The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located in the Crater Highlands region of Tanzania, bordering the southeast Serengeti National Park, approx. 25 minutes’ flight or four hours’ drive from Arusha.
The main feature of this popular UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Ngorongoro Crater – a large caldera with sides 600m high, formed by the collapse of a volcano over two million years ago. Its grasslands, forests, swamps and soda lake are home to around 30,000 animals; the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa.
The rich and fertile landscape provides habitat for black rhino, hippo, Thomson’s gazelle, flamingo, wildebeest, buffalo, elephant, zebra, cheetah and a large lion population – but no giraffe, due to the lack of tall acacia trees and the steep crater walls. Towards the west side of the crater, the soda lake of Lake Magadi often sees flamingos line its shores.
Best time to visit
The best times to visit Serengeti National Park are from June to September since animals are more easily seen, although you should plan your trip around the movement of the Migration.
Best time to go: June to September for general wildlife viewing
High Season: Most of the year – July to March (The Ngorongoro Crater will have crowds)
Low Season: April and May (The only time when the crater has few crowds)
Best Weather: June to October (Rainfall is little to none)
Worst Weather: March and April (Peak of wet season)
Getting to Ngorongoro
Arusha is the gateway to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The town can be reached easily by scheduled or charter flights directly to Arusha or connecting through Dar es Salaam. It is also accessible by road.