Ngorongoro Crater

The largest unbroken caldera in the world - and it's full of big wild animals


Unique is a thoroughly overused word, but it really does apply to the Ngorongoro Crater and here's why...

This is the largest unbroken caldera in the world - and it's full of big wild animals. The difficulty here is remembering that what you're looking at isn't artificial. And this becomes harder when you realise the only thing to rival the animal population in Ngorongoro is the tourist population...and for this you must be prepared.  On a bad day you'll can find yourself persued by minibuses full of camera-toting tourists each time you stop.  It's probably harsh to suggest that you should miss the Crater out altogether on account of the traffic jams, but our advice would be plan to leave wishing you'd stayed longer, rather than the other way round.

Tourists or no tourists the Crater itself is one of those sights you really have to see to believe; formed with the collapse of a massive volcano (quite possibly rivalling Kilimanjaro in height) it's been preserved as a perfect bowl some 18 km across. The ground area is just over 260 square kilometres and within this relatively small space most of the major east African habitats and mammal species are represented. What's more you have an incredibly good chance of seeing them here on your safari.

The Crater is over a third of a mile deep and the scale and perfection of the thing is staggering. Once on the Crater floor, most of the animals at Ngorongoro, whilst totally wild, are very used to vehicles. This means that they all but ignore them (which at times must be very hard to do) and as a result they can be approached fairly easily. This makes the Ngorongoro Crater an ideal stop on any safari and an excellent place to take children as intervals between animals are generally short and the game is often close enough that you won't need to look with binoculars.


Ngorongoro can be visited at any time of year and the game viewing is always as reliable as it is excellent. While the game viewing is consistently good, the climate of the crater varies considerably and this can have a big impact on temperatures and in particular light for photography.

The early dry season – June to August is very popular with tourists, but it’s  also known for high winds and the low stratus cloud that can cover the Crater for much of the morning making photography difficult. This is one of the reasons why it’s well worth visiting Ngorongoro during the green season between November and May. Far from being something to avoid, it worth recognizing that the rains bring life, great air clarity and a richness of light. Combined with low season prices this makes this time of year a no-brainer for the Ngorongoro Highlands in our view.


When it comes to accommodation the choice is bewildering from boutique camps and lodges to some more esoteric and wild choices.

Whether you have your heart set on a stylish seasonal camp or you'd like to get completely off-grid in this vast and wild park, we've got you covered. Check out some of our favourites below. 

1 / 3



A luxury camp sitting on the edge of the crater

Find out more
2 / 3


Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Extravagant boutique lodge in a truly dramatic location

Find out more
3 / 3


Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

One of the best located lodges allowing good access the crater floor

Find out more



Top 5 Small Safari Camps in Tanzania

On safari small is often beautiful - here's our selection of the top small safari camps in Tanzania...  1. Kichaka - Ruaha The best safari camps...
Read More



Tanzania with your family

Travelling to Tanzania with your family is an outstanding way to spend quality time with your children, immersed in nature and free from the tyranny...
Read More



What should be on your family safari holiday bucket list for 2020?

In this article we highlight some holiday ideas for adventurous families. If you’re thinking about a safari trip for yourself and your children...
Read More



Top 5 tented experiences (as we see things…)

The woodsmoke, the canvas, the night sky above and the night sounds all around. Whatever it is that brings out the inner scout in all of us there are...
Read More

Take the first step

Tell us where you'd like to go...

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure

Talk to us

+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Olly Williams
Olly Williams
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion
Rod Tether
Rod Tether

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.


Outstanding customer service well above the call of duty.

"Natural High arranged a trip to remember ...accommodation first class, transportation on very long road trips was excellent. Spotless . air conditioning .. food and water. Rhino and Tiger sightings to die for.. local agents left nothing to chance ... we felt in the safest hands ... then when we off grid the virus struck... Natural High and their local Agent Banyan took total control and got us from the back of beyond to UK in very worrying and uncertain times. All without us being able to do anything at our end ...outstanding attention to detail. Worth every penny."


Personal service and excellent organisation

"This was our first holiday to be organised by Natural High. We made the enquiry on New Year’s Eve for a departure in February and within a few days they had produced a wonderful-sounding itinerary in Costa Rica. There were helpful notes for packing as they seem to have someone there who has been to any chosen destination. We did do some groundwork for flights but left it to Dial-a-Flight who were also most efficient. We visited the office as it is very local to home and everyone there was cheerful and interested in our upcoming trip. We were presented with a leather file which turned out to be the most useful item en-route for all our paperwork ..... and it smelled lovely!
The holiday was one of our best ever. Not just because we saw a plethora of wildlife, but because there was always someone waiting to whisk us to another destination, be it to the airport, from the airport or a boat to a lodge etc. And they did it with great charm and humour and were always very knowledgeable about any queries we had.
For the last 8 days we had a driver/guide who was just outstanding. He was very familiar with the 3 remaining lodges where we stayed and his rapport with the other staff and guides helped to ensure that we were really well looked after. He was a skilled naturalist, had a great sense of humour and was always putting our welfare first - he made a wonderful companion for the trip.
All of the above meant that it was a really relaxing holiday so that we could maximise our time looking at the flora and fauna of Costa Rica.
We would highly recommend Natural High ...... where next?!"

Ken and Caroline

Natural High

"Brilliant, everything is so well organised. We have had two trips of a lifetime organised by Rod Tether who is also a guide extraordinaire!"

Antony & Jane Braithwaite RT

Fantastic Natural High

"Perfectly organised trip to two great Nomad camps in Tanzania!"


Natural High nailed it again

"Sledding in Sweden was our second wonderful holiday with Natural High. From the moment you speak to them to when you get home the service and attention to detail is wonderful.
Everything is so well planned and organised that you can just sit back and really enjoy your holiday. We couldn’t recommend husky sledding in the north of Sweden more. We all agreed it was one of the best family holidays ever."