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Ngorongoro Highlands

The Ngorongoro Highlands are a dramatic range of volcanic mountains that straddle the Great Rift Valey escarpment immediately to the south of the Serengeti. The Highlands area offers truly spectacular panoramic views of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and provides the perfect place to stay on a visit to the area. With loads of activities ranging from walking safaris through to horse riding the Ngorongoro Highlands is sure to be a highlight on any safari itinerary.

Fast Facts

Major Attractions
  • Olduvai Gorge
  • Olmoti and Empakaai Craters
  • Gol Mountains
  • Mount Lolmalasin(3rd highest in behind Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru)
  • Lake Ndutu
  • Lake Natron
  • Ol' Doinyo Lengai
  • Walking safaris
  • Trekking safari
  • Horse riding
  • Olduvai Gorge Museum
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area(NCA) is 8,292 sq kms(3,200sq miles) with the Highlands comprising 25% of this area.
  • The Ngorongoro Highands forms part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area forms part of the northern circuit of Tanzania.


The Ngorongoro Highlands are a dramatic range of volcanic mountains that straddle the Great Rift Valey escarpment immediately to the south of the Serengeti. This is an ideal area to enjoy walking and camping safaris with truly spectacular views from the peaks, some of which reach over 11,000ft above sea level.



The terrain embraces several distinct habitats from open grasslands to mountain forest, and from scrub bushland to highland heath. The area contains sites of paleontological and archaeological importance.

Two main geological rifts run through the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. Nine volcanoes in the Ngorongoro highlands were formed during the past 4 million years. One of these volcanoes, Oldonyo Lengai(Swahili meaning is ‘Mountain of God’) is still active. Over millennia the ash and dust from each eruption has been carried by the winds to form the fertile soils of the Serengeti plains.

There are 9 craters  within the boundaries of the Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Crater is a deep volcanic crater, which happens to be the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world. The Ngorongoro crater is 19.2kms in diameter, 610m deep and 304 square kms in area.


There is much variation in climate within the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area due to the altitude differences throughout the region. There is a dry season from June to October and a wet season from November to May. The wet season is divided into the ‘short rains’ from November to December, and the ‘long rains’ from February to May. It is often cloudy on the highlands and in summer it rains almost everyday. Ngorongoro’s annual rainfall varies from 450mm on the plains in the north-west to over 1600mm on the highlands.

Temperatures in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area vary from 3 degrees to 35 degrees. Frost occurs on the highest mountain tops and temperatures are always lower along the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater than on its floor. The coldest months are from June to August.

Accommodation at Ngorongoro Highlands

African Sunstar Resort

African Sunstar Resort

The African Sunstar Resort overlooks the most captivating mountain range. From here, the best of Ngorongoro is at your doorstep.

Bouganvillea Safari Lodge 2

Bougainvillea Safari Lodge

Due to its location, this simple but comfortable lodge is a great place for a stop over on your way to Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater.

Tanzania Safari, SafariHQ

Country Lodge

The lodge is surrounded by trees and consists of cottages surrounding a grassy garden full of flowers, trees and tropical shrubbery.

Crater Forest Tented Camp01

Crater Forest Tented Camp

Crater Forest Tented Camp is operated as an eco-friendly small scale camp. All tented rooms are under thatch, stylishly furnished and all on platforms with magnificent views over the Ngorongoro Forest.


Endoro Lodge

With outstanding views to the Ngorongoro Highland Forest, you will experience the beauty and essence of nature at Endoro Lodge.

Gibbs Farm, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania Safari, SafariHQ

Gibbs Farm

Each farm cottage is nestled in its own secluded flower garden, has spacious interiors with panoramic windows, private verandah, wraparound fireplace and garden bathroom with an indoor and outdoor shower.

Ngorongoro farmhouse2

Ngorongoro Farm House

The Ngorongoro Farm House is just outside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Set in 750 acres of private farmland, it is comfortable, well laid out and has lovely views across to Oldeani Volcano.

Plantation Lodge 01

Plantation Lodge

Like a green oasis, Plantation Lodge rests on the soft, red-brown hills amidst the beauty of East Africa. The individually furnished rooms and suites melting harmoniously into the flowering garden offer comfort and relaxation.

The Manor Ngorongoro 2

The Manor At Ngorongoro

Nestled in the luscious Shangri-La coffee estate, The Manor at offers beautiful, country-style cottages set in lovely, green gardens.

Tloma Lodge 3

Tloma Lodge

The excellent location of Tloma Lodge on the raised shoulder of a valley, offers breathtaking views over a coffee plantation and onto the eastern wall of the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater.

Optional Activities in Ngorongoro Highlands