!

4 Day Luxury Timbavati Safari Review

Colleen, United States
30 Nov 2022
Excellent experience, great communication, custom itinerary.

Victoria Falls & Okavango Delta Review

PVX, United States
11 Jul 2022
An amazing Cape Town and Kruger Safari!

Cape Town & Kruger Safari Review

Jon, United States
10 Jan 2022
Way above our expectations and we felt sad to leave!

Family Holiday Tanzania Review

Sushila Sivaretnam, Malaysia
21 May 2019
Amazing trip with a well paced itinerary and everything went off without...

Water based and Savannah Safari Review

Sean, United States
13 Oct 2018

Ready to plan your tailor-made safari?

Matthys van Aswegen, Safari Travel Planner

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

HELP ME PLAN
Copyright © Discover Africa Safaris | Ngorongoro Travel Tips | Last Updated: 29 September 2023