How to Reach Ngorongoro by Road & by Other Means in 2022

Water in the Ngorongoro Crater

Are you interested in visiting the Ngorongoro Crater and/or the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) soon? Wondering how to reach Ngorongoro by road? If so, here is a bit about that.

How to Reach Ngorongoro by Road: Dar es salaam to Ngorongoro Crater

There are several ways to get from Dar es salaam to the Ngorongoro Crater.

You can do this by road, which is a 14-hour journey that will usually require you to spend the night in either Arusha or Karatu, since entry into the Conservation Area normally happens very early in the morning.

Alternatively, you can fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) and make the rest of the journey by road. It is about a three-and-a-half hour drive from KIA to the Lodoare Gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Lastly, you can fly most of the way from Dar es Salaam to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Read more about which flights are available and to what airstrip closest to the Ngorongoro Crater here.

How to Reach Ngorongoro by Road if You Are Coming From the North

The Serengeti lies north of Ngorongoro, so you can also drive to Ngorongoro from the Serengeti (the two conservation areas are contiguous).

The distance between Seronera (the central valley of the Serengeti) and Naabi Hill Gate, which leads to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is about 50 km.

The road between the Serengeti and Ngorongoro is a main road so is straightforward and not one you are likely to get lost on.

As all travel through conservation areas in Tanzania, it’s best to do this drive with a 4×4.

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How to Reach Ngorongoro By Train

You cannot reach Ngorongoro by train.

How to Reach Serengeti by Train

You cannot reach the Serengeti by train either.

If you would like to travel through Tanzania by train on your way to the Serengeti, the best you can do is to either take the train to Arusha or Mwanza and then connect to the Serengeti from there.

I do not recommend doing this, though, because train service in Tanzania takes a long time and is quite unreliable. I would much more recommend travel by air or road.

How to Go to Ngorongoro Krateret

The most obvious way to get to Ngorongoro is through the city of Arusha, located 99 miles (160 km) from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s main gate.

Arusha is served by Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) which itself is 34 miles (55 km) away from Arusha. (A shuttle runs regularly between KIA and Arusha).

To search for flights between your city and KIA, enter your travel details below and see what great flight deals you can nab.

How to Go to Ngorongoro: fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania
How to reach Ngorongoro: For international visitors to Ngorongoro, a usual first step is to fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania

Once you get to Arusha, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s main gate, the Lodoare Gate, is a 2-3 hours’ drive away on tarmacked road.

Alternatively, you can fly from Arusha to Ngorongoro.

A less obvious but still popular way to get to Ngorongoro is from the west, i.e, through the Serengeti National Park.

You can fly into the Serengeti National Park, or to a city further west such as Mwanza, and then drive through the Serengeti into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area are adjacent to each other.

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(Several years ago, I had the pleasure of driving through both protected areas in a single day on my way from Mugumu to Arusha.

We entered the Serengeti National Park at its Ikoma gate around 10 a.m. and exited through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s Lodoare Gate around 2:30 p.m.

how to reach ngorongoro by road: Lodoare Gate, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
How to go to Ngorongoro: If you are driving from East of the NCA, you will most probably enter the NCA through the Lodoare Gate pictured above.

This included stopping several times to watch wildlife, have lunch, and take pictures on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.

You can read all about that trip here.)

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Photo Credits: Jonathan Gill

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