Ngorongoro Crater in May?

Old Nov 9th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Ngorongoro Crater in May?

We have just returned from Tanzania and absolutely loved it. We only were able to spend 1 afternoon at the crater, and are already wishing to return. We are going to try and fit in two nights at the crater as a stop over on our trip to Ethiopia/Rwanda next May. I understand this is the raining season and am interested to hear from anyone who was there during this time. Does the rain make it foggy and difficult to spot wildlife? Will it be worth the stop over? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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<b>I understand this is the raining season and am interested to hear from anyone who was there during this time. Does the rain make it foggy and difficult to spot wildlife?</b>

Rain is great for the wildlife but the roads are poorly maintained and if it *really* rains you cannot access large parts of the crater floor without risking getting stuck. Plus it makes the drive down the road on the Serena side very slippery (the road on the Sopa side is less rocky and less steep).

We skipped the crater when we did an April safari, on the recommendation of our guide and outfitter.

Last December the rains were very heavy ... at one point the crater floor was so gummed up that people could not descend and I recall reading that many got stuck at the Sopa and had to sleep on the floor (which sounds very unappealing).

On our trip in mid-January the roads were still muddy and one of the jeeps from the company we used was stuck for 6 hours ... we ferried the passengers to the rim and another jeep arrived from Arusha the next day to continue their trip. We were able to navigate the crater floor OK but were shut out from several areas like the Hippo pools that we had photographed at before.

<b>Will it be worth the stop over?</b>

If the rains are unusually light you'll be fine, if they are 'normal' you can likely get around but will probably not have full access ... if the rains are heavy then you might not be able to get in.

If you are *really* keen on it, and it sounds like you are, maybe try to book with a company that has lodges elsewhere so if you can access the crater you're set and if you can't access it you can go to another one of their lodges elsewhere. For example Serena has lodges at the crater, central Serengeti and Lake Manyara, or Sopa has lodges at the crater (best location), Tarangire and central Serengeti.

That's what I'd do ... we actually tried to cancel two nights at Ngorongoro last January and move to Manyara instead but were unable to do so because the lodge wouldn't give us a refund. (It worked out OK staying there, but we were careful).

Bill
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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We were in the crater last year on June 2/3; as well s this year on May 24/25. Both years were excellent viewing, and not at all rainy.

I beleive the first part of May you may find rain, but not usually the last part.
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 07:05 PM
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I spend three days at the Crater Sopa in the last week of May 2007 and the weather and viewings were excellent. The long rainy season usually lasts till the end of May but this year the short rainy season turned out to be very long and May was fairly dry.
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