Ngorongoro Crater is unique on this earth – a must to see!
This reserve is one of the fewer places left in Africa (Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania is another) where you can see, if you are lucky, all of the Big Five (Elephant, Buffalo, Rhinoceros, Lion & Leopard). However you are less likely to see as many elephants as in Tarangire or Lake Manyara National Parks. But when you do see them, usually on the inner crater walls or on the rim, they are often very big. If you are lucky enough to see one of the large Ngorongoro Crater bull elephants it will be an impression that will remain with you for ever. A real tusker!
If you prefer camping…
There is both luxury and mid range accommodation on the crater ridge, enough for all tastses. But, if you prefer camping, this is what you can expect…
Many safari goers choose to camp on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, in the public “Simba Campsite”. Simba means lion in swahili. It is possible, though very unlikely that lion would be seen around the camp. Usually you will see zebra grazing on the very same grass that you pitch your tents, impala are sometimes there too and quite often there will be some elephants seen amongst the bushes of the camp perimeter. A number of our tours include Ngorongoro Crater, like this one, or this one for keen trekkers.
Simba Camp’s Star visitor!
Like all National Parks the Ngorongoro Crater Simba campsite has a secure building for the cooks to prepare your foo. Another secure building where the safari groups sit together and eat. Evenings in the “restaurant” are always memorable and the food, from Kanuth Adventures is always good and plentiful. So, after a long day’s safari your group can relax in safety.
Behind the cook house there are the bins for the peeled vegetables and the left over food. Also a large water tank. This often attracts one of the crater’s large bull elephants to help himself to water and perhaps the odd scrap of vegetable. When this happens the cooks come rushing into the restaurant shouting, “He is there! He is there!”. Then each safari group goes out into the dark and stand close to the elephant as it drinks.
Big bull elephants are dangerous, wild animals and it is not wise to be a large group of noisy people. Try not to make them nervous. Do not take flashlight photos, just enjoy the experience of being so close to such a wonderful creature. He will ignore you in that case and just carry on drinking.
The most usual itinerary…
The following morning, very early, you will either be going down into the Ngorongoro Crater for one of the best safari experiences ever,. or you will be going down to one of two other places. To Serengeti National Park or Ol Dupai Gorge, the cradle of mankind. A tour in that gorge is a very interesting and educational tour with knowledgeable guides and lecturers. But no matter where you are heading the early morning Ngorongoro Crater rim is often covered in a little cloud, which to you is like a heavy mist. You may not see much game until you are down in the valley or crater. But frequently, standing on the side of the road, you will see huge, dark grey silhouettes of the big bull elephants. Sometimes in small groups of two or three together. These are the old bulls that have been expelled from the herd as they are no longer of use, the younger bulls have taken over.
Such experiences (and many more down in the Ngorongoro Crater) are very likely but no matter what you see there it is one of the most glorious and spectacular volcanic basins on earth.