The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unflooded and uninterrupted volcanic caldera on earth, occupying around 100 square miles of prime wildlife habitat. Open grasslands cover the crater floor while verdant montane forests grow up the walls, towards the rim. The salty Lake Magadi attracts large seasonal flocks of flamingos that create a dense, spectacularly pink mass that visitors can view during game drives. A expansive swamp towards the eastern side is home to wallowing hippos, elephants, lions and many other creatures drawn to the water. Within the natural confines of the crater live 25,000 big game animals, including rare black rhinos, hippos, wildebeest, zebra, eland, gazelles, elephants, servals, buffalo, waterbuck and an especially dense population of lions. The abundant wildlife means that Ngorongoro is a fascinating place to go on game drives with many chances to see wildlife and snap incredible photographs.
Because it is so famous, the crater attracts large numbers of visitors meaning lots of traffic, especially in the high season. Because of this we recommend that people just take it for what it is...a great day driving down on the crater floor, a small part of a much larger safari ending in the Serengeti.
Lodging can be big, and for the most part, unattractive lodges perched on the rim of the crater or more charming smaller lodges and farmhouse in the village of Karatu about 30 minutes away. In fact unless guests really want the on the rim experience, we typically recommend avoiding the traffic and staying in Karatu.