The Ngorongoro crater is the best place in Tanzania to see the ‘big five and is an absolutely beautiful place to be on safari. Unavoidably, the Ngorongoro crater is busy, at times very busy, but given it is one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders, it is going to be busy. However, due to the crowds, we recommend a 2-night stay only.
The Ngorongoro highlands is a dramatic range of volcanic mountains that straddles the rift valley escarpment immediately to the south of the Serengeti.
The main highlight is perhaps the most remarkable natural wonder in all of Africa … the Ngorongoro crater, where virtually the whole arena of the game can be seen year-round.
Although there are several accommodation options on the rim of the crater itself, there are other lodges and camps in the farmland of Ngorongoro Karatu to the south and in southcentral Serengeti to the north, visiting the crater on the way through.
Away from the crater, the highland areas of Ngorongoro north and Ngorongoro south generally contain less game and are consequently much less visited. But this wonderful altitude scenery contains some superb hiking and trekking options. Exploring on foot in the company of authentic Maasai moran can really enrich the overall safari experience and is not to be missed if you think you can handle the exercise.
Since the game stays in the crater all year, there really is a no good or bad time to be in the park. However, given that the crater floor can be busy with vehicles the low-season months can be beneficial. There is also something to be said for the fact that more water in lake Magadi (in the center of the crater) results in higher flamingo concentrations, but traveling to Ngorongoro at any time of year will guarantee great game.