The Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers an astonishing variety and depth of things to do. All activities are available from The Highlands.
Explore the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater
Breathtakingly beautiful, the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best places on the continent to see the Big Five and is a highlight of any stay in the NCA. Enjoy a game drive in one of the most game-rich areas in the world. Explore the vast 300km2 floor with an experienced guide and stop for lunch in a shady spot under the trees, maximising your time in this unforgettable landscape.
Explore the Crater Highlands area
The jagged peaks of extinct volcanoes stand out on the skyline whichever way you look in the Crater Highlands – it would be rude not to explore them. Climb to the top of Olmoti for a wonderful view of the entire area, or descend to floor of Empakaai Crater, famous for the pink flamingo that line the shores of the sparkling soda lake.
Bush breakfasts or lunches & hot crater lunches
Maximise your time and enjoy uninterrupted game viewing by taking a packed breakfast or lunch with you on a game drive to enjoy in a shady spot. A hot lunch in the crater can be arranged and is an incredibly special experience.
Climb the flanks of the Olmoti volcano
Starting directly from The Highlands camp, the Olmoti climb follows an ancient Maasai cattle trail through mountain forest, grasslands and rocky outcrops. Make the most of outstanding birding opportunities and the chance to see a vast array of butterfly species. At the top, you are rewarded with a magnificent view of the crater below.
Hike the Empakaai Crater
Descend into the Empakaai crater accompanied by an NCA ranger and walk to the sparkling soda lake on the crater floor, famous for the pink flamingo that congregate on its shores. Because of The Highlands’ proximity to Empakaai, it is the only property in the region that gives you the opportunity to make this a half-day excursion.
Our drivers are all extremely knowledgeable and know exactly how to place their vehicles for photographers. Sandbags for stability are available in our vehicles, which also have charging facilities.
The NCA is renowned for its rich and varied birdlife. Habitats in the region include forest, grassland plains, lakes and marshes, each of which hosts a wide range of bird species, including northern European migrant species that overwinter here. Take note of the variety of birds that live at different altitudes as you descend the caldera and craters. The vast flocks of flamingo that filter-feed in the saline lakes make for exceptional photo opportunities. Specialist birding guides can be arranged for serious twitchers.
Spend time with the local communities
The culture of the local Maasai people is rich and vibrant and a visit to one of the villages in the area is a highly personal experience that delves a little deeper into the traditions that have defined this corner of Africa for centuries. Spend the afternoon with the local Maasai in one of the neighbouring villages to learn about the traditional way of life. School visits may be possible depending on the time of year.