I had been dying to go to Ngorongoro Crater for years. I was hiking Kili, and I knew I had time to make a day trip there. It’s rather expensive, but I figured I had to take advantage of the opportunity and just do it.
Given that I decided this while I was still on top of Kili, I used Pristine Trails again for this adventure. Pristine was incredible with setting everything up, and ensuring I had a great experience. They were even very transparent about the pricing of the trip, which I really appreciated.
The driver/guide picked me up from Kili and drove me to Arusha for the night. Arusha is about two hours west of Moshi (Kili) and just about three hours east of Ngorongoro. Tourists aren’t supposed to travel at night past 7:30pm in Tanzania, so I couldn’t make it all the way to Ngorongoro before then. The next morning, we started again around 5am and made it to the crater just before 8am.
It takes a good hour to go through the check in points and make your way down into the crater, and once you get there – it is breathtaking. There are zebra and wildebeests everywhere. It’s truly like the Lion King – they’re all just enjoying the land in harmony together. There are dozens of massive hippos in the watering hole. We saw lions, elephants, ostriches, hyenas, buffalos, rhinos. It was so special.
A few things to know before going into the crater. It is the most expensive park fee – around $400 for a group to go in – but I think it is well worth it. On safaris, it can take a lot of time to see different animals. It involves patients and searching. But, at Ngorongoro, all the animals are there, in a rather small area, so it’s pretty easy to see them all in just an afternoon.
We ended up spending about three and a half hours in the crater before driving back to Moshi. Again, it was a very expensive day, but it was worth every penny. I will never forget the feeling of standing up, through the roof of the jeep, having the wind blowing in my face, and looking out at the most gorgeous scene filled with wild animals.
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