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Protected Area Ngorongoro Conservation Area

ID: w180281 View large map

Located in Tanzania :: Tanzania
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area


The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was established in 1959. The area's main features include the volcanic crater, the wold's largest inactive volcano, and the Serengeti Plains. In 1979 the Ngorongoro Conservation Area became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also listed as one of the International Biosphere Reserves, accorded by the UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme.

Despite the fame of the Ngorongoro Crater you will still be taken aback. From the gate you enter a verdant, impenetrable jungle with tall trees, creepers and dense shrubbery. The road rises steeply, up and up the slopes of the crater, eventually nearly reaching the 2 300m contour. As you rise you may enter a mist blown in by a south-westerly breeze and the temperature will plumet. At 2,480m above sea level, it’s freezing so make sure you pack a good jacket.

Not far from the gate and once on the rim of the crater, you will reach the best viewpoint. an area that has been cleared of the dense forest that surrounds the crater lip.

This is the largest unbroken volcanic crater in the world whose steep walls rise 600m above its green, grassy plains, a salt lake and the waterways which run through it.
The opposite side is just visible in the hazy far distance. Using binoculars from the viewpoint you may see some larger animals on the crater floor.

Address :  Tanzania
Postal :  P.O. Box 776, Arusha, Tanzania
Contact :  Ngorongoro Conservation Area Information Office
Tel :  +255 27 254 4625

Time Information
Gate Opening and Closing Times :  06:00-18:00

Rates and Payment
Comments :  The crater permit costs $295 for a single entry, camping $165 per night for two people, plus park fees(Oct-2021) An entrance fee is valid for 24 hours & does not include entrance down into the crater. You have to pay an extra 200USD for the vehicle. 50USD pp entry fee per day; 40USD per vehicle entry fee per day (for driving through to the Serengeti); Camping is 30USD pp per day. (Rate info updated June 2015).

Destination Information
Police Hospital Tourist Information Office Petrol Diesel Shops Shopping Centre ATM Lodging Camping Airport Airstrip
Police Telephone :  112
Hospital Telephone :  +255 27 253 4318

Game Viewing 4WD Trails Tours and Excursions Hiking Trails Guided Walks
More Activities :  Walking. Trekking. Visiting the Masai and other tribes. Excursions to Olduvai Gorge.

Travelling Information
Closest Town :  Arusha

There are hotels available in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. (July-15)

There are 2 entrances(descents) into the crater. At the Lemala entrance(east) you may enter and exit the crater. Currently the other exit road is being reconstructed, so one has to exit via Lemala. Find out from local tour operators about the rules and roads as they will know what the current situation is. The guides at the gates don't tell you unless you enquire. Plan your time in the conservancy well to avoid being late and having to pay for another 24 hours! (May-13). Everything to read about the crater says you cannot enter the crater without a registered guide. However, at the Naabi Hill Gate, there was said that it was not necessary so don’t be conned into this by a guide touting for customers(Oct-2021)

One has to drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area if you want to enter Serengeti. It is not possible to pay the entry fees for Ngorongoro at any of their offices or the gate. You have to get the details of their bank accounts for the various banks at their office in Arusha and then deposit the required fees into their bank account. You then have to present the deposit slip at the Ngorongoro office in Karatu, the last village before Ngorongoro. They issue you with a Ngorongoro Card to be presented at the entrance gate. (June 2015).
The crater permit costs $295 for a single entry, camping $165 per night for two people, plus park fees.(Oct-2021)

Don’t be surprised to find a queue of vehicles already waiting to enter early morning. Entry procedures aren’t that clear or efficient and you may need to re-join the queue once again after discovering that you have not completed a required form. (June 2015).

Before visiting the crater make sure you get permission from the Ngorongoro Head Quarters. This is also where you get a guide. You will not be able to enter the park without a guide. You can try to negotiate this, but it will depend who is on duty! Note that the time down in the crater varies from season to season, being only 6 hours in high season, when they control the amount of visitors.

Hospital Contact added is for Karatu Lutheran Hospital. (June-15)

The roads are not good and it takes much longer than one thinks. If you go to Serengeti and come back the same way via the conservancy, you pay the 24 hour fee again. (Mar-12).
A lot of people use 2X4wd, but be careful after rains, a 4WD might be advisable then. (May-13).
The road is an absolute shocker, deep corrugations.(Oct-2021)

No off-road driving. Speed limit is 25 km/h in the conservation area. No more than 5 vehicles around an animal or kill.

The only vehicles allowed in the crater are standard safaris equipment vehicles, equipped with a heavy-duty jack, shovel, axe rope and chain. (June-15).

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