The center covers approximately 100 sq. Miles (260 sq. kilometers) with more than 30,000 mammals. These include the well-rounded zebras, rangy wildebeests, swift cheetahs, lordly lions, skulking hyena, and opportunist jackals and a range of other smaller birds and mammals. In other words, not only the big five reside here.
Additionally, the Ngorongoro conservation area is one of the Serengeti ecosystems. But in 1959, the area was separated from Serengeti National Park to give room for the co-existence of man together with his wildlife neighbors. In 1979, Ngongoro center was declared a UNESCO global Heritage site as it received frequent, enthusiastic adventurers on their AfricanMecca safaris yearly.
The crater was a massive volcanic mountain back 2.5 million years ago. It rivaled the Mount Kilimanjaro. But later on, its vast size shrunk when the mountain peak collapsed, forming the largest volcanic caldera globally.
Furthermore, about 42,000 Maasai tribe communities are staying around the Ngorongoro Conservation area. The members stay off the land and mostly move depending on their animal's needs (donkeys, sheep, goats, and cattle).
Just within the conservation area is the Olduvai Gorge. This is a famous place where Dr. Leakey discovered the remains of Homo Habillis (the handyman), a skeleton that showed the stage of human evolution. His discovery is believed to show that human beings originated in Africa.
The Ngorongoro conservation center has a wide range of coastal landscapes nearby. If you are interested in combining your safari experience with a beach trip, you can fly across to Zanzibar, then connect to Ngorongoro.
However, international visitors must begin by flying to Kilimanjaro International Airport located near Mt. Kilimanjaro. From here, you can travel using a shared shuttle, or hire a taxi.
The nearest airports are found in Arusha, close to Kilimanjaro National park and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, being a significant hub in Africa. Furthermore, this Airport has the main flight routes around the world to give travelers who wish to visit Ngorongoro center an easy travel scheme.
The Kilimanjaro International Airport is the second-largest Airport in Tanzania also facilitates regular flights to big cities around the continent and all over the world. From Kilimanjaro International Airport to the place is about 230 kilometers, approximately 5 hours' drive.
You can also use the Arusha Airport. Even though it's a small airport, it's the closest airport to this place. Travelers can reach it using a regional or local plane from one of the nearby international airports. Arusha airport to Ngorongoro is approximately 170 kilometers or about 3 hours' drive.
By car, the distance between Arusha and Ngorongoro is about 185 kilometers, and road can take about four hours. But beware that the roads aren't in proper condition and you can meet gravel on your way.
Ngorongoro center features a dynamic geological ecosystem that has been slowly changing over the years since it was occupied by the giant pigs that are as big as the current rhinos and three-toed horses. The pigs and the horses are extinct, but the rhinos can be greatly saved.
The population is gradually changing, and a few of the residents are seasonal. Some of them join the vast waves of the migratory herds that cross the extended conservation parts on the exterior parts of the crater, looking for fresh forage.
Although the majority group stays within the Ngorongoro crater feeding on the year-round pasture and water found within the protecting caldera walls of the crater sometimes the changes in weather pattern reduces that.
Furthermore, the indigenous people are also affected by the massive globalization that clears out rare animals for their tusks and horns with the flamingo breeding area menaces around Lake Natron. In simple words, this is all about when to travel in Ngorongoro. Your travel choice there can be affected by breeding patterns, migration, and seasonal climate fluctuations.
All these will vary with your particular needs since all seasons come with their advantages with other variations in the cost of accommodation only.
However, from around early November to late December, there are always short rains that tend to bring in hot and humid climates that necessitate precautions against harmful mosquitoes. But it's always cools along the crater rim. Here, you can simply use warm clothing for early morning and evening activities.
There is also massive calving of the wildebeest around the Ngorongoro grasslands on the exterior parts of the crater with hundreds of newborns, providing an excellent opportunity for photo taking.
From around mid-March to end May, the long rains help in maintaining the plains green and lush. This is always the low green season experienced around the Northern parts of Tanzania that attract visitors who want to take advantage of the lower costs before the season picks up again in June.
This is the best time for the speckled bird-watching adventures in the crater. The Avi-migrants sampled includes the Montague's and the pallid harriers, rosy-breasted long claw. Additionally, the ground-nesting birds include the splay-footed ostriches, freakish secretary birds, elegant crowned cranes, and the Kori bustards.
The Ngorongoro crater has a climate that ranges from mild to deep warm with daytime highs of up to 82 F and nighttime lows of 8-11 C within the highlands and the crater rim.
The dry season is always the perfect for activities such as game viewing within the crater as animals gather around water sources.
There are plenty of memorable places to tour within the Ngorongoro crater itself one of them being the Lake Magadi that is fringed by thousands of long-legged and pink flamingos. The lake is prone to shrinking when the season is dry, leaving behind crystal and thick pan salt used as licks by the hyena, jackals, and other wild animals to supplement their diet.
This tree forest consists of slim, tall, and yellow barked acacias that form a lace-canopied and an airy wonderland of glades. The forest is frequently visited by rhino, elephant, eland, hyrax, bushbuck, and thousands of birds.
The striking colors and the distinctive form of the fever tree are essential in making the forest famous to many travelers both locally and internationally. The trees are mainly located close to river banks in southern and eastern Africa.
This place is located between the Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti national park. It's a known place for being an area where 2 million-year-old human remains were discovered. Olduvai Gorge is among the top tourist location that gives room for history buffs to dig more information concerning past activities.
The Ngorongoro crater was once a great volcano that erupted in the Northern parts of Tanzania making it the largest caldera worldwide. The crater is approximately three million years old and hosts one of the beautiful wildlife on earth.
Found in the southeastern parts of the Serengeti in the Northern sides of Tanzania, this is a nice place for wildlife viewing. Furthermore, Gol Mountains act as a home to the Maasai community who are still following their ancient ways of life living within a cashless surrounding and are not affected by any modernity.
Located about 3080 meters above the sea level along the Ngorongoro highlands, the crater got its name from a Maasai word that means cooking pot. Olmoti crater is a great place in Ngorongoro crater for walking trails and hiking. Furthermore, it's a place where the Maasai pasture their animals.
Lake Eyasi is located between Eyasi Escarpments along the northern sides and the Kidero mountains southwestern parts of the Ngorongoro crater. This lake is a nice place for bird lovers, and it's surrounded with palm and acacia trees thus supporting a mixture of birds and other large flocks of pelican flamingos, more so during the rainy seasons.
The Oldupai Museum is found close to the Ngorongoro conservation part. The museum showcases the information and history concerning the finding discovered in and around Olduvai Gorge.
Additionally, there is a viewpoint that overlooks the gorge that helps in the breathtaking view of the Gorge.
You have an incomplete visit to Tanzania without gaining interest to study about the tribal communities of Tanzania.
The snake park is found about 25 km from Arusha on your way to Ngorongoro and Serengeti. The Maserani snake park is among the major tourist sites in Ngorongoro and has played a vital role in attracting people from every aspect of life. The park hosts up to 48 snake species, a few bird species, and other reptiles.
You can enjoy some fascinating views of Mount Meru, even though the majority of the mountains lie within the Arusha National Park. This mountain features an impressive range of wildlife with diverse vegetation. Furthermore, you can decide to go out for a safari within the forest reserve as you explore the Ngorongoro city.
There is a wide choice of places to stay within the rim of the crater for all the bush tours, depending on your preference. The eco-lodges, lodges, mobile camps, bush camps, county cottages, and tented camps all reflect the Ngorongoro safari vacation that you are looking for. The accommodation runs from the flair of international cuisine, world-class décor, superlative service, supreme luxury, and total comfort with every modern amenity.
Each accommodation on the crater rim is unique. But experiences vary depending on the inimitable system of the AfricanMecca Safari Tiers that balances the housing against the amenities, food, activities, service, guided standards, location, and the privacy to regulate the variable value all over the entire range.
Ngorongoro lodges include several chalets or lodges clustered around a centralized complex of bar and lounge, dining room, and reception.
However, some of the friendly options available on the crater rim include:
Located along Eastern sides of the Ngorongoro crater within Tanzanian volcanic highlands. The place is about 220 km from Arusha with a 4 hours' drive.
The Sopa Ngorongoro represents an entry-level and a luxurious place to stay during your travel to the Ngorongoro center. It's a large and an excellent place for families with little children who may want some extra entertainment.
Sopa Ngorongoro features an imposing reception linked with an unparalleled welcome service showing a hint of the hotel's stellar service and lovely settings that awaits any visitor.
The arresting column that bears the engraved characters and the furniture that intersperse the reception borrows heavily from the country's tribal cultures and rich wildlife. Furthermore, the potted plants are a friendly reminder of the hotel's beautiful natural surroundings.
The Sopa Ngorongoro lodges provide a grand and colorful lobby that welcomes you to the genuine Tanzanian hospitality then keeps you captivated due to its range of unique sculptures and the original fixtures with the stylish pieces.
Once you get on the entrance, you'll be perplexed as you gaze over the queen beds that are large and across the window wall on the other side. Due to its altitude, the Sopa Ngorongoro is always cool throughout the night. But the good news is, each chamber has a heating mechanism to keep the place warm: there are hot water bottles on each bed during the evening turndown service.
The camp is found on the Eastern parts of the crater's rim near the crater lodge. Just inside the park boundaries, the Angata Ngorongoro permits game drives down to the crater.
Angata Ngorongoro camps consist of up to 12 Guest Tents and a Dinner Tent, a place where all meals are served, a campfire tent, and a lounge tent. The lounge tent has locally fabricated armchairs and sofas, a bar, plus the charging station for phones, cameras, and other small valuable electronics that needs to be charged before the next drive at the crater. Here, you can relax as you enjoy the Tea of Hot Chocolate.
Dinner, lunch, breakfast is served on the dining Tent that's extended enough to function at full capacity. Also, a wine selection area is available here. Mosquito nets are found within the camps to protect guests from insects during their meals. The Bush TV and the campfire is located a few meters on the front side of the central area of the camp, mostly beneath the beautiful Acacia.
The visitors' tents feature a balcony area with a coffee table and safari chairs beneath the tent's overhang where there are also mandatory fire extinguishers and umbrellas.
All the rooms are the same and have one 2-3 Twin or King-sized beds with a clothes hanger, a lockable wooden storage box for your valuables, a luggage shelf, and a solar handheld light. The beds have mosquito nets lowered at turndown with the housekeeping staff.
This award-winning camp with glass suites and eight domed canvas is located along the edge of Olmoti volcano. This place feels a bit remote, but it's located within easy reach of the Ngorongoro crater where you can go out for an all-day game drives to spot the lions giraffes and elephants.
Furthermore, guests can also socialize with the communities around the camp learning about their culture. During the night, you can gather around the fire with a glass of whiskey or wine before feasting on a sweet three-course dinner.
The Highlands Ngorongoro camp has a contemporary design that's hard to find within the African bush. The interiors of each dome tent feature a superb blend of modern and classic safari elements. Raw wood has been used in constructing the floors, ceilings, and walls thus creating a romantic and intimate space.
The sleeping area has a king-size bed, nightstand together with a reading light, bay windows, wardrobe, wood-burning fireplace, a lockbox, side table, and chairs. White and black photographs and other animal prints that brings Africa indoors.
Highlands Ngorongoro has ensuite that's tastefully constructed with a flush toilet, a shower that features hot running water, and a vanity. The tent has a wood deck that has safari tables and chairs together with a covered entry area with a wood door.
Every morning at the Highlands camp, you wake up to get a golden and a soft glow flickering inside your tent. Once you are done with freshening up, you move to the dining place for a sweet breakfast. But you can also enjoy your picnic breakfast around the bush.
After that, the Highlands Ngongoro's guide meets you and helps you in planning about the day's schedule then you use a 4x4 custom safari vehicle to start your tour to the Ngorongoro crater that's about 40 minutes' drive.
When looking forward to splashing out on a particular thing, then this place is a perfect fit.
The Ngorongoro crater lodge is a nice and self-indigent fantasy place to live in Ngorongoro and a winner of various luxurious accolades in Africa. The area features a range of dream-like and thatched rondavels.
The lodge itself features a photogenic treasure from the architectural imagination that's circled by the wildlife that typifies African travel. The lodge can accommodate up to 60 guests at once making it an excellent place for large family set up. All suites are built on stilts and them all feature vaulted ceilings with woven banana leaves on the thatched roofs.
The amenities and service are of the expected standard and there are welcoming gifts of fudge boxes, a centerpiece of roses and decanter of sherry on the bathroom acts as a prelude to the comfort of the hot foaming baths. Child-minding services and messages-in rooms are also present, laundry and housekeeping activities are also impressive.
Internet and telephone services are present from the main lodge where a safari boutique is also present. After an all-day tour in the Ngorongoro crater, on your way to the lodge, you'll meet entertaining athletic Maasai tribesmen dressed in their red cloaks singing and dancing evocatively as they demonstrate the meaning of their homeland.
Different tables are arranged with crystal, white linen, and silver. Furthermore, the outsize wooden platters deliver a romantic and beautiful candle-lit dining. The lodge chef gives your choice prior.
Food served within the lodge includes cooked vegetables, salads, meat, poultry, fish, and soups. Vegetarian options are also provided, and these are escorted by fruit juices and a list of international wine. Freshly made desserts, Tanzanian coffee, cheeseboard, and spirits that rounds off the meal.
Found a few meters along the southern rim of the amazing Ngorongoro crater, Rhino lodge delivers a spectacular accommodation with a friendly staff. Even though the lodge is not based along the crater’s rim, the place features beautiful surroundings and offers easy access to the road that leads to the crater.
While in this place, you can gaze at the Ngorongoro’s beautiful concentration of wildlife, including the breathtaking scenery.
The lodge offers a 24 en-suite rooms that are properly arranged on a courtyard, and a veranda that faces the colorful montane forest. The rooms are quite simple but provides a comfortable and are built with wood burning stoves to bring warmth during the chilly nights.