Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s legendary game reserves. This vast crater is what remains of a collapsed volcano, but instead of burning lava, it’s filled with a stunning array of wildlife. Views from the rim are glorious (and there are a handful of lodges up there that have jaw-dropping look-outs), but the real treat awaits below. All of the “Big Five” can be spotted here, and Maasai warriors still bring their cows to drink from the lake on the crater floor. In fact “Ngorongoro” actually comes from the sound the tinkling cowbells make.
Look out for prides of lion, a few ellies, cheetah, zebra, hippo, buffalo, and best of all, rhino, which are rarely spotted elsewhere in Tanzania. This is a relatively compact area, so most guests will find that the allocated half-day game drive through the crater is enough to explore, but if you have longer in the area, Olduvai Gorge is nearby and is where the very first footprints of mankind were found. This can work nicely if you’re heading on from the crater to a safari in the Serengeti. Well- if you’re passing one of the world’s most historic sites on the way….
Our pick of places to stay at the Ngorongoro Crater:
For the very best views, stay on the crater rim (there are several larger hotels, and one spectacularly luxurious lodge up here) or for more farmhouse-style options, there are some lovely places to stay in nearby Karatu.