After the pick up from your hotel to Zanzibar airport, you will embark on an early domestic direct flight from Zanzibar to Lake Ndutu airstrip, located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This area marks the southern part of the vast Serengeti ecosystem. After a short meet & greet with your Safari guide, you travel towards the main attraction of Ngorongoro, the famous crater. A massive volcanic caldera formed millions of years ago when a large volcano collapsed in on itself, this natural wonder will take your breath away. The caldera is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter and has a floor area of around 260 square kilometers (100 square miles).
The Ngorongoro Crater is home to an incredible variety of wildlife. It’s often referred to as an “Garden of Eden” due to the concentration and diversity of species within its confines. The crater supports the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) as well as cheetahs, hyenas, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and many bird species.
Today you will explore the Lake Ndutu area, a seasonal alkaline lake that plays a significant role in supporting wildlife and birdlife, especially during the Great Migration. Ndutu is a vital stopover for animals during the wildebeest calving season from January to March. The lake’s abundant water and fresh grasses attract a large number of herbivores, which in turn attracts predators like lions and cheetahs. Because of this presence of water and the resulting concentration of animals, Lake Ndutu is considered one of the best spots for wildlife viewing in Africa. Safari guests have the opportunity to witness predator-prey interactions and the stunning sight of thousands of wildebeest and zebras grazing on the surrounding plains.
Lions, cheetahs, small-spotted genets, caracals, elephants, giraffes, leopards, owls, and striped hyenas are the principal animal species found around this lake. It won’t take long before you see all five of the big five animals because it’s the only site where you can find them all in one small area. The six different species of big cats—leopards, lions, cheetahs, caracals, servals, and wildcats—can only be found in the Ndutu region.
Your Safari guide will bring you back to Lake Ndutu airstrip (late afternoon) for your return flight to Zanzibar, followed by a transfer to your beach hotel.