Top 5 Things to Do on a Ngorongoro Safari

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Visit the ‘cradle of civilization' while on your Tanzania trip. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a natural and ecological marvel, a place where our ancestors walked over 3 million years ago. Surrounding an old volcano that collapsed to form a caldera, the conservation area is a natural enclosure providing stunning sights and a wide variety of flora and fauna that will definitely blow your mind away. The area is spread over 3000 miles- to ensure that you cover all the spots you must see, you definitely need to know the top 5 things you should not miss out on while on a Ngorongoro safari.

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1. Ngorongoro Crater Tour

This 19km wide crater is one of the largest calderas in the world. What’s unique about a Ngorongoro Crater tour is that the crater is not a lake- and that is extremely rare. The walls of the caldera rise up over 400-600m, providing a stunning and protected enclosure for nature drama to occur.

Check out the Big 5 on the same day!

There are plenty of elephants, wildebeests, zebras, buffaloes and gazelles, and they are hunted by the hyenas, lions, jackals, and leopards. A visit to the crater will also bring you closer to the black rhino- a critically endangered animal.

2. Empakaai Crater

The first time you see the Empakaai Crater, you might not believe your eyes. The alkaline lake in the middle of the crater is surrounded by the steep walls of the caldera, beyond which you can see stunning views of Ol Doniyo Lengai, Tanzania’s active volcano or even the snowy peak of the Kilimanjaro.

Nature at its stunning best

This lake is surrounded by lush green forests with fig trees, blue monkeys, and colorful birds. You can also find buffalos, bush bucks and water bucks, and pink flamingos here.

3. Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge

If the Ngorongoro region is known as the ‘cradle of civilization’, the Olduvai Gorge is probably why. Mary Leakey’s famous discovery of ancient human fossils and tools at the Gorge shed a lot of light on the dawn of human history.

The birthplace of mankind

Marvel at the ancient elephant bones, fossils and tools that have been dug up here. The Gorge, and the museum, will enlighten you, and make you wonder about your place in history.

4. Laetoli

Laetoli is a remote location- but one you must definitely not miss. Laetoli is home to a 27m long trail of hominid (ancestors of humans) footprints that were left here over 3.7 million years ago. This is the best place for you to come close to our ancestors, and marvel at how far humans have come since our humble beginnings.

Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. 

Laetoli’s remote location makes it an incredibly adventurous place to visit as well- so even if you’re not a history buff, this is definitely a bucket list destination.

5. Gol Mountains

Are you an adventurer?

Do you love going off the map, exploring places where few people have gone before? The Gol Mountains are an ideal destination for you. 

The Gol Mountains are home to the Maasai, who still follow their traditional way of life in a cashless society, unaffected by modernity. The mountains are visited by a range of wildlife once the rains come in, so you can see a lot of wildlife here as well.

Experience freedom like you’ve never before.

This is quite a remote location, so it is recommended that you take a safari guide, or a guided tour, so you can make the most out of the journey, and also find a good place to camp in.

Published by Rasmus Juul Olsen, updated on August 8, 2023

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