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2-Day Ngorongoro Crater Safari Tours

There is no more beautiful place in East Africa than Ngorongoro and 2 days exploring here is one of the best things you can do anywhere on safari. Most mornings around dawn, mist rolls up and over the crater rim, creating a magical atmosphere in preparation for your day in the crater. Descending into the crater is like entering a lost world, with astonishing wildlife (including black rhino, lion, elephant, spotted hyena, flamingo and so much more) all seen against a backdrop of the deep greens of the crater walls. Up on the rim, too, is a world of forests, wildlife, and Maasai villages. Quite simply, it’s one of the most rewarding places you can visit.

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5 Questions About 2-Day Ngorongoro Crater Safaris


5 Questions About 2-Day Ngorongoro Crater Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Is 2 days enough time to visit the Ngorongoro Crater?

“Yes, 2 days is an excellent amount of time for visiting the crater. You’re not allowed to sleep down in the crater, which means that the only way to explore is on a day’s drive down into and around the crater. That being the case, a 2-day Ngorongoro safari certainly gives you a good amount of time for the main activity here. An extra day could be useful because it will allow you to enjoy more of the crater rim and have additional time for visiting a local Maasai community. It will also allow you to spend a full day in and around the crater without having to worry about what time you arrive and leave.”


What can I expect from a 2-day trip including the Ngorongoro Crater?

“A 2-day Ngorongoro safari means that you’ll only have 1 night here. On the first day, you’ll travel to Ngorongoro, and return late the following day. Most tours take one of the tracks down into the crater in the early morning, usually just after sunrise. In theory, there is a six-hour time limit for each vehicle to remain down in the crater, but this is rarely enforced. Either way, most of 1 of your 2 days (probably the second day) will likely be devoted to the crater, allowing time to fly out on the second day. Depending on what time you arrive here on the first day, you may have time to visit a local Maasai village or explore the trails around the crater rim. At the very least, you’ll visit the lookout that offers sweeping views out over Ngorongoro.”


Where should I stay on an Ngorongoro Crater trip?

“The only places to stay on a 2-day Ngorongoro Crater safari are high on the crater rim or a little further away on the road between Ngorongoro and Karatu. If you’re staying up on the rim, some hotels sit close to the edge and have magnificent views. Otherwise, the choices up here are tucked away in the forest a little back from the edge; some are superb, but won’t have views. I’ve always felt that it’s worth paying for the view, especially if you’re only here for 1 night. Remember that because of the altitude, nights can be extremely cold wherever you stay up here. Down the hill to the south and east, there are some delightful places that occupy coffee estates or farms. These are an hour or more drive from the crater rim, but the setting is delightful. There are no places to stay down in the crater and camping anywhere on the crater floor is not permitted.”


Can I visit a Maasai village on a 2-day Ngorongoro Crater safari?

“A visit to a Maasai village is one of the best things you can do on your 2-day Ngorongoro safari. Since the Maasai were removed from the crater and prevented from grazing their cattle there, all Maasai villages are up on the crater rim. Your tour operator should be able to arrange a visit, but ask what the visit entails. You (and the Maasai you’re visiting) are far more likely to enjoy the experience if it doesn’t involve a large group of camera-toting foreign tourists suddenly descending on a village then departing soon after. Make sure that you have enough time with the Maasai to speak with them and hear their story. You may also be able to spend time with a Maasai guide who can tell you Ngorongoro’s story and show you around some of the local landmarks and explain a little about local life. It might just end up being a highlight of your visit.”


How much does a 2-day Ngorongoro Crater safari cost?

“Expect to pay at least US$200 per person per day for a budget 2-day Ngorongoro Crater safari, and prices can go to US$500 per person per day and much higher for a more luxurious experience. It costs US$50/10 per adult/child per day just to enter Ngorongoro, and you’ll also need to factor into the total cost your transfer to and from Ngorongoro. These will be considerable if you travel by air, which many travelers do. Costs vary greatly from one safari operator to the next. The accommodation you choose will also influence how much you pay for your tour – options range from simple campsites to five-star luxury lodges. Another factor is the type of safari you want. Private safaris are more expensive than group safaris. The time of year when you travel is less of a factor than it is elsewhere, because Ngorongoro is a year-round destination and high season lasts for much of the year (and at least from July to March).”


Ngorongoro Crater Reviews

4.6/5 513 Reviews
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

The Safari of a Lifetime

Sure there will be plenty of other tourists and vehicles bumping and bouncing around inside the crater with you, but there is good reason for this: Ngorongoro is an incredible wildlife area. If you are allergic to crowds and the thought of...

Full Review

Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

Life in the Caldera

I felt completely spellbound on my first trip to Ngorongoro Crater. The rim was shrouded in cloud but as we descended the 600 metres down to the crater floor, this vast caldera opened up before our eyes absolutely teeming with animals – a...

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Laura Ligthart  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Jun 5, 2024

we drove by before we went to Serengeti, so we already experienced the few. The day we drove in the crater we saw a rhino! the landscape in de the crater is already so diffrent from what we saw the days before. it was really surprising....

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Silke  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: May 27, 2024
Many impressions with the Big Five and more.

Price-performance was great! Everything was very well organized. In two days in Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater I was able to see the Big Five and more. The leopard first thing in the morning and the large herds of elephants...

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Whitney Bunts  –  
United States US
Reviewed: May 12, 2024

Omg, Ngorongoro was amazing, there were animals everywhere. After being in the natural habitat of the wild life, I will never visit another zoo. I recommend for everyone to go to a safari once in their life and do it with Vision Safaris

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Maazen  –  
Saudi Arabia SA
Reviewed: Apr 12, 2024

We came during the long rainy season. Good thing about it is that prices are lower and the crowds are smaller. We saw many animals at close range including lions and nice and strange birds like the marabou stork. The scenery is so...

Full Review