Ngorongoro Fly-Camp: Our full report
The Ngorongoro Crater is known for its spectacular scenery and a two-day hike is an excellent way to explore ...... the remote northern rim where most travellers seldom venture. Join experienced safari guides to walk through beautiful montane forest, discover the wonderful birds and plant life, and spend the night in a small tent in the Maasai heartland.This is an exclusive, two-day experience which can be booked as part of a longer safari in northern Tanzania.
The hike starts on the north side of the of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Ngorongoro Highlands. This is quite a drive from the Karatu area, and we advise spending the previous night close to the start point, for example at The Highlands or Lemala Ngorongoro.
You will set out early the next morning, driving to a remote spot on the north side of the Ngorongoro Crater. Leaving your main bags in the vehicles, you will set out on foot heading up into the foothills of the outer crater rim. Over the course of the morning you will pass through a range of landscapes, from ethereal woodlands dominated by flat-top acacias through to rugged mountain sides. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, as while big predators are scarce, antelopes can be spotted in the foliage. The region is also home to a large number of bird species including the beautiful golden-winged sunbird and the cinnamon-chested bee-eater.
After two or three hours of walking you will reach the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and the views from here are breathtaking. It is a wonderful feeling to reach the crater rim on foot, and you really feel you deserve this moment of tranquillity as you take in your surroundings and gaze into the crater below.
From this point you will walk along the edge of the crater, breaking at a suitable spot for lunch. With binoculars you can often see wildlife in the crater below, and you can sometimes even see rhino at a distance.
There are no roads in this part of Tanzania, only small cattle tracks which are used by the Maasai as they herd their cows. There is a real joy in being out in the wilderness, knowing that the only people you are likely to encounter are local Maasai going about their daily lives.
Depending on your pace, you will normally reach your camp around 16:00. Typically the fly-camp will be set up in a small valley just below the crater rim and close to a Maasai village. This is a fairly simple setup and your bed for the night will be in a small two person dome tent which will have been already set up for you by the attentive staff. There is another tent where you will eat dinner, and in the evening you often gather around a small fire to enjoy a drink and swap stories about the day. Bathroom arrangements consist of simple composting toilets and a private, if rudimentary bucket shower (a bucket of hot water and a jug supplied by the staff), which does the job.
If you’re looking for more luxury then it may be possible to walk or drive on to Entamanu Ngorongoro for the night, which is not too far from the normal location of the fly-camp. This will depend on the distance you are prepared to walk and budget you want to allocate to this part of your trip.
Following a hearty breakfast you continue with the adventure. The second day is very flexible. If you’re full of energy you can spend another full day walking through this beautiful landscape, along the north-west rim of the crater, before heading down onto the open plains that stretch out towards the Serengeti. Alternatively you can do a shorter rim walk of 2-3 hours before meeting your vehicle and continuing your safari by road.
It is worth noting that a reasonable level of fitness is required for this excursion. While the walk is mostly on the flat it can be strenuous at times and it is over uneven ground in places. Day 1 is quite long, around 20km, and you won’t have the opportunity to take short cuts or drop out early.
This two-day trip is a private experience and is exclusive for you and your party, typically accepting up to six people.
We really rate this hike and think it is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the Ngorongoro Crater without the crowds. The focus here is not on big game, however for a real wilderness experience with terrific walking and fly-camping then it is a great choice.
Country manager: Tanzania
- Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- This is a two-day experience with one night of fly-camping.
- The two-day hike starts in the Ngorongoro Highlands, behind the northern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. This is around a two-hour drive from the town of Karatu, or around 30 minutes from a camp such as Lemala Ngorongoro.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- We found the food on this two-day hike to be surprisingly good! A packed lunch is provided on your first day, with a selection of sandwiches, chapatti wraps, cakes and fruit to give you with much needed energy for the walk. In the evening you will be served a tasty three-course dinner, which could be chicken cooked over an open grill and served with rice and green salad and followed by tropical fruit kebabs and cream. On another occasion it could be a Swahili feast with a range of traditional Tanzanian dishes. A cooked breakfast is then served in camp before you set off on your second day of walking.
- Dining style
- Group Meals
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- Drinks are included at the fly-camp, although this is a simple camp and the drinks selection is fairly limited.
- The Ngorongoro Fly-Camp is an excellent way to get off the beaten track and explore the remote northern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. There are no roads in this area and you are likely to see few other visitors. Accompanied by an experienced walking guide you will spend two days walking through spectacular scenery whilst keeping an eye out for birds and animals.
- See ideas for Walking
- Attitude towards children
- The hike is safe for children of all ages, however it covers long distances and you are required to walk 20km on day 1. A good level of physical fitness is required.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Children aged five and over are permitted to go on this walk.
- Generally recommended for children
- There are few large predators in this area and it is fine for children to walk. We feel the distances involved are too far for most younger children, however this could be a great option for adventurous teenagers.
- This is a temporary fly-camp which is set up in the middle of the bush, there is no Wi-Fi here.
- Water supply
- Transported in
- Water supply notes
- Filtered water is provided for drinking.
Health & safety
- Medical care
- Staff are first aid trained and there is a first-aid kit on site.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- There are staff on duty throughout the night.
- Fire safety
- Camp staff will ensure the camp fire is properly secure and fully extinguished before breaking camp.
Guided walking safari
Sleeping under the stars
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- There are no laundry facilities at the fly-camp.
- No money is required here.
Other lodges in Ngorongoro Crater
Alternative places to stay in this same area.