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4-Day Ngorongoro Crater Safari Tours

Everyone should visit Ngorongoro Crater at least once in their lifetime. This is the quintessential safari destination, with a combination of drama-filled landscapes brought to life by big populations of wildlife that you only find here in Africa. Ngorongoro also hosts some of northern Tanzania’s best accommodation choices. And it’s close to numerous other attractions which can be combined with a visit to Ngorongoro on a 4-day safari. These range from the well known – Serengeti, Lake Manyara or the historically significant Olduvai (Oldupai) Gorge and Museum – to the less famous – Lake Eyasi or the Crater Highlands.

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1-20 of 291 Ngorongoro Crater 4-day trips, itineraries, holidays, packages & vacations

5 Questions About 4-Day Ngorongoro Crater Safaris


5 Questions About 4-Day Ngorongoro Crater Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Which parks can I visit on a 4-day Ngorongoro Crater safari?

“With 4 days to explore the region, make sure you dedicate one of these days to a full day exploring Ngorongoro Crater. A little extra time around Ngorongoro could also pay huge dividends, if you allow space in your itinerary for a visit to a Maasai village, a hike through the forests around the crater rim, or an excursion further into the Crater Highlands (to little-known Olmoti Crater, for example). With all or most of these as part of your tour, you may have time to include one other park. The two most obvious choices are the Serengeti (which is vast and deserves a lot more time) or Lake Manyara. If you do go to the Serengeti, consider flying from Ngorongoro, both for the views and to maximize your limited time in the Serengeti. Famous for its elephants and its tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara is a compact park well-suited as an add-on to your visit to Ngorongoro.”


Which animals am I likely to see?

“Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best wildlife experiences you can have. The crater floor has prides of lions, clans of hyenas, herds of elephants and flocks of flamingos. Perhaps the biggest drawcard is the population of black rhinos: Ngorongoro is the easiest place in northern Tanzania to see these prehistoric creatures. They’re present elsewhere, including in the Serengeti, but they can be very hard to see there. And, of course, you can expect to see so much more while you’re here, including hippo, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, cheetah and crocodile. Watch also for golden jackal and the occasional leopard. There’s also wildlife in the forests up on the crater rim, although they’re much more difficult to see. Highlights might include elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard and a range of antelope species.”


Which activities are available on a safari including the Ngorongoro Crater?

“Everyone who visits Ngorongoro goes on a guided game drive. Even if you’re on a self-drive safari, you’re required to take a guide with you down into the crater for the duration of your visit. A game drive usually begins around dawn, with a descent into the crater, where you’ll spend the best part of the day driving around, looking for animals and enjoying the view. Officially, each vehicle may only spend six hours down in the crater. Although this rule is rarely enforced, you’ll be back up on the crater rim by mid- to late afternoon. Other worthwhile activities include hiking in the forests around the crater rim, or elsewhere in the Crater Highlands, and a visit to a Maasai village (of which there are a handful up on or near the crater rim).”


How can I avoid the crowds when visiting the Ngorongoro Crater?

“Ngorongoro is busy year-round and it can be difficult to avoid the crowds. That said, the crater floor is large enough that it doesn’t always feel crowded, even during peak tourist seasons. The limited number of campsites, lodges and tented camps in the Ngorongoro area (when compared to other northern Tanzanian destinations) also keeps something of a lid on visitor numbers. Even so, there will be times when you’re down in the crater (at the popular lunch picnic spot of Ngoitoktok Springs, for example) where you’ll long for a little more serenity. High season runs from July to March, and the crater is busy for most of that time. Outside of these months, there’s a risk of rain in April and May; many Ngorongoro tracks become quagmires after rains. One of the best options is to visit in late May (and hope for fine weather) or June, when visitor numbers should be a little lower.”


How much does a 4-day Ngorongoro Crater safari cost?

“A 4-day Ngorongoro safari will usually cost at least US$150 per person per day for the cheapest budget camping safari (where you may need to help out with camp chores). At the other end of the scale, you could pay US$500 per person per day or even significantly more than that. Prices obviously increase if you factor in an air transfer to and from Ngorongoro. You also need to include a daily fee of US$50/10 per adult/child for every day you spend within the boundaries of the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority. Accommodation is a major cost variable, and so is the kind of safari you choose. If you go for a private safari, you’ll pay a lot more than you will if you decide on a group safari. On a private safari, the guide, driver and vehicle will be yours and yours alone to enjoy and pay for. On a group safari, these costs and experiences are shared. High-season prices can also push the overall cost higher, although the difference between low- and high-season prices is relatively small at Ngorongoro when compared with other northern Tanzanian destinations.”


Ngorongoro Crater Reviews

4.6/5 442 Reviews
Mary Fitzpatrick  –  
United States US

Mary is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including South Africa, Tanzania, East Africa and Africa.

Wildlife-filled Crater & Magnificent Vistas

Ngorongoro Crater is expensive, but the scenery, and the density and variety of the wildlife, are unparalleled. With its quintessential East African vistas awash with wildlife, and surrounding landscapes graced by the local Maasai, it is...

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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

Jellen Goossens  –  
Croatia HR
Reviewed: Mar 22, 2023

The atmosphere in this unique environment is particular. The flat surface allows unique views and understanding the role it plays in the great migration is very interesting. The absence of trees has an influence on the presence and...

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Linda S  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 25, 2023

The crater is well known for it's natural beauty and high concentration of animals available. As a result, it is the site of lots of day trippers. We got there early, but after 10am the roads were crowded with vehicles. When a lion was...

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Jan Robertson  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 22, 2022

We saw lots of wildlife there, but nothing more than we saw in Tarangire and Serengeti. And the drive up to the rim of the crater we through thick fog and pretty scary. Once we got down into the crater the viewing was good.

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Diana Calixto  –  
Colombia CO
Reviewed: Aug 15, 2022

Astonishing. It is incredible the different environments the Crater has within it. We move from sabana, to bushes, to lakes.. We saw plenty of wild animals including all the expected ones such as elephants, lions, zebras, wildebeests,...

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