Ngorongoro Crater


    The Ngorongoro Crater

    The Ngorongoro Crater is game viewing gone crazy and it is not surprising that with is one of Tanzania’s major tourist drawcards. Within the crater rim a daily wildlife drama is played out as large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby lions, leopards, elephants and black rhinos. Outside of the crater a similar drama continues in a more spread out manner with Masai herdsmen thrown into the mix.
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    What wildlife can we see in the Ngorongoro Crater?

    The crater is located between the Great Rift Valley and the Serengeti plains, and was formed millions of years ago after a volcano exploded and collapsed on itself. The deep volcanic caldera includes lakes, marshes, grasslands, forests and swamps. The crater is 20 km wide and is surrounded by a rim that is around 600 metres high.

    As well as the Big Five, the conservation area is home to zebras, wildebeest, cheetahs, jackals and hyenas. The annual wildebeest migration passes through Ngorongoro in February and March. The diverse birdlife includes flamingos, white storks, ostriches, vultures and several types of eagles. Hippos live in the Magadi Lake in the middle of the crater, and cattle owned by the local Maasai come to the crater to graze.



    When is the best time to visit Ngorongoro?

    The best time to visit Ngorongoro is during the dry season between May and October. The dry season is the ideal time for safaris in East Africa, because the lack of water forces animals to concentrate around water sources and makes them easier to spot.

    The rainy season from November to April is divided into two parts. The so-called short rains fall during November and December, and the long rains from February to April. Although fewer visitors come to Ngorongoro during the rainy season, February and March are a good time to catch the wildebeest migration that arrives from the Serengeti National Park.



    The Annual Wildebeest Migration

    Around 1.5 million wildebeest in East Africa move continuously around in search of food. The massive herds move in a clockwise circle that covers almost 3000 kilometres and passes through several national parks including the Serengeti, the Maasai Mara and the Ngorongoro. The wildebeest spend late February and much of March in Ngorongoro grazing and calving.



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    View our Tanzania Safari Itineraries

    Or call: 01227 671 154 to speak to a Tanzania Safari Specialist.


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