Tanzania, wildlife in the Ngorongoro crater (Safari piece)


Ngorongoro crater. After an unforgettable trekking in the Kilimanjaro we decided to visit the main national parks of northern Tanzania, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and the Serengeti. In this post we will talk about the Ngorongoro crater, an impressive “cage” full of wildlife.

The Ngorongoro crater

Within a protected territory of more than 8,288 km², the Ngorongoro crater with a diameter of 21km and with an area of ​​264 km² occupies just over 3% of the park area. It is possible to find the famous black-haired lion, a multitude of wildebeest, zebras, hippos, rhinos, cheetahs and elephants among others.

Once the ascent to the Kilimanjaro In Arusha we decided to look for life to rent a car, since do it from Tanzania and not from Spain it is much cheaper. We rented a Land Cruiser with driver and cook for the two of us, the Blanquer brothers :), a decision we recommend, especially since the car is for you alone. If you do it by agency, it will be more expensive and you may share the car with other tourists, with the problem of space that it carries. You do not know what luxury it is to be able to see how similar cars were loaded with 9 or 10 people, taking turns taking pictures, and us as kings of the mambo, lying down and taking photos nonstop with our classic Land Cruiser convertible.

Ngorongoro Crater - On the other side

After traveling about 90km from Arusha, we stopped at the edge of the crater to see from the height an immense landscape, where we had the sensation that the ground of the extinct volcano moved. Who knows, would the wildebeest immense herds ?, I don't know, but seeing a perfect crater surrounded by peaks of more than 3,000m knowing beforehand that inside there is a wildlife vergel, makes your nervousness tell the driver , let's go down now!


Before going down to the crater we went to a campsite located at the entrance, where we received a pack of uncontrolled elephants looking for water. What a welcome !, anyone puts the store around here! Well, nothing should be common in these places on the planet because neither the driver nor the owners of the campsite paid attention, come on, as if they were a bunch of kittens looking for food.

Shortly after we take our Land cruiser and we went down to the crater on a dirt road looking far away Makat Lake, a small saline lake that emanates a kind of white smoke.

Already inside the park, we made a small circular tour where we contemplated elusive rhinos, since we could not photograph them, and large herds of wildebeest.

Crater Ngorongoro
Wildebeest in the crater

Of course, near the wildebeest we find a great pack of lions, where the males were doing the bum and the females playing with their young and watching their dinner, possibly a wildebeest with fine herbs ...

Lions in Ngorongoro
Lions in Ngorongoro

For more than 2 hours we were enjoying, feeling and living like a family of lions played among them. The roar of the little ones, the touch of the mother or simply seeing how the young or perhaps adolescent lions watched, makes Africa unforgettable For anyone visiting it.

It is difficult to explain what it feels like, but I still remember those roars of the young and the look of the lionesses, so direct, so integral and at the same time challenging, as if the man was not there, as if we were not a nuisance.

Lions in Ngorongoro

Shortly after we got a hungry dog, not cat ... and we ate a great sandwich that the cook prepared for us, by the way, what a luxury and attentive, especially for those who are not accustomed to these things. Already eaten and served, it reminds me of the school, it took us a lot to start the Land Cruiser to resume the march and leave the lions behind, but it was getting dark and we had to see hippos and a cheetah, one of the most difficult animals to see The cheetah is a nocturnal animal and for the day the only place that can be found is on the branch of a tree, the best way to avoid the sun and possible predators.

When we were leaving the park we found that pack of thirsty elephants that had assaulted the campsite, but this time next to the trees that bordered the fantastic Ngorongoro crater.

Already at the campsite, like all travelers, we start planning the next day, the visit to Lake Manyara, but this is another story and is another trip. Javier Blanquer

Crater del Nrongoro - Camping

Before leaving for Tanzania

  • Search and compare flights at the best price
  • Lonely Planet Guide
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  • Car rental found a 15% discount

When to go?

The whole year is a good time to see wildlife.

How to get?

Either taking a bus from Arusha or carrying a 4 × 4 rental. Getting there is easy, you just have to take the road from Arusha to the Serengeti and turn off at km 171.

The national park opens at 7am and closes at 7pm, although it is at 6pm when cars must leave the crater.

What to wear

In summer it can be a bit cold, so don't forget a coat, water and a camera with a telephoto lens. Eye with the edge of the crater, it can be very cold.

Where to sleep?

There are many places to sleep, but we recommend the campsites that are on the edge of the crater for views and price.

Travel insurance

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