Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a very remarkable Tanzania safari destination and one of the true wonders of not only in Africa but the world as well, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is situated in the northern safari circuit of Tanzania in the northern region of Tanzania about 153 kilometers west of Arusha Town. Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s confluence together with the southern region of Serengeti national park form the Ndutu region which is part of greater Serengeti ecosystem, the conservation area adjoins with Serengeti national park to the North West and is situated about 50 kilometers from Lake Manyara national park, 213 kilometers from Arusha national park and 139 kilometers from Tarangire national park.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in a site of global importance in 1979 and recognized for its uniqueness, Ngorongoro hosts the largest unbroken volcanic caldera “Ngorongoro crater” which is the main feature of the conservation area. Ngorongoro crater is said to have been formed as a result of a volcano exploding and collapsing on itself about 2 to 3 million years ago, the crater measures to 2,000 feet deep and 260 square kilometers of width.

Ngorongoro Wildlife
Ngorongoro Wildlife

Wonders in Ngorongoro covers an area of 8,292 square kilometers are countless, the area hosts some of the greatest and spectacular sites in Tanzania such as

The oldupai or Olduvai Gorge commonly referred to as the Cradle of Humankind, this archaeological sites is where the first human evolution remains on earth were discovered by the paleoanthropologist couple Louis and Mary Leakey in 1950s. This gorge is a perfect reason to visit to Ngorongoro Conservation Area on a Tanzania safari for archaeological safari experience. Other archaeological sites found in Ngorongoro include Nasera rock, Laetoli Footprints and Olduvai Gorge Museum.

Wildlife and birdlife: Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a home to a wide array of unique wildlife and birdlife species living on the crater floor, wildlife in Ngorongoro are recorded to be about 115 animal species with over 25000 large mammals including over 1.7 million wildebeests, 260,000 zebras, 470,000 gazelles,  endangered black rhinos, giant tusked elephants, lions, cheetahs, caracals, servals, African wildcats, African wild dog, hyenas, African golden wolf, giraffes, impalas,  and many more. The wildebeests, zebras and gazelles participating in the annual wildebeest migration move to calve in the short-grass plains of the Ndutu area.

Birdlife in Ngorongoro Conservation area are recorded to be over 500 bird species including migratory bird species, resident bird species and water birds, these birds include Lesser Kestrel, the European swallow, European bee eater,  Northern Wheatear, European roller, Pallid Harrier, Caspian Lapwing, Montagu’s Harrier, Rosy-breasted Long claw, large flocks of European storks, Ostiches, Kori bustards, Secretary birds, Grey crowned Cranes, ground nestling Northern Anteater Chat, Rufous-napped Lark, Capped Whater, Fischer’s Sparrow lark, Red capped Lark, Grassland Pipit, Superb Starling, Rufous Tailed Weaver, African White backed Vulture, Augur buzzard, Long-crested eagle, Flamingoes, ducks, waders, herons and many more .

Other attractions found in Ngorongoro include craters such as Empakaai, Olmoti crater, lakes such as Lake Magadi, Lake Ndutu and Lake Maseke, central plains, Lerai Forest, Rumbe Hills, Munge stream and many more.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area wildlife


Game drives

Game drives is one of the highlight activities offered in the beautiful Ngorongoro Conservation area done in 4X4 safari vehicles only, these game drives are done after descending down to the crater floor through the lush forests and these are best done in morning and evening hours.

Morning game drives in Ngorongoro are very rewarding experience offering an opportunity to spot most of the big games such as elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, warthogs, giraffes and many more. Evening game drives are perfect for watching predators in the dark hours of the night with a help of a spot light, predators such as lions, hyenas, African wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards as they hunt for prey.

Bird watching

Ngorongoro conservation area is a wonderland for keen ornithologist hosting a huge population of birds with over 550 species of birds including resident and migratory birds. Bird watching experience in the crater floor is done in various forest patches hosting a abundant of birds such as turaco, hornbills, white storks, yellow wagtails, swallows mingle and pink flamingoes on the shores of Lake Magadi and many more. Other birds include kori bustards, crowned cranes, ostriches and many more.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris in Ngorongoro are amazing activity offering you an opportunity to get close to nature, walking safaris are offered as short walks and long walks. Short walks in the conservation include trekking down Empakai or Olmoti crater and Long walks include trekking from Olmoti to Empakai and down to the Great Rift Valley.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Game Drives

Crater rim walks – crater walks in Ngorongoro  starts early in the morning from Lemala gate on the eastern side of the crater, this track go through the thick forests following the contours of the Ngorongoro crater rim offering you stunning views o the crater floor below. While on this walk you get to encounter local Maasai people as they graze their cattle and watch many birds such as African cyrill, golden-winged sunbirds, mountain buzzards and many more.

Camping safaris

Ngorongoro is one of the excellent destinations in Tanzania for camping experience which is an amazing retreat offering an opportunity to experience nature to its fullest, camping safaris are offered in several locations such has campsites classified as special campsites , on the rim of Empakaai crater designed for backpackers.

Cultural tours

Cultural tours in Ngorongoro are offered in the Maasai local community situated close to the conservation area, this activity offers an opportunity to learn more about the unique culture of the Masai people, enjoy their uniqueness, beauty and listen to their fascinating stories.


In Ngorongoro Conservation Area there is numerous world class accommodations ready to welcome in Tanzania and provide you with a comfortable stay during your Tanzania safari in Ngorongoro. The accommodations range from luxury, midrange and budget.

  • Luxury accommodations include Ngorongoro crater Lodge, Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Serena Ngorongoro Lodge, Ang’ata Ngorongoro Camp, Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge and Lion’s paw Camp
  • Midrange accommodations include Ngorongoro Forested Tented Lodge, Hhando Coffee Lodge, and Ngorongoro Oldeani Mountain Lodge.
  • Budget accommodations include Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge and Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge


Ngorongoro Conservation Area is mostly approached by tourists from Arusha city which is about 130 kilometers away from the conservation area, from Arusha two means of transport that is road and air means of transport are used.

By road:  Ngorongoro is accessed on a paved road from Arusha city entering the conservation area through the Loduare gate near the Karatu Town, another commonly used entry point is from Naabi Hill gate from Serengeti national park on a gravel road.

By air: chartered/domestic flights to Ngorongoro are offered by numerous domestic carriers such as Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Regional Air, ZanAir, Safari Air Link and Coastal Aviation. These flights are offered from Arusha airport in Arusha city to Lake Ndutu airstrip and Ngorongoro airstrip.

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