Tanzania, Travels

Safari experience at the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater Safari was our last destination in the five days Northern Circuit Honeymoon Safari in Tanzania. Our guide, Deo from Easy Travel had informed us beforehand that the game drive at the Ngorongoro Crater was our well-deserved dessert after the fantastic starter and main course experience at the Lake Manyara National Park and Serengeti National Park, respectively. Well, I was definitely intrigued by his description of the safaris in terms of a meal.

Related post: Game drive experience at the Lake Manyara National Park

Ngorongoro Crater Safari

The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area is located between Lake Manyara region and the Serengeti National Park. The crater is one of the largest inactive volcanic caldera, which was formed when a volcano erupted about three million years ago. Ngorongoro Crater is listed as “One of Seven Natural Wonders of Africa” and having done my research well before I left for my trip, I was looking forward to visiting this stunning place.

We got our first glimpse of the Crater from a viewpoint on top of the crater rim, en route Serengeti National Park from the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge. From the viewpoint we got bird’s-eye view of the caldera and just looking at the sight in front of me, I instantly fell in love with the place. The Ngorongoro Crater viewpoint is a perfect spot to enjoy the gorgeous landscape and also one of the most preferred places for clicking pictures of the crater from the top.

Related Post: Stay experience with Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Safari

Ngorongoro Crater Safari

My husband and I were eagerly looking forward to the safari experience at the Ngorongoro Crater. And after spending two adventurous days in the wilderness of the Serengeti National Park, we were finally back at the Crater. As soon as we started our descent to the crater floor, Deo got a signal from a fellow guide about spotting a Rhinoceros; Deo quickly drove the Land Cruiser to the given location. As we were cruising down the crater I kept my fingers crossed, hoping the Rhino does not move from the spot. This was our only opportunity to spot the hook-lipped (black) rhinoceros as we had not spotted any in Serengeti safari. Spotting the black Rhino would also mean that I could tick off the Big Five in Tanzania list: Lion, Rhinoceros, Leopard, African Elephant, and the African Bush Elephant.

Related Post: 48 hours in Serengeti National Park

Ngorongoro Crater Safari

And voilà, just like that Deo stopped the vehicle midway and handed us the binoculars. At a distance, we could spot the Rhino peacefully grazing completely unaware of us lurking around. Even though it was pretty far away from us, I was delighted to just watch through my binoculars and be grateful of finally seeing these endangered species (it is said that only 26 Rhinos currently exist in the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area).

Ngorongoro Crater Safari
The Black Rhino

We hung around the place for a couple of minutes, as Deo told us the reason behind the extinction of these animals and how these harmless animals were destroyed for selfish gains, and it was truly heart-breaking to listen to these stories. I could only pray and hope that people develop a conscience and take responsibility to protect such an endangered species and help them thrive. This also made me realize the true significance of the strict rules and regulations, and constant surveillance at all the National Parks I visited in the past few days.

With mixed feelings we drove around the Ngorongoro Crater passing through the stunning flora, Zebras and wildebeests playing around the grasslands. The clouds were setting over the Crater as we reached a spot where a herd of lions was lounging peacefully along with their cubs. The sight was not very different from what we had witnessed at the Serengeti National Park. However, at one point, as we were driving down a small cliff, we almost came face to face with a lioness, who was sitting on the edge and for a second I feared her jumping on us for invading her space and clicking too many pictures of her. Thankfully, nothing as such happened and we got out unscathed from there.

Ngorongoro Crater SafariNgorongoro Crater Safari

Just then it started showering and the entire place lit up with lush greenery within minutes. Our drive in the rain brought us again near the fellow Rhino, who was rushing to find shelter I suppose, we followed him around for few miles until he disappeared behind the forest. We took a quick lunch break in the picnic area of the Crater, then proceed to towards the Hippo Pool. Just like in Lake Manyara National Park game drive, the Hippos refused to come out of the water. Even the post-rain cool temperature was not a tempting option for the creatures.

Ngorongoro Crater Safari

Ngorongoro Crater Safari
Chasing in the rain
Ngorongoro Crater Safari
The Hippo Pool

Ngorongoro Crater SafariNgorongoro Crater Safari

Ngorongoro Crater SafariNgorongoro Crater SafariNgorongoro Crater SafariNgorongoro Crater Safari

After an hour or so driving through the gorgeous Crater grounds, we decided to call it a day and head to the top of the crater where our hotel, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge was located. On arriving at our room at the lodge we were greeted by one of the most gorgeous views of the crater from the balcony. This, in my opinion, was the perfect ending to our safari trip in Tanzania before we headed off to Zanzibar for some beach time.

Ngorongoro Crater Safari
Our room at the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Safari
View from our room
Ngorongoro Crater Safari
African Acrobat show at the lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Safari
Celebrating our successful safari experience with a candlelight dinner

The Ngorongoro Crater safari was unlike any other safari experience and I highly recommend it to everyone who is considering an out of the world safari experience in Tanzania. Combining the Lake Manyara, Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater was indeed an ideal choice for our Northern Circuit safari and I cannot think of a better way than this to experience the African wilderness. 

Hope you guys enjoyed reading our post, do leave us a comment on your thoughts on the National Park and the experience!

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57 thoughts on “Safari experience at the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

  1. The Ngorongoro Crater safari in Tanzania must been a dream come true! I know its now one of my dream to see these wild animals! Especially before all of them will be gone! Human are selfish for sure!
    The landscape is incredible with all the animals scattered all over the park! I hope to experience it myself one day.

    1. Completely agree with you! Wish you all the best, hope you get to see all these incredible creatures soon.

  2. Sounds like a fantastic experience. I’m so jealous of you spotting the rhino, it’s the only one I’m still missing off my ‘big 5’ safari list as well. Ngorogoro crater sounds like a great place to go on safari, would love to go sometime.

    1. I was really lucky with spotting the Rhino. Had actually given hopes of seeing one in the safari after 4 days of game drive.

  3. Amazing! We’ve been to Africa before, and fell in love with the Big 5 (not to mention the smaller hundreds!). I’d love to visit Tanzania and this looks like a gorgeous place. Seeing all those animals in the wild is such an incredible experience.

  4. That whole thing is a crater?? My goodness! It is absolutely huge and to think that was how many millions years ago?? Our natural world never ceases to amaze me and I can see why its one of the 7 wonders of the African world. And you’re lucky you managed to spot some animals in their natural habitat. I hear its not always the case. The black rhino looks formidable. Wouldn’t want that charging at me!

  5. I visited Ngorogoro many years ago, and immediately fell in love with the landscape. The area is huge and photos don’t really do it justice! However, I loved the photos you too; it looks like you had a great time there, and met a few of the locals too! Good to know none of the animals were disturbed by the clicking of the camer!

  6. Tanzania is so high on our list. I think your guide was right, it’s a well-deserved DESSERT 😉 Seeing so many wild animals up and close would have been an enthralling experience for sure. The landscape looks amazing too.

  7. A safari in a crater? Wow, sounds pretty cool. I can’t believe I haven’t as yet made it to Africa, I’d love to visit Serengeti National Park but even a safari at the Ngorongoro seems like a good add-on experience. Such a lovely sight, I am sure, to see the wild beasts, zebras, lions lounging. Adding this to my list!

  8. Wow this safari looks like quite an adventure! Tanzania has been on my bucket list for so long. Seeing all those animals in the wold.must be quite an experience.

  9. The Ngorongoro Crater is indeed a revelation. Though it seems to be lesser known than say Serengeti it has its own undeniable charm.Your pictures bring alive in vivid colour and drama the theatre that is Africa in all its intriguing detail.

  10. What a beautiful post. You can’t get closer to nature then a safari park in Africa. This tops my bucket list and by reading this post I really want to tick off. The animals look absolutely stunning and the photos you have captured are as beautiful. The hotel with the entertainment is another great part of the whole experience. Thanks for sharing

  11. I am sooooo happy that you were able to spot a Rhino on your safari tour at the Ngorongoro Crater Safari!! What a wonderful present to have during your honeymoon holiday. Now you can officially check off the big 5, how exciting. I wasn’t so lucky, we missed seeing a Rhino on our trip years ago. I hope one day we’ll be as lucky as you.

    1. Oh, that’s really bad. I feel really lucky to have spotted the Rhino! Hope you get to see them soon too.

  12. This is everything I imagined a Safari to be! I love the pictures! The animals in the wild, the landscapes and even the hotel was charming! I hope I can do this one day. Thanks for sharing!

  13. The Ngorongoro Crater safari looks quite interesting. I loved the flatland and those grassland. The photos are quite inviting as well. Tanzania is high on my list. Hopefully someday I will land there. Thanks for the detailed information.

  14. Wow! Visiting this place on your honeymoon is a wild idea. Bringing in two aspects of nature that I love, Volcanoes and Wildlife, is simply awesome. The view from your room is, too. Did you by chance see a hunt as well?

  15. No wonder the place is one of the seven wonders of Africa. The place is breathtakingly beautiful. We were planning for a trip to the African wilderness next year, I will keep Safari at Ngorongoro in mind. That pic of African acrobat is so cool. Did they perform it at the hotel?

  16. WOW!!! I was already in awe with all of the safari pics… but then I saw your room…and i was even more like WOW!! haha

    Great tips! Thank you!!

  17. What an incredible experience you had at the Ngorogoro crater. I remember visiting myself many years ago and falling head over heels in love with the place. The hotel you stayed at looks like the kind of place I’d love to frequent, and has a rustic African vibe too. Would love to revist Tanzania again and this place one day.

  18. I must say that you have travelled to some of the most beautiful parts of the world and yes this is another stunner. The Safari Park is one which tips my list and I am planning on a visit to Africa next year. Starting with Tanzania I will try and visit this place. The Black rhino is certainly something I want to see before we lose them in the future. Very well presented and live the photos as well.

  19. Wow, I really envy you for such an experience. It must have been fantastic to stand there on top of this crater with such a view. It is quite clear for me why it is called One of Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. All these impressive and beautiful animals I only know from Zoos here in Europe so far but I wish to see them with my own eyes live in the Wilderness one day.

  20. wow this place looks unbelievably wonderful! I am dreaming to visit Africa soon especially to take part of safari and Ngorongoro Crater seems like a perfect place! Those animals looks so stunning! Seems like you choose the best place! Thank you for your recommendation, ill defiantly save if for future! Love your photos!

  21. The view of the whole ground is picture perfect. I haven’t experience safari tour and glad you gals had a great time. Where is your next destination?

  22. Ngorongoro Crater Safari has indeed many beautiful creatures like the rhino, zebra, lions and more. It’s just so lovely to stare at them even without of course touching them. My partner had been to Africa particularly in Safari to spend his birthday and I was so jealous! But anyway, soon we’ll go back there together ! How awesome is the African Acrobat show at the lodge? so flex people!

  23. Wow! This is amazing. I have never been to Tanzania but I am actually dying to experience something like this. The view is breathtaking and seeing these animals up close is just wonderful.

    Thank you for sharing this post. Made me appreciate the wild more.

  24. Tanzania is very special to me though I’ve never been there. Apart from the ‘famous’ foreign countries, Tanzania was the first country I came to know of, coz I found a postal stamp from there. This happened when I was probably in 6th grade. I hope to visit there soon.
    Good to know that you managed to spot the endangered Rhinos.

  25. Africa and African safaris are my favourite places in the world. We have had the pleasure of going on safari in Kenya, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. It looks like you saw some incredible animals and some beautiful scenery. I can’t wait to go back. I haven’t been to the crater but hope to one day.

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