Ngorongoro Crater is a colossal volcanic crater teeming with wildlife. But hold on, that is not all there is to this caldera in the heart of Tanzania.
In this article, we dive into what to expect from a Ngorongoro crater safari. So, if you dream of a safari that's a sure plunge into the extraordinary, keep reading!
Ngorongoro Crater: An Overview
The Ngorongoro Crater is a geological marvel formed over 2.5 million years ago in northern Tanzania. Positioned within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, it originated from a volcanic explosion that shaped the Ngorongoro Highlands.
The crater spans 260 square kilometres, featuring diverse landscapes like grasslands, soda lakes, and acacia forests. This varied terrain provides a backdrop for wildlife activities, from predator-prey interactions to the serene movements of flamingos on the lakes.
The Ngorongoro Crater is globally recognized for its ecological significance and commitment to preserving the delicate balance of flora and fauna. It's more than a geological wonder; it's a testament to the Earth's history and a vital hub for biodiversity conservation.
What Can I Expect on a Ngorongoro Safari?
A day in the Ngorongoro Crater Safari
The panoramic views from this crater are nothing short of awe-inspiring. As you peer over the rim, the first thing that captures your attention is the sheer scale of the crater. It's an expanse of diverse landscapes, from the lush greenery of grasslands to the shimmering blue of soda lakes, all framed by the crater's towering walls.
Herds of wildebeests, zebras, and buffaloes create moving patterns against the green canvas, while elephants amble gracefully, leaving a trail of memories etched in the Earth.
The soda lakes, tinged with hues that change with the light, add a surreal touch to the scenery. Watch as flocks of flamingos create a living artwork, their pink plumage contrasting vividly with the reflective surface of the lakes.
Beyond the lakes, acacia forests paint a different picture, their canopies providing shade for lounging lions and leopards, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the landscape. The occasional eruption of dust signals the movement of a journey of giraffes, their long necks silhouetted against the sky.
And then, of course, there's the overarching presence of the crater walls. These natural barriers serve as a backdrop, a reminder of the geological forces that shaped this extraordinary place over millions of years.
Skyhook Ngorongoro Safari Itinerary
The Ngorongoro Crater tour includes a day's visit to Tarangire National Park.
This park is nestled between the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. It is easily accessible from Arusha, making it a convenient inclusion in your journey to Ngorongoro.
Tarangire is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, with rolling savannahs, riverine habitats, and the iconic baobab trees dotting the scenery.
The Tarangire River flows through the park, attracting many wildlife, especially during the dry season. In your Tarangire safari, you might be lucky to spot large elephant herds congregating along the Tarangire River for water.
Tarangire hosts diverse wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, and numerous bird species, making it a haven for birdwatchers.
Day 1: Arusha to Tarangire National Park
Morning briefing before the safari
After breakfast, you'll drive to Tarangire National Park and have a chance to spot unique wildlife and landscapes till the evening.
You'll spend the night on a tented camp here as you relax and prepare for the next day's adventure.
Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive
You'll begin the day with a sunrise game drive into the Ngorongoro Crater and encounter the diverse wildlife that calls this natural amphitheatre home.
Later in the day, you'll enjoy a scenic picnic lunch by the Hippo pool within the crater, surrounded by the captivating beauty of the landscape.
The tour ends in the evening with a drive back to Arusha or Tanzania Moshi.
Cultural Activities to Consider on Ngorongoro Crater Safari
Engaging with the local Maasai communities around Ngorongoro Crater offers a unique and enriching cultural experience. They welcome you with traditional songs, dances, and elaborate ceremonies, providing insight into their rich cultural heritage.
Guided visits to Maasai villages allow you to interact with residents and better understand their daily lives. You may have the opportunity to explore traditional homes, known as bomas, and witness age-old customs.
Maasai community members may demonstrate traditional crafts, such as beadwork and carving, showcasing the intricate artistry integral to their cultural identity.
You can also explore the local markets in nearby towns, such as Karatu, where you can witness the vibrancy of everyday life. Markets often feature local crafts, fresh produce, and handmade goods.
Preparation for Ngorongoro Safari
Proper preparation for an adventure such as this is key to making the most of your trip. We suggest that you thoroughly explore the best time to safari in Tanzania, what to pack and all our insider-tips for an awesome experience. Find these articles below!
If you’re considering going on a Ngorongoro Crater safari, Skyhook has everything you need to make sure your visit is a blast!
Whether you'd prefer a 2-day safari that covers both the Tarangire National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, or a full 7-day Tanzania Safari experience, we've got you covered.