The Highlands Ngorongoro

Explore the depths of Tanzania!

The Highlands Ngorongoro - Tanzania

Explore the depths of Africa at the highlands Ngorongoro

At some point in history, the Spanish word ‘caldera’ was born from the Latin ‘calderia’ – meaning simply ‘cooking pot’. An apt name for a natural phenomenon baptised in searing volcanic magma. When a volcanic eruption occurs, pressurised magma makes its way to the Earth’s surface, leaving behind a vacuous cavern deep in its crust. If the heft of the magma is too great, the ground has left no choice but to give way, filling the subterranean cavern beneath and leaving a pan-shaped crater, or caldera, where a mountain once stood.

Such a birth occurred three million years ago in what we now know as the Highlands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Northern Tanzania, 2700 feet above sea level. The Ngorongoro Crater cradles a unique self-contained ecosystem replete with all walks of life.

pre-historic landscape

Contrasting the pre-historic landscape, the other-worldly domes of The Highlands breach the lush forest canopy that surrounds the Olmoti Volcano. Constructed of glass and canvas, the tents are decidedly avant-garde, yet manage to complement their surroundings perfectly. Enough to evoke envy from a blue-blooded explorer, they boast luxuriously finished warm wooden interiors that open to breathtaking views of the wondrous landscape at hand. The eight tents at The Highlands Ngorongoro are complemented by a guest area that houses a well-stocked library, a communal seating area surrounding an indoor fireplace, and an inviting bar.

While spending time at the camp is an experience in its own right, guests venturing out of the cocoon of luxury can enjoy some of the most impressive game viewing on the continent in the immediate surrounds. Permanent residents the likes of leopard, hartebeest, lion, zebra and hyena are joined by neighbours such as bushbuck, porcupine and even the flamboyant pink flamingo.

The Highlands Ngorongoro - Tanzania
The Highlands Ngorongoro - Tanzania


Those wanting to explore the area will do well to start by walking the Olmoti Climb. Teeming with birdlife and butterflies, the ancient Maasai cattle trail begins at the camp and makes its way through forest, grasslands and rocky outcrops, offering the final reward of a sweeping vista of the crater itself.

Alternatively, visitors can take a ranger-guided stroll to the Soda Lake on the crater floor. Its close proximity means this is only a half-day excursion, leaving time to break bread with a renowned lion researcher and gain a unique insight into how the various prides interact and coexist in the area. The game drives offer up first-hand encounters with a variety of herbivores and predators alike.

After making the rounds to all the necessary peaks and predators, explorers can indulge their inner anthropologists with an afternoon spent at one of the local Maasai villages, where an eclectic culture embraces centuries of tradition alongside modern life.

Leaving The Highlands Ngorongoro will not be an easy ask, but those who make the trip will depart with a great gift – a deep understanding of and familiarity with the African continent.