​Weather & Climate – Ngorongoro Crater

Philip Briggs
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Tanzania.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Climate Chart Ngorongoro Crater

Climate Chart Ngorongoro Conservation Area – 1,027-3,522m / 3,369-11,555ft

* Averages based on 50 years of monthly climate data, taken from 1km² (0.39mi²) interpolated climate surfaces.
© chart & park data: SafariBookings. © climate grid data: WorldClim project. All rights reserved.

The Ngorongoro Crater has a mild, temperate climate. The area experiences a Wet season with two rainy periods: the short rains from November to December, followed by the long rains from March to May. Rain usually falls in the form of short showers. The crater never gets very hot during the day, but the crater rim gets cold. Warm clothing for early morning game drives is a necessity.

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Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s Climate Compared to the Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a vast area with altitude ranging from 1,027m to 3,522m (3,369ft to 11,555ft). Most people only visit the Ngorongoro Crater. Many people spend the night outside the park, but others spend the night in a lodge or campsite on the crater rim. The crater floor can only be visited during the day. Both the rim (about 2,300m/7,545ft) and floor (about 1,700m/5,577ft) are at higher altitudes and are colder than the overall conservation area. Temperatures drop by about 6.5°C for every 1,000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1,000ft). The difference is more noticeable during the night. Afternoons on the crater floor will be pleasant, but it can be close to freezing on the crater rim at night. The rim also receives quite a lot of rain.

Dry Season June to October

There is lots of sunshine on the crater floor, but the rim is often covered in mist. It tends to be chilly and you’ll need warm clothing for game drives.

  • June, July, August & September – Afternoon temperatures are usually around 19°C/66°F on the crater floor. Sunny, cloudless skies are normal. It gets cold at night, and it can freeze on the crater rim.
  • October – It is usually sunny, but if the short rains arrive early, they could start in late October.

Wet Season November to May

It gets warmer during the day when compared to the Dry season, but mornings are still cold. Afternoon temperatures are usually around 23°C/73°F on the crater floor, while nighttime temperatures are around 6°C/43°F on the crater rim.

  • November & December'Short rains' – These rains are highly unlikely to impact your safari as it won’t rain all day. Showers usually happen in the afternoon. The short rains last about one month and can occur anytime in November to December.
  • January & February – It isn't possible to guess when it will happen with accuracy, but there is usually a time of dry weather between the rains.
  • March, April & May'Long rains' – It often rains, but it rarely lasts the entire day. April and May could experience very chilly conditions due to cold fronts.

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