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Ngorongoro Crater Budget Safari Tours

Ngorongoro Crater is one of my favorite places anywhere in Africa, and if I had to choose one place to go on holiday, Ngorongoro would always be near the top of my list. No matter how many times I descend into the crater at Ngorongoro, I still feel the same sense of anticipation, as if I’m entering a hidden world alive with possibility and with wildlife. Every time I’ve been in the crater I’ve seen lions, elephants and black rhinos, but these are just the start in this beautiful place. Ngorongoro is also well-suited to a budget safari, with plenty of camping places around the crater rim, and lots of affordable tours to choose from.

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1-20 of 833 cheap tours, packages and holidays to Ngorongoro Crater

4 Questions About Ngorongoro Crater Budget Safaris


4 Questions About Ngorongoro Crater Budget Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Where should I stay to visit the Ngorongoro Crater on a budget?

“The best general area to stay while on your Ngorongoro Crater budget safari is up on the crater rim. Staying down inside the crater is not allowed and not even the Maasai are allowed to spend the night there. The best way to see Ngorongoro is to drive down into the crater at dawn, so it’s best to stay up on the rim (where it can be very cold overnight!) on the night before your visit at least. Staying up on or close to the rim also means you’re closer to the Maasai villages (some of which you can visit) and to the other attractions of the Crater Highlands. The best campsites are those close to the actual edge of the rim: from there you should be able to see out across (and down into) the crater. There are lots of other places not far away, a little back from the edge and surrounded by forests where elephant, buffalo and even lion are known to wander. The other possibility is a little further away, down the hill from the crater rim and along (or just off) the road between Ngorongoro and the town of Karatu.”


What type of accommodation can I expect on cheap Ngorongoro Crater packages?

“To keep your Ngorongoro Crater safari affordable, you’ll almost certainly be camping. Especially when it comes to those cheap campsites right by the crater rim, this will usually just mean a camping tent where you’ll sleep on a ground mattress. There may also be some basic communal facilities, such as showers and toilets. During busy periods, the tents can sometimes be a little closely pitched to each other. Make sure that the safari operator provides you with blankets – it can get really cold up here due to the altitude! If you’re staying in one of the campsites or simple lodges a little away from the rim, you may sleep in a safari tent with a canvas floor and an actual bed. Some of these have communal cooking facilities and a shared dining area. If you’re staying down in Karatu, you might have a simple room with or without an en suite bathroom.”


How do I avoid the crowds on an Ngorongoro Crater trip?

“Ngorongoro is a really popular destination, and because everyone who comes here goes down into the crater, it can be difficult to avoid the crowds. Even so, it shouldn’t be enough to spoil your holiday. Ngorongoro is a bigger place than it looks and for most of the time that you’re down in the crater, you can steer clear of the other vehicles. Sometimes it may not be possible: at a lion kill, for example, or at the Ngoitoktok Springs area where everyone stops for a picnic lunch. You could also plan your trip so that you travel outside of the busy months, although there aren’t many of these; high season runs from July to March. Parts of March, all of April and into May is when rains are most likely; after rains, many tracks around Ngorongoro get very muddy. Late May or most of June can be fine and also a little quieter.”


How much does an Ngorongoro Crater budget safari cost?

“It may be difficult to find an Ngorongoro Crater budget safari for less than US$150 per person per day. That’s partly because you have to pay US$50/10 per adult/child for each day that you’re in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You should always ask your safari tour operator what’s included and what’s excluded from the price that you’re quoted. The cost of most budget safari packages should include all camping equipment, fuel, meals and a guide who will accompany you throughout your visit. It will also include a vehicle for getting around and a guided visit down into the Crater (which should last most of the day). Transfers, park fees, a visit to a local Maasai village and any other activities may or may not be included.”


Ngorongoro Crater Reviews

4.6/5 503 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...

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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...

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Elizabeth Goli  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Mar 3, 2024

Ngorongoro was the standout location. It's like a well stocked safari park where you are guaranteed to see just about every animal except leopards and giraffe. The early morning drive down into the caldera was a highlight as in the...

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Anna J  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 10, 2024

The scenery here was so drastically different from the other national parks, it was absolutely breathtaking from the top and bottom of the crater. Very exciting views of black rhinos and hippos from afar. Large variety and sighting of...

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