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Combined Serengeti & Ngorongoro Safaris

The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater really do belong together on a safari itinerary, and not just because they’re geographical neighbors. These are two of Africa’s most glorious attractions, each with its own magic that combines a wonderful wildlife-viewing experience and iconic northern Tanzanian landscapes. The Serengeti is a classic savannah terrain filled with animals against the backdrop of an endless horizon, while Ngorongoro is a more intimate experience, like a lost world of wildlife down on the crater floor. Put them together and you have an extraordinary safari experience to look forward to.

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1-20 of 1,212 Combined Serengeti & Ngorongoro safari packages

7 Questions About Combined Serengeti & Ngorongoro Safaris

 
 

7 Questions About Combined Serengeti & Ngorongoro Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Why is the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater an ideal combination?

“You’re in for such a treat on your Serengeti and Ngorongoro safari because these two world-famous safari destinations complement each other perfectly. Each on its own would be a remarkable trip. But together they’re something special. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro have lots of things in common. Both have astonishing wildlife. Both have beautiful landscapes that, each in its own way, highlight a signature aspect of East African landscapes. Put them together and you can see the Big Five, maybe even a couple of times over. But the subtle differences mean you can get a taste of two worlds. In Ngorongoro you get the most beautiful scenery of northern Tanzania’s Crater Highlands, with deep greens and blues, as well as black rhino, lion, hyena, buffalo, elephant, flamingo and more. Not far away in the Serengeti, you can enjoy the big cats, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and so many additional species; they’re surrounded by the vast savannah plains and flat-topped acacias that are the basis for East Africa’s incredible wildlife offering.”

1

What can I expect from a safari to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater?

“On your Serengeti and Ngorongoro safari you can expect one of the best safaris imaginable. Your safari will almost certainly involve remarkable wildlife encounters (possibly including the Big Five) and just-as-remarkable views of beautiful crater and savannah landscapes. There is nowhere else in Africa where you can enjoy a combination quite like this. And when it comes to the wildlife you can see, these two destinations have both quantity and quality in terms of animals. From a more practical point of view, your safari may include a couple of nights at Ngorongoro Crater (giving one full day to explore the crater and surrounds), and as many days in the Serengeti as you can spare. How your safari works more specifically (for example, whether you fly or drive between the two) will vary from one safari package and one safari operator to the next.”

2

How much does a safari to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater cost?

“There are almost as many different answers to this question as there are safari trips and packages on offer. Factors that determine how much you end up paying are many. For a start, prices vary greatly depending on the accommodation you choose, from budget camping options to high-end luxury tented camps and lodges. Another consideration is the season in which you travel, although high season (which runs from July to March) takes up so much of the year that there aren’t always many options. It can cost as little as half the high-season price if you travel during low season, although you may have to contend with rains and difficult driving conditions as a consequence. The other major thing to take into account when calculating potential costs is the type of safari you want to have. Private safaris are the most expensive, group safaris are cheaper, and self-drive safaris may sit somewhere in between. Whether or not your safari includes any flights will also affect the final cost. As a broad guide, count on paying at least US$150 per person per day for the cheapest camping safari and around US$500 per person per day for a luxury private safari, although this latter figure can go even higher.”

3

What is the ideal holiday length for a safari to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater?

“No matter how long you spend in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, you’ll still wish you had more time here. That being the case, the simple answer is that you should aim to spend as much time here as you can! Realistically, the optimum time to spend on trips like these is at least one week. Most safaris only spend one day (usually two nights) exploring the crater floor, and this should be a minimum for the Ngorongoro leg of the safari. With a little more time, you could spend a further day or more exploring the crater rim, visiting local Maasai communities, and/or getting to know some of the other attractions of the Crater Highlands. For the Serengeti, aim to spend at least four or five days exploring the park. That said, this is a vast national park and if you want to get to know more than one area well, you will need to spend at least a week in the Serengeti alone, and even up to 10 days if you want to include the north. If you’re traveling between the Serengeti and Ngorongoro by road, you’ll need to factor close to a full day’s driving into your plans.”

4

What is the best time to visit the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro?

“The best time to visit both Ngorongoro and the Serengeti is from June to September. The Serengeti is usually also excellent right through until February. These are the best months for enjoying optimum weather and wildlife-viewing conditions. Something else to factor in to your planning is the great wildebeest migration as it passes through the Serengeti. If you’re hoping to see the migration when you’re here, there are some guidelines that you’ll need to think about. In January and February, the wildebeest are usually in the Serengeti’s south giving birth to countless calves. By around June or July the migration is usually somewhere close to the Serengeti’s Western Corridor. In most years, it reaches the north in August or September when it crosses into Kenya’s Masai Mara.”

5

Which other parks can I visit on a Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater safari?

“There are lots of different tours, trips and packages to consider if you want to add on some further parks to your Serengeti and Ngorongoro safari. If you are looking to expand your safari, remember that these two destinations form part of what’s known as Tanzania’s Northern safari circuit, and most safaris of this nature begin in Arusha. The most obvious parks to add, because they lie on or close to the route between Arusha and Ngorongoro, are Tarangire National Park (which is famous for its elephants and giant baobab trees) and Lake Manyara National Park (tree-climbing lions, elephants and abundant birdlife). Closer to Arusha, Arusha National Park (with Mt Meru as its centerpiece) or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro are also possible, although the latter alone will likely add more than a week to your overall safari. Closer to both Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, and far less crowded, Lake Eyasi is the fascinating homeland of the Hadzabe people, while Lake Natron and Ol Doinyo Lengai are stunning destinations in their own right north of Ngorongoro or east of the Serengeti.”

6

How do I get from the Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti?

“There are two ways to get between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti: by road or by plane. Both are possible, and which one you take may depend on how much time you have and how much you want to pay: flying is quicker and more expensive. If you’re driving from Ngorongoro to the Serengeti, the drive is a beautiful one through Maasai country. Expect to encounter Maasai villages and herders along the way, and don’t miss a stop at Olduvai (Oldupai) Gorge and Museum. Two other things to watch out for along the way: the views to the west toward the Serengeti from the Ngorongoro Crater rim, and north from Naabi Hill, the Serengeti National Park headquarters, will give you a superb overview of the savannah plains that seem to go on forever. If you’re flying, it will be in a small plane from one of the little airstrips around the Ngorongoro Crater rim to an airstrip in the Serengeti (depending on where in the park you’re staying). The views along the way are miraculous.”

7

Tanzania Safari Reviews

4.8/5 1177 Reviews
Expert
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.

Much More than a Migration Destination
5/5

For me, Tanzania is a country of two halves. Both hemispheres have been richly endowed with natural beauty and plentiful wildlife, but there are some big differences when it comes to the type of safari experience you’re looking for. The...

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Expert
Gemma Pitcher  –  
Australia AU

Gemma authored several Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

Africa as I pictured it
5/5

I still remember the first picture of Africa I saw when I was a kid. Vast, stretching plains of undulating yellow grass, broken only by flat-topped acacia trees and the odd strolling giraffe, all set beneath the dome of a perfect blue sky....

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Tesla Buys  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Nov 15, 2022
Tanzania has definitely stolen my heart. For sure I will return!
5/5

My daughter and I booked a safari through Kasaka Tours to Mikumi Park, starting from Dar. It was a great experience! The drive to the park is long and with very busy traffic but our driver Peter took so good care of us and was an excellent...

Full Review

Charlie  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Nov 7, 2022
One of the World’s Greatest Safari Destinations
5/5

If you’re looking for a classic African safari experience, visiting Tanzania is one of if not the best places in the world to visit. The abundance of wildlife, picturesque scenery, and kindness of people we interacted with was remarkable....

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Laura  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: Nov 7, 2022
Amazing
5/5

Tanzania is incredible! We booked the safari experience with Simba Adventures and It was fantastic. The guide tour Isaya Masai, we Will repeat with him because he made the experience was perfect. 100% recomended

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Marina spain  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: Nov 6, 2022
Incredible experience
5/5

Magic travel, we felt like living into the movie The Lion King, I can't explain it with words!! We enjoyed each moment and found the Big Five wild animals. It couldn't have been possible without our best guide ISAYA MASAI with his...

Full Review