"A Garden of Eden?" Top 5 Page for this destination Ngorongoro by toonsarah

Ngorongoro Travel Guide: 162 reviews and 487 photos

Maasai herders in the Ngorongoro Crater

This was my favourite of the three safari locations we visited in Tanzania. It had everything going for it – a fantastic luxury lodge in a spectacular setting, plenty of wildlife to photograph and the opportunity to see something of local culture by visiting a Maasai village.

The Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera – 610 metres deep, 20 kilometres across and 260 square kilometres in area. It was formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two to three million years ago.

The crater plays host to almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa, with an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater, and the protected environment and plentiful water and food available on the Crater floor throughout the year means that many of them never leave (resulting in serious in-breeding among the lions, for instance). This “captive” wildlife means that great sightings are guaranteed year round.

We spent one whole day driving in the crater and during that time saw:
~ hippos
~ rhinos (a mother and baby)
~ lions (a pride of five asleep under a tree)
~ cheetah family (parents and three cubs)
~ gazelles (both Grants and Thompsons)
~ zebra
~ wildebeest
~ buffalo
~ hyena
~ warthogs


Birds seen included:
~ flamingos
~ crested cranes
~ bustard
~ black kites
~ sacred ibis
~ marabou stork
~ ostrich

You can read about the other destinations we visited on this trip on my Tanzania, Tarangire and Zanzibar pages.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:A paradise for humans and wildlife (except perhaps for the inbred lions)
  • Last visit to Ngorongoro: Oct 1999
  • Intro Updated Dec 24, 2011
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (7)

Comments (12)

  • Penelope4's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    Sarah, thanks for posting this hotel tip and the hint when (and how to book it). I hope to stay there in the 2nd week of February.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Very interesting tips about animal and bird-spotting, and your visit to the Maasai. Thanks for explaining about craters and calderas.

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Sounds like a fascinating place, Sarah. Love the Jungle Pub but fear I'd not be able to afford all the beer I'd like. Ah, the price of being a jungle king. ;)

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    I'm reading Assegai at the moment which is filled with these landscapes and people :)

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    What an amazing area to visit. I see what you mean about the lodge and it's location. Beautiful!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    How beautiful this is, Sarah :-)) I never imagined how serene and magic Ngorogoro caldera (learnt something) would be! Oh, I remember Serena hotels, and this one is exceptional in its setting :-)

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    What a wonderful animal-watching and birdwatching trip! The name of Ngorongoro sounds so attractive since childhood... Good of you, Sarah!

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    genuinely interesting stuff here. enjoyed the read. ta.

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    Yes, I agree with Sonja, Ngorongoro is amazing ! I visited this place in 1994. I think we camped on a campsite not far from the Serena hotel.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Ngorongoro is an amazing place! I was lucky to visit in 1989. We were camping on the rim near a fancy hotel and had problems with an ant invasion.


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 7
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 7 1

Badges & Stats in Ngorongoro

  • 7 Reviews
  • 23 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 1,414PageViews

Have you been to Ngorongoro?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Ngorongoro

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (12)