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ngorongoro conservation area



Africa’s Eden, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area stretches across an area of 8,300 sq. km. It’s one of the only places on our planet where nature, wildlife, and humanity coexist harmoniously. This protected area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s located in the Ngorongoro District.

The NCA is named after the Ngorongoro Crater, a huge volcanic caldera within the area’s premises. The land inside the area is multi-purposeful, providing a haven for wildlife as well as humans. It also serves as a way to advance human development without leaving footprints on natural resources.

To have a distinctive experience in this cradle of humanity, Safaris In Tanzania are the way to go.

Make Ngorongoro Safari Safely!

Book a safe Ngorongoro safari today! Choose a reputable operator, follow the park's rules, and listen to your guide for an unforgettable experience.

Quick Facts on Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Location: Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region, Tanzania

Area : 8292 sq. km (3,202 sq. km)

Year of Establishment : 1959

Governing Body : Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA)

Total No. of Wildlife : 25,000 (approx.)

Total No. of visitors in a year : 500,000 (approx.)

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

History of Ngorongoro

Going back almost 2.5 million years ago, the calderas in the NCA were formed after major eruptions. A once-active volcano erupted so fiercely that it caused an explosion. This explosion created a caldera, which we now refer to as the largest intact caldera in the world.

Some fossil pieces of evidence were found in the Olduvai Gorge. They show that hominid species were occupying the area for 3 million years. The area was home to the Datooga and Mbulu communities thousands of years ago. Though, they were driven away by the Maasai people in the 18th century.

  • In 1892, the first Europeans set foot inside the rim of the area and started setting up farming grounds. Hunting became prevalent in the area around this time.
  • But, in 1928, hunting was prohibited across all areas of Tanzania.
  • In 1948, an area inside the premises was created – this was Serengeti National Park. Some issues however arose for the tribal communities living on this land.
  • So, in 1959, the Serengeti was separated, and another area of land was created specifically for the tribal communities. This is now known as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The name was given by the Maasai pastoralists and it resembles the sound a cowbell makes. Ngorongoro means ‘big hole’ in English. And it’s rather accurate given it is home to the Ngorongoro Crater.

In the modern era, the land of the NCA is multi-use. It is also the only conservation area across Tanzania that helps in wildlife conservation as well as allowing human habitation.

If the volcanic eruption hadn’t happened then, the Crater could have been as tall as Mount Kilimanjaro. Can you imagine what Safaris in Tanzania would have looked like then? But, no worries because what was once upon a time an active volcano is now home to thousands of wildlife and many tribal communities that coexist in peace.

Difference Between Ngorongoro Crater & Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater is a part of the larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the larger part of the Serengeti-Ngorongoro Biosphere Reserve.

This crater was formed due to a volcanic eruption and collapsed on itself 2 million years ago.

This crater was formed due to a volcanic eruption and collapsed on itself 2 million years ago.

The floor area of this crater is 260 sq. km and 2000 meters deep.

The area is 8,292 sq. km. And was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

The Crater is the largest unfilled, inactive, and intact volcanic caldera on the planet.

The NCA is also known as the eighth wonder of the world.

It was formed when a large active volcano exploded and collapsed onto itself some two to three million years ago.

The area receives more than half a million visitors annually and is home to about 40,000 people, most of whom are part of the Maasai communities.

getting into the ngorongoro conservation area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is easily accessible. You’ll have a couple of options to choose from – by road or by air.

By Road

The NCA is about 180 km from the town of Arusha. There’s a paved road connecting the NCA and Arusha which enters the area through the Loduare Gate. The gate is about 30 km. from the town of Karatu.

Another option which you’ll also have is driving from Serengeti National Park. There’s a good gravel road through the Naabi Hill Gate.

A drive is also possible. Though, it can be a bit bothersome. But, if you don’t mind the long hours, you can take the scenic route of the road less travelled.

By Air

Flying into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is by far the most convenient option. You can get to NCA by charter plane. An airstrip is situated on the rim of the crater close to the headquarters.

Entrance Gates

The Loduare Gate is located on the south of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Naabi Hill Gate is located on the border of Serengeti National Park.

Loduare Gate

This is the southernmost gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It’s one of the most popular gates for visitors because of its proximity to the town of Arusha.

The gate is located close to the hippo pools and Lake Magadi. You can also pay for the entrance fee at the gate. There’s also an information centre where you can get all the necessary information you may need.

Naabi Hill Gate

Next to the Loduare Gate, this is the second most popular gate. You can access both the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park from this gate.

This gate is also the administrative checkpoint and has the offices of both the Tanzania National Park Authority and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.

Entrance Fees

After you get to the NCA, you need to know what the entrance fee is. The following are the entrance fees for the NCA according to age group.

  • Visitors above the age of 16 - $50
  • Ages from 5-16 - $10
  • Children under the age of 5 – Free of cost.
Ngorongoro Entrance

climate Of Ngorongoro

Ngorongoro Conservation Area experiences a mild, temperate climate. Generally, there are two wet seasons. The first one is the short rains (from October to November) and the other one is the long rains from March to May.

The Climate Of Ngorongoro According To The Seasons

DRY SEASON (From June to October)

WET SEASON (From November to May)

The afternoon temperatures are generally around 19 Celsius on the crater floor.

The daytime temperatures are warmer compared to the dry season.

Sunny cloudless skies are the norm in this season. The short rains typically arrive in October.

The afternoon temperatures are generally around 23 Celsius on the crater floor.

The temperatures can get very cold at night and it can be freezing on the crater rim.

Nighttime temperatures are about 6 Celsius on the crater rim.

Best Time for Safari in ngorongoro

Wildlife In Ngorongoro Conservation Area is excellent throughout the year. The vegetation of the crater floor is the shortest in the dry season, which makes spotting wildlife much easier. But, the spectacular landscapes in the wet season (from November to May) are some of the best you’ll ever see.

Comparison Of Both Seasons

DRY SEASON (From June to October)

WET SEASON (From November to May)

WET SEASON (From November to May)

Wildlife viewing is still excellent.

Almost no rainfall, abundant sunshine, and clear blue skies.

Fewer tourists and discounted prices for safaris and accommodations.

Fewer mosquitoes, so the chances of contracting malaria are significantly low.

The perfect time for birdwatching because of the presence of migratory birds.

Morning and nighttime temperatures are very cold.

Plenty of photographic opportunities – with lush surroundings and beautiful sunsets.

Let’s see what safaris in every month of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area offer:

Ngorongoro in January

January is the breeding season or the mass calving season in Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

  • At the beginning of each day, nearly 8000 newborn babies get born in the area.
  • Right after taking birth these little calves can be seen running around the grasslands.
  • But their biggest challenge is yet to come! They come face to face with predators like lions, cheetahs and leopards who are waiting for the right time to strike.
  • To save the little calves from predators, mothers form a barricade while moving in herds.

This is nature at its rawest. Predefined moments go right out the window. You’ll get to see the natural course of life when you visit Ngorongoro in January.

Ngorongoro in February

February is a great time to see the wildlife of the NCA in action. The calving season continues in full flow, providing great photographic opportunities. You’ll also see a lot of predators still surrounding the plains in search of their next meal.

Ngorongoro in March

For travellers who are looking for an exclusive safari experience, March is the best option. You’ll be able to get the best Ngorongoro Accommodation options within a reasonable price range.

Ngorongoro in April and May

The longs start to fall at the end of March and continue in April and May. Following this, Ngorongoro Conservation Area turns into a stunning landscape filled to the brim with diverse wildlife.

Ngorongoro in June

June is possibly the most optimal month to visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

  • The long rains have begun to almost die down. Yet, the surroundings are still green and vibrant.
  • The safari circuit is also less crowded, as the peak season only starts at the far end of June and early July.

There are not a lot of drawbacks to visiting the NCA in June. But, do keep in mind that the crater rim tends to get very chilly at night. This can be easily countered by packing a few warm clothing items.

Ngorongoro in July and August

In July, the long rains are just a distant memory. The Crater doesn’t dry out completely and wildlife viewing is still amazing as ever. July marks the start of the peak season, so there are more visitors compared to other months.

On the other hand, August is one of the driest months in the NCA. The yellow and dusty landscapes along with the shorter grass make wildlife viewing convenient. But, the hazy skies don’t offer a lot of photographic opportunities.

Ngorongoro in September

The dry season continues in September, leaving the crater floor looking like a bowl of dust and the grasslands dry and yellow. Warm clothing is advised for visitors because of the cold nighttime temperatures.

Ngorongoro in October

This is a transition month in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The beginning of October is the peak of the long dry season. Whereas, towards the end, the short rains arrive bringing with them relief from the extending dryness.

Ngorongoro in November and December

The NCA tends to be pretty warm and wet in November. The short rains are not so heavy as to impact your safaris.

  • They create a spring-like atmosphere across the landscapes following the long dry season.
  • The first of the Palearctic migratory birds start arriving in November which makes for a sensational birdwatching experience.

In December, the short rains provide a refreshing feel to the NCA. This also initiates a lot of breeding activity among birds and mammals. Wildlife is abundant in December, with the migrating wildebeest herds centred on the Serengeti-Ngorongoro border area.

Naturally, there are pros and cons to visiting Ngorongoro according to the month of the year. But, one thing is guaranteed! I.e. spectacular natural beauty and jam-packed wildlife.

preparing for a ngorongoro safari

Planning for a Safari In Tanzania takes time and effort. It’s not like you can visit the nearby store and buy clothes and other essentials. So, to narrow things down the following is a complete packing guide. It’ll help you prepare for a Ngorongoro Safari.

Clothing Essentials – Comfort is the go-to word!

Breathable and comfortable fabrics are the go-to clothing elements when it comes to safaris in the NCA. But, colours shouldn’t be forgotten either. Make sure that you have the below items on your checklist:

  • Pants and long sleeve t-shirts (for Bush-walks and Game Drives)
  • Good Quality boots and sandals
  • A wide-brim hat and sunglasses
  • T-shirt or polo shirt
  • Shorts
  • Long Trousers
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Socks
  • Sleepwear
  • Rain Jackets and rain trousers for the rainy season
  • Toiletries

Some Pro Packing Insights – Avoid wearing bright colours on your game drives because they attract tsetse flies. Also, don’t wear military-inspired or camouflage clothing.

Electronics – One of the major priorities!

Going on a Ngorongoro Safari is an experience that you’ll have just once in your life. So, just enjoy what lies in front of you – the vast wilderness. But, there are a few electronics that will help you heighten the safari experience, make sure you include items such as:

  • A good quality camera with great focal length and zooms lens
  • Extra memory cards
  • Power banks for your smartphones and other electronics
  • Travel adapter
  • Flashlight and headlamp
  • Binoculars (8x42 or 10x42 specification and a magnification capacity of 300 mm)
  • Water-proof or a zip lock bag to carry all the above items

Packing Suggestion – Do not bring hairdryers or hair straighteners with you on Safaris In Tanzania . This is because most of the accommodations won’t have enough power capacity and you won’t be able to operate them. Thus, it’s better to leave them behind.

Travel Documents – Don’t forget the important stuff behind!

Necessary documents should be your utmost priority. Having them in your luggage will make sure that you don’t face any problems on your trip. Include travel documents like:

  • A valid passport
  • Tanzania Visa, (which you can get on arrival [for US citizens the cost is $100, for UK and European Citizens (EU), it costs $50.]
  • A copy of your travel itinerary
  • Proof copy of Health/ Travel insurance
  • Credits cards (Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted)
  • Cash (US Dollars)
  • Medical Certificates
Medical Kit – Better to be on the safe side!

Our travel experts will always be with you in times of emergencies. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, consider having a small go-to medical kit and include the following items:

  • Anti-malaria pills/tablets
  • Antiseptic cream/ointment
  • Antibiotics
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Cold/Flu tablets
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Hand Sanitizer

If you have any prescription medication then include that as well. You can even store them in your carry-on bag. Also, make sure you have vitamin pills or tablets to last for your entire trip.

Packing Tip – Do not bring any plastic items with you on your safari expedition. They are banned in Tanzania. Consider an alternative like zip lock bags and encourage the green initiative of Tanzania.

the ecosystem of ngorongoro

The ecosystem of Ngorongoro is a combination of wildlife, birdlife, and vegetation. They all work together to form a thriving bubble of life. Below we’ll dive into the details of Ngorongoro’s ecosystem.

Flora And Vegetation Of Ngorongoro

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s primary flora is the vibrant green vegetation as well as desert plants. Apart from this, the area is a combination of plenty of short grass, used for grazing, arid and semi-arid plants, highland forests, and lowland vegetation.

  • Extensive stretches of pure bamboo are found in Makarut and Oldeani Mountains.
  • The slopes of the Crater are covered with grasslands and scrub heath. Upland woodlands are home to gum acacia and red thorn acacia while dove weeds are abundant on the lower slopes.
  • All of this flora make for some awesome chances for photographic safaris.

The basin or hollow of the crater is covered by open grasslands with swamps, freshwater lakes and patches of Acacia woodland. The Lerai Forest is home to acacia and yellow fever trees. And, the Laiyanai Forest has Acacia Lahai and Pillar wood.

The plains of the western region are covered with grass and dotted with occasional Commiphora Africana and Umbrella Acacia trees. Around the Lake Eyasi region, Blackthorn Acacia and Zebrawood are common.

The vast grasslands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are rich and untouched by the influences of cultivation. And, they help to support the vast concentration of wildlife.

Wildlife And Birdlife

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area has a huge concentration of more than 25,000 large animals. This includes a population of around 115 mammals. The three primary game-viewing areas are the Ngorongoro Crater, the surroundings of Lake Ndutu, and the short-grass plains of the Gol Mountains.

Animals Of The NCA





African Civets

Grant’s gazelles


Cape Buffalo



African Wild Dogs



Mountain Reedbucks

Black-backed and Golden Jackals




Spotted Hyenas


Serval Cats


Bat-eared Foxes


The black rhino population of the NCA is renowned across Tanzania, thanks to the conservation efforts that have been placed.

  • Hippos can be seen around the permanent freshwater pools around the crater swamps.
  • While giraffes are not present in the Crater, they can be seen in the habitats around Lake Ndutu.
  • Further up the rainforests of the crater rim, you’ll get to spot several animals. They include elephants, jackals, cheetahs, African Wild dogs, leopards, hyenas, and other predators. There are also several lion prides around the crater rim.

The plains regions are where you’ll likely get to see elephants, herds of wildebeests, zebras, cape buffaloes, etc. A few lucky visitors may also get an opportunity to witness harder-to-spot animals like civets and serval cats.

The Annual Migration in Ngorongoro

The Great Wildebeest Migration also makes its way through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This is when over 2 million hooved animals move to the southern part of the area in December. They move out in June to head north. The migrant that passes through the NCA plains includes around 1.8 million wildebeests, 200,000 zebras, and 350,000 gazelles.


More than 550 species of birds have been recorded in the NCA. Some of them are resident species and some are migrants. With such a huge bird population, Ngorongoro can even turn those who aren’t interested in birds into seasoned birdwatchers.

  • Lake Magadi, located on the floor of the crater is often filled with thousands of lesser flamingos and other water birds.
  • They can also be seen around the Empakaai Crater Lake and Lake Ndutu.
  • NCA also welcomes migratory birds from Europe and Northern parts of Africa in the months from November to April.
  • Some examples are pallid harriers, European bee-eater, European storks, Caspian Lapwing, etc.

The forests of Ngorongoro are also rich with birds, including species of hornbills and turaco. On the plains of the NCA, raptors like goshawk and harrier are common.

The best time for birdwatching in the NCA is in the wet season (from November to May). For a comprehensive experience, you should bring with you a pair of binoculars and a birdwatching guidebook.

Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies in a WWF Global Freshwater Eco-region. The area is also an endemic bird region and overlays a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. So, unsurprisingly, it has global importance.

Strong measures have been taken by the NCA authority in terms of conservation efforts. Their principal goal is to safeguard endangered rhinos from illegal poaching. The government of Tanzania is also directly involved in these efforts. Because of this, there has been a significant rise in the population of black rhinos.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

going on a ngorongoro safari

Our safari and travel experts have a deep admiration for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. And it’s exactly why we love to show the beauty of the area to visitors. If you’d also like to experience the fabulous adventures in the NCA, then the following are some of our hand-picked itineraries:

8 Days Tanzania Classic Safari – Your definitive Safari In Tanzania will surely include this itinerary! Experience the glorious destinations of Tanzania on full-day game drives coupled with relaxing and luxurious accommodations.

This includes the charming Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Crater. You’ll get to go on classic game drives, enjoy outdoor Bush picnics and stay in a luxurious accommodation overnight.

6 Days Tanzania Short & Sweet Safari – Don’t be fooled by the name! Because even though this itinerary is short and sweet, it offers some unforgettable experiences.

For example, you’ll get to enjoy a full-day game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater, have lunch by the Hippo Pool and stay in cosy Tanzania Accommodations.

It’s all about game drives when it comes to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. One day is satisfactory if that is all the time you have.

Although another day or two will open up new possibilities and increase your chances of seeing several more animals. You’ll be glad to know that our itineraries are fully customizable! So, you can plan your Safari in Ngorongoro, the way you want.

A wonderful thing about the NCA is that it pairs wonderfully well with other Tanzania Destinations. You can explore some of our itineraries that visitors have a great time on by clicking Safari In Tanzania.

places to discover in ngorongoro

There’s a lot to discover in and around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The choices can be a bit overwhelming, so to help you choose, the following are the best Places To Visit In Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Olduvai Gorge

At the distant end of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, stands the Cradle of Mankind – the Olduvai Gorge! This is one of the most important prehistoric sites on our planet. It’s named after the Maasai word ‘oldupaai’ for the wild sisal that grows around the area.

For anyone who has an interest in prehistoric ancestors, this is a fascinating place. The earliest remains of Homosapiens were found here by Dr Louis and Mary Leakey and were nicknamed ‘Nutcracker Man.’

There’s a museum here where you can visit and admire the 2 million years old fossil remains. Guided walks around the gorge are also a great option to explore the surroundings.

Heroes Point

This is where you will see the stunning sights of Ngorongoro’s Crater floor. Look closely at the floor below and you’ll witness herds of zebras, buffaloes, and wildebeests running across the surroundings. Another unique sight will be the huge elephants on the edge of the Lerai Forest.

Lake Magadi

This lake’s name means salty in the Maasai language. It’s a shallow soda lake located in the southwestern region of the Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania. Lake Magadi is home to several lesser flamingos which makes it a perfect place for birdwatching enthusiasts and a must-visit destination on Safaris In Tanzania.

Lake Natron

Located in the northern Ngorongoro District, Lake Natron is perhaps the most beautiful of all the lakes of the Rift Valley. This lake is renowned for being the breeding ground of lesser flamingos. A great attraction close to the lake is the ‘Mountain of God’ – Ol Doinyo Lengai! This is an active volcano located just south of the lake in the Gregory Rift.

Empakaai Crater

It’s a shame that the Empaakai Crater is a relatively unknown Tanzania Destination. This hidden gem of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located along the highland region. Here, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views and a glimpse of the Ol Doinyo Lengai. Just below the crater floor, birdwatching opportunities are plentiful. You’ll get to see flocks of flamingos along with animals like elephants, cape buffaloes, and hyenas.

Olmoti Crater

Another one of the hidden gems of the NCA! This crater is a fascinating remain of the volcanic activity that shaped the highland region of Ngorongoro. The name of the crater means cooking pot in the Maasai language. You’ll get to see beautiful birds here, including the Verreaux’s Eagle and augur buzzard. There’s also a small waterfall called Munge waterfall at the edge of the Crater floor.

Gol Mountains

These series of ridges rise from the short grass plains near the northern edge of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. These mountain ridges are believed to have originated millions of years before the Ngorongoro Crater. Several herbivores live in the areas surrounding the Gol Mountains.

The amazing Nasera Rock is also located close to the mountains. If you want to travel to a remote place with no other signs of life other than the wildlife and the tribal communities, then this is the place for you.

Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek

Both these lakes are located in the far western region of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The shorter vegetation around the lakes attracts several animals, including herbivores and a range of bird species.

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safari activities in ngorongoro

Few Tanzania Destinations are as rich in wildlife and legacy as the NCA. This wonderful region is a must-visit for any safari enthusiast. Below are the top things you should not miss out on a Safari in Ngorongoro.

Game Drives – Away you’ll go!

The foremost thing every traveller needs to do is go on game drives in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This is for sure going to be the best experience on your Tanzania Safari Tour. The area is overflowing with wildlife and is one of the best places in Africa where you can spot the big five.

  • Once you reach the Ngorongoro Crater floor, you’ll get to observe different animals that were too small to be seen from the rim.
  • Our safari guides will take you to every section of the Crater, including Lerai Forest and Lake Magadi.

You can spend an entire day on a game drive and still not cover the region of the NCA. After a day’s outing, enjoy a lovely picnic on a spot by the Hippo Pool where you can relax and enjoy a delicious lunch.

Nature Walks – Take a stroll along the Bush!

Exploring the rich surroundings and seeing animals and birds up close is a wholly different experience. This is exactly what you’ll get to enjoy in the NCA by going on short and long nature walks along the crater rim. So bask in the cool breeze and relax your mind in the quiet and peaceful surroundings of Ngorongoro.

Cultural Tours – Enjoyment plus Enrichment!

Tanzania Cultural Tours are a great way to learn about the lifestyle of the native tribal communities. And there’s no better place to go on cultural excursions than the NCA because the Maasai people live in harmony with the area’s surrounding and wildlife.

  • On a visit to the Maasai villages, you can buy native arts and crafts at the cultural centres and shops.
  • This way you’ll have a souvenir of your enriching time at Ngorongoro.

The region around Lake Eyasi is home to the native hunter-gatherer tribe known as the Hadzabe. They still live their life in a primitive way and their culture is untouched by outside influences.

Photographic Safaris – Capture the best panoramic snaps!

The extensive wildlife and gorgeous landscapes of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area make it a picturesque safari destination. The best time for a photographic safari is during the early morning and the late evening. On top of wildlife, you will also be able to capture stunning sunrises and sunsets.

Walk in the footsteps of our ancestors at Laetoli!

Safaris To Tanzania would be incomplete without learning about our ancient ancestors. The NCA takes this one step further! This is the place where trails of ancient human footprints were left. Take a journey to this remote place and marvel at how far human beings have come.

accommodations in ngorongoro

After a day full of game drives along the crater rims of the NCA, you will need a comfortable bed. And, Ngorongoro doesn’t disappoint! There is a range of accommodation options, including a budget, mid-range, and luxury choices. Below are some of our handpicked recommendations for Ngorongoro Accommodations:

Tanzania Bush Camp – Accept the call of the wild!

Situated right in the lap of Mother Nature, this Ngorongoro Accommodation is the perfect choice for budget travellers. Those who want a great natural experience certainly won’t be disappointed.

Karibu Camps – Luxury and wilderness of Tanzania are welcoming you!

A blend of authentic Tanzanian wilderness and luxury, this accommodation falls into the mid-range category. Karibu Camps offer you top-notch facilities along with unparalleled hospitality and comfort.

&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge – Nothing but the best!

A safari lodge that’s on top of the world! AndBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is an exotic blend of Victorian furnishings with touches of African influences. This creates a charming atmosphere that’s almost as great as the Ngorongoro Crater itself.

If you want the utmost luxury with amazing amenities then there’s no other perfect choice than this Ngorongoro Accommodation.

These are just some of our accommodation options in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. All of them offer visitors a great deal of comfort throughout their stay which you’ll greatly appreciate after a day of game drives.

interesting facts about ngorongoro conservation area

Over the course of your Safari in Ngorongoro, you’ll be filled with a sense of wonder. Because you won’t know what hidden gems you’ll get to explore the next moment. Each experience on your safari tour will leave you with some memorable encounters.

Before your trip to this wonderful Tanzania Destination, you should know some fascinating facts about safaris here. Because they’ll enrich your safari experience even more. So, let’s get straight to it – the following are some interesting facts about the Ngorongoro Conservation Area:

  • The NCA is home to the world’s largest intact caldera – the Ngorongoro Crater!
  • Home to some of the densest concentrations of predators.
  • There are close to 25,000 large mammals in the NCA.
  • One of the best destinations in East Africa to spot endangered animals and the Big Five.
  • One of the most significant prehistoric and human archaeological research sites on our planet!
  • Around 42,000 people live inside the premises of Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
  • More than 600,000 people visit the NCA every year.
  • There’s a 7-mile lake in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area called Lake Magadi.

ngorongoro through the famous lens

Just like many travellers, the NCA has tugged the heartstrings of celebrities too. This charming destination has been visited by several well-known famous individuals through the years.

Famed visitors include the reverend Jesse Jackson, former president of the United States – Bill Clinton, the Queen of Denmark – Margrethe II, Chris Tucker, Prince William, and John Wayne.

The entire delegation attending the 2008 Leon Sullivan Summit which took place in Arusha National Park also visited the NCA.

Did You Know? – Some scenes from the Academy Award-winning movie Out of Africa and John Wayne’s Hatari were filmed in Ngorongoro.

highlights of the ngorongoro conservation area

  • Home to some of the most diverse wildlife species in Tanzania – with the numbers going above 25,000.
  • The place of the wild sisal – Learn about our ancestors in the Olduvai Gorge and also by visiting the Oldupai Museum.
  • A great place for photographic safaris – with rich grasslands and stunning landscapes.
  • Learn about the tribal communities – On cultural excursions to Maasai bomas and Lake Eyasi, to meet the Hadzabe people.
  • Enjoy an outdoor picnic on the backdrop of the Tanzania Bush!
  • Nature Walks – Discover the flora and fauna of Ngorongoro from a completely different perspective!
  • One of the best places for birdwatching – with more than 550 species of birds and the presence of migratory birds in the wet season.
  • The best place in Tanzania to see the endangered black rhinoceros!

Your Adventure

Book & Experience The Wonder Of Ngorongoro Conservation Area For Yourself. Don't Miss Out!


Ngorongoro is a Maasai term which refers to the sound of the bell that hangs around the neck of the leader cow in a herd. The bell makes a sound like ‘ngor ngor’ which made the native Maasai pastoralists name the area Ngorongoro.

The NCA is situated in the Ngorongoro District, 110 miles west of the city of Arusha. It’s within the Crater Highlands geological region of Northern Tanzania. The coordinates are 3.2279° S, 35.5075° E

The NCA is home to the largest intact and unfolded caldera on Earth – the Ngorongoro Crater. And is a natural sanctuary for some of the densest concentrations of large mammals in Africa. It’s also one of the best places in Africa to see the Big Five.

Getting to the NCA is fairly convenient. There’s an airstrip located on the crater rim, close to the headquarters of the area. You can take a charter flight and fly into the airstrip. Another option to access the area is by road from the town of Arusha. From there it’s just a 3-hour drive to the NCA.

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is the airport nearest to the NCA. It’s approximately midway between the towns of Moshi and Arusha, in the Northern region of Tanzania.

From John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Kilimanjaro International Airport, the flight costs start from $1198 (for Economy Class) and $4350 (for Premium Economy Class). From there, you can hire a car or taxi to the NCA or take a charter flight.

KLM Airlines is the primary airline that connects London City Airport (LCY) to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). The flight costs start from $1148 (for Economy Class) and $3498 (for Premium Economy Class). After landing at Kilimanjaro International Airport you can either hire a taxi or take a charter flight to the airstrip in the NCA.

The entrance fee for Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the high season is $70. And, $60 in the low season. For instance, the average prices for Ngorongoro Crater (including vehicle costs) are:

  • 1-Day Ngorongoro Safari – From $280 (per person)
  • 2-Day Ngorongoro Safari – From $395 (per person, per day)
  • 3-Day Ngorongoro Safari – From $600 (per person, per day)

The NCA can be explored in just a single day. But, to have the best possible safari experience you should at least plan a safari here for two or three days. This way you can explore the vast area completely and take part in lots of safari activities.

Great News, all of the big five animals (Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Cape Buffaloes, and Rhinos) can be seen in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The NCA is one of the best places in Africa to see the big five.

There are more than 25 rhinos present on the premises of the NCA. It’s one of the best places in Africa to see these endangered creatures.

The Ngorongoro Crater is a volcanic caldera located inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Crater is the largest unfilled, inactive, and intact volcanic caldera on the planet. Whereas, the NCA is the overall protected area covering around 8,292 sq. km.

A caldera is a bowl-shaped cavity in the Earth that is generally more than a kilometre in diameter. It has an outer boundary formed by steep slopes. It’s usually formed when the top of a volcano collapses. The Ngorongoro Crater was formed when an active volcano imploded inwards after a huge eruption.

Yes, several tribal people live in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The numbers go above 40,000. The most prominent among them are the Maasai communities. They do not hunt and only practice small-scale agriculture and livestock rearing. They also live in harmony with the surroundings and wildlife of the area.

Strong measures have been taken by the NCA authority in terms of conservation efforts around the area. Their chief goal is to safeguard endangered rhinos from illegal poaching practices. The government of Tanzania is also directly involved in these efforts. Because of this, there has been a significant rise in the population of black rhinos.

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From our clients

Tyler D


WOW! Such an incredible trip, full of animal sightings. Our experience was overall fantastic from start to finish. African scenic safaris is a GREAT choice to do your safari tour!

The Wondrous Capital – Ngorongoro Conservation Area!

Our team of safari experts have had their bags full of safari experiences for decades. They have an everlasting passion for the stunning experiences that Tanzania offers. And we can’t wait to show you the beauty of Ngorongoro. But, don’t take our word for it! Believe the tons of visitors who have gone on a Ngorongoro Safari with us. The following are some words they had to say.

A hub of natural wonders! This describes the Ngorongoro Conservation Area perfectly. Home to the 2 million years old Ngorongoro Crater and some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet – Safaris in Ngorongoro are simply an unforgettable experience.

It’s also one of the only places in Africa where humanity and wildlife coexist in harmony. So, the time has come! The time to get your Safaris in Tanzania on and visit the eighth wonder of Africa – The Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Don’t take our word for it – believe our clients!

The following are the opinions of our satisfied clients who visited Tanzania and had the time of their life.

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