About Ngorongoro Crater

Visiting Ngorongoro Crater, as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest inactive unfilled volcanic caldera in the world. Home to over 30,000 animals, the crater was created after a volcano erupted and then quickly collapsed. The result is a stunningly beautiful area that has earned the accolade of being one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The name, Ngorongoro comes from the indigenous Maasai people who were the original inhabitants of the area. It means “The gift of life” and historians believe that this is because of its striking appearance in the landscape. 

What is the budget and time to visit Ngorongoro?

One of the biggest considerations when planning your self-drive safari and trip to the Ngorongoro is when to visit. There are a few different factors that will affect your decision for your self-drive safari. 

  • Peak Season: The peak season runs during the dry season from June until September. During this season, you can see the iconic Wildebeest Migration from Tanzania to Kenya. Many people dream of seeing the herd at a river crossing, and you can see these at the Grumeti or Mara Rivers. At this time means large crowds and more expensive in terms of accommodations, thus self-drive with a rooftop tent will be the best option to minimize the cost.
  • Green Season: Runs during the rain season, from April and May. Traveling during this season is advantageous because the park is not full of people. The rainy reason is also a favorite with nature photographer who is hoping to capture the lush greens and vivid blues of the Ngorongoro.

For detailed charges check the official | Ngorongoro Crater website |.

Where to stay when visiting the Ngorongoro Crater?

While visiting the Ngorongoro Crater, you have options for where to stay. You can choose to stay on the rim of the crater which offers beautiful views and quick access to the crater itself at the beginning of the day. Simba Public Campsite A is the most affordable option on the crater rim. The rest of the campsites on the rim are a so-called special campsite and largely reserved by private safari who bid on them. As an individual, it will be expensive to stay there. Outside crater Karatu is a nice and affordable place to base yourself when visiting the Ngorongoro.

Note: Lodges on the rim of the crater are more expensive

Stay at Karatu in a nearby  Town in the Ngorongoro Highlands and just leave your lodge early to get to the crater in time when animals are still active. In the midrange, you can have a truly unforgettable experience glamping in one of the many tented camps. These camps offer private bathrooms, hot showers, and of course, delicious food cooked up by an onsite chef.

How do I arrange the Ngorongoro entrance permit for self-drive safari?

For the Ngorongoro crater, you need to obtain an entrance quote first.  Before you can go to the gate to actually pay for the park entrance. The NCA is based in Arusha and Karatu and open Monday – Friday. It’s not possible to obtain an NCA entrance quote online. Mili Adventure Africa is happy to arrange on your behalf

What will you see while on self-drive in Ngorongoro Crater?

These are Africa’s most iconic animals, once recognized for how difficult they were to hunt. The Big Five includes elephants, lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, and cape buffalo. Since seeing these animals is easier at the Ngorongoro Crater than anywhere else in Tanzania. You’ll want to begin your game drives as early in the morning as possible while the animals are still active. Later in the day, they prefer to hide in the shade making them much more difficult to find. There are bright pink flocks of flamingos that can be seen in the Ngorongoro Crater although they are more common at the nearby Lake Natron. If you opt to visit during the rainy season instead of during the peak season, you may see (and smell!) hippos during your safari. Be sure to admire these ferocious animals from a safe distance!

You’re all set for self-drive in Tanzania!

Planning a self-drive safari may seem daunting when you’re first setting out. So we hope this guide has helped answer some of your questions about when to travel and what you will see. | Contact Us | for more information about self-drive in the Ngorongoro Crater and planning your self-drive Tanzanian Safari!