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Is it worth visiting the crater- would require driving from serengeti and finishing in Arusha same day

serengeti tanzania ngorogoro crater arusha driving

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#1 sek07

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 12:12 AM

We have the following itinerary for this coming February 2017

 

Arrive Kiliminjaro Airport 8:30pm

1 night  at Treetops Lodge in Arusha

3 nights Serian Kusini

4 nights Serian Kassekio (Serengeti South)

Fly out 9:45pm from Kilimanjaro on the final day

 

we have been presented with the option of driving from the southern serengeti to the Ngorogoro crater as a day trip.  Has anyone done this and then continued on to Arusha?  It certainly would make for a really long day given that we would fly out late that night. How long is the ride to and from the crater?

 

One thought is we could get a day room in Arusha to shower and have dinner on the tail end of the trip before heading to the airport for our late flight.

 

this will be our 3rd trip to east africa but we have never made it to the crater.  We are very aware of the negative aspects of it (the crowds etc..) but we do have some desire to witness one of the natural wonders of the world.

 

We very much appreciate opinions and any data on distances/times.  

 

thanks

 

 



#2 Atravelynn

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 01:23 AM

I'd ask the agent to provide suggested times to see how much time you'd get at the crater per their calculations.  Here are my calculations based on trips covering these areas.  I am open to corrections.

 

Southern Serengeti to the Crater is about 3 hours

 

Crater gate to Arusha is about 3.5- 4 hours

 

Remember another hour or so from Arusah to Kili, if you are flying internationally.

 

So 6 am departure (and I am not sure you can be driving around much before that)  means an arrival down in the crater about 9 am, takes time to get down there.

Stay in crater until 1 pm, giving you 4 hours, and depart.  Get to the gate and do formalities about 1:30 pm.

1:30 - 5:30 to Arusha.

 

You'd need about 90 minutes in the day room to shower and maybe get something quick from room service.  That's 7 pm

 

Get to the airport (JRO) about 8 pm.  If your flight is 10 pm or later (international) that could work.  But it allows for no delays etc.  In Feb rains can cause delays from having to pull over or from river flooding.


Edited by Atravelynn, 01 December 2016 - 01:25 AM.

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#3 lmonmm

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:08 PM

@sek07   my tiny voice/opinion :)   I know what everyone says about the "touristiness" of the crater but I have to say....my very first ever trip to Africa (just finished my 9th trip :)  )  was to Kenya and Tanzania and the crater was on the itinerary...I think some of my most surreal moments of that first trip were sitting on my balcony of my touristy lodge watching the crater as the sun went down and then when it came up. The colors were astonishing, it was so quiet.....truly one of the most unique experiences. The trips into the crater were great too, but I wouldn't have given up those moments watching this incredible beautiful geographic wonder for all the money in the world and those moments will be with me forever. Rushing to get into the crater and out...I don't know...I think you lose out on much of the beauty that it has to offer. But, just my opinion  :)



#4 sek07

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:43 PM

@Atravelynn and @imonmm thank you so much for your responses.  I think after contemplating the time/distances involved and then getting on a 20+ hour multiple flight trip home it just doesn't make sense.  I will come back someday and include it in an itinerary where we can stay at a 'touristy lodge' and relax and watch the sunrise/sunset.   thanks again.
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#5 Atravelynn

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 01:48 AM

I would  avoid it only due to your scrunched schedule not because the popularity and # of vehicles.  You can get away from the crowds--provided you have the time.


When you think of a rhino, think of a tree (African proverb)

#6 PT123

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 02:15 PM

I think Lynn detailed the schedule quite well and it looks like there is ample time.  The crater is spectacular and I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.  Yes it can feel a bit busy but in my opinion it is a unique experience (especially the drive down and back up).  Also, the drive to Arusha town is quite scenic. Go for it (you can sleep on the plane)!


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#7 janzin

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 02:41 PM

The crater was one of our highlights of our Tanzania trip. We didn't find it crowded at all, but we were the first down in the morning (we actually went down twice.) Its spectacular...don't miss if if you can possibly fit it in. Its not just the wildlife but the whole other-worldliness of being in this unique place, I can't explain it but it was very moving to me!


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#8 Atravelynn

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 05:42 PM

I think Lynn detailed the schedule quite well and it looks like there is ample time.  The crater is spectacular and I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.  Yes it can feel a bit busy but in my opinion it is a unique experience (especially the drive down and back up).  Also, the drive to Arusha town is quite scenic. Go for it (you can sleep on the plane)!

So you feel this is enough time.  It seems @sek07 may be able to return on a more relaxed schedule, even enjoying the sunset at a crater accommodation.  But if it was this schedule for a once in a lifetime crater visit or skip it, I'd go for it too.


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#9 jeffb

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 06:01 PM

My favorite part of our crater visit was a walk with a ranger on the rim of the crater. We took about 1.5 or 2 hours, had numerous great views of the crater from the rim, learned about some medicinal plants, and saw some wildlife (giraffes) on foot. We finished up with a walk by a Maasai village. I enjoyed this more than the drive down into the crater the following day, but of course everyone's different. If this appeals to you, you could easily fit this into your drive back to Arusha and it would give you a chance to get out and stretch your legs in the midst of a long drive with a long flight ahead of you. Your TO can arrange it for you, and you could save a trip into the crater for another trip when you have more time.


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#10 PT123

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:49 PM

 

Its not just the wildlife but the whole other-worldliness of being in this unique place, I can't explain it but it was very moving to me!

 

Well said @janzin -  It is hard to put into words how one feels when you are on the crater floor looking at the walls with a layer of clouds over the rim (like a layer of frosting on a cake). It is a unique experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.


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#11 PT123

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:56 PM

 

I think Lynn detailed the schedule quite well and it looks like there is ample time.  The crater is spectacular and I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.  Yes it can feel a bit busy but in my opinion it is a unique experience (especially the drive down and back up).  Also, the drive to Arusha town is quite scenic. Go for it (you can sleep on the plane)!

So you feel this is enough time.  It seems @sek07 may be able to return on a more relaxed schedule, even enjoying the sunset at a crater accommodation.  But if it was this schedule for a once in a lifetime crater visit or skip it, I'd go for it too.

 

 

Yes, totally!  Also, after leaving the crater the drive down the escarpment through mto wa mbu was quite beautiful and I would think a very nice way to end a safari...perhaps even a peak at Mt. Meru or Kili as you are getting down towards Arusha.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: serengeti, tanzania, ngorogoro crater, arusha, driving


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