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Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

California
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Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

I'll be visiting in February and have some nights booked in Ndutu. My question is this... do sightings in Ndutu get really crowded like in Ngorongoro because people drive off road and vehicles crowd the animals space trying to get closer while competing for viewing room?

I have been to Ngorongoro and it can sometimes feel Animal park-ish... does the same thing happen in Ndutu or is the volume of traffic significantly lower, like you would more often experience in the Serengeti.

Any insight would be appreciated.

State College, Pa
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1. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

Not been to either area in Feb so can only comment on conditions in May/Nov for both. At times in Ndutu we hardly saw another vehicle on game drives. And, experienced low density of vehicles in the Crater during second half of day there. Practically had the place to ourselves and still saw plenty.

Prefer to get into the Crater when gate first opens. Enjoy the drive there while dark as nightjars and other more nocturnal wildlife on the road. And was awhile before we saw another vehicle in the Crater even going in from the more frequented eastern gate. That last morning there just as we leveled off onto Crater floor a cheetah strolled across the road even before decent light for pic taking. And, on beginning to exit via the ascent road we had a rhino all to ourselves on the edge of the acacia forest.

Yes, sightings of certain species will often command a gathering of vehicles regardless of where one is.

Enjoy

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

February reports do indicate congestion in Ndutu at times. However, Ndutu is not like the Crater due to the expanse of the space, so definitely more like the Serengeti as it is also grass plains. However, there are fewer maintained roads in Ndutu and the area for viewing is smaller than the Serengeti. There is also the border between Serengeti NP and Ngoro Conservation Area (NCA) which means that crossing it requires extra fees. Ndutu camps are tucked in a small wedge of NCA that is bordered on two sides by Serengeti NP so trying to stay legal to your permits can be complicated and often flouted....depending on where the herds and the cats are.

If it is too congested and you don't want to be there, tell your guide to move on and there is bound to be something else to see. You may always return to that spot and often by then you may have the place to yourself. A sympathetic guide will recommend leaving and returning. Usually what brings the crowds in Ndutu are the cats (often with cubs) and kills. Besides just the congestion the down side to this in Ndutu is the stress added to the young cat families.

I tend to travel off season, but next trip will be a February so I have similar concerns. Now that calving season is becoming more popular, the congestion will most likely continue and increase, I am afraid.

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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3. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

You can't compare the size of Ndutu with that of Ngorongoro the Serengeti is vast and you can easily move to areas where nobody else is. 2,000,000 wildebeest and zebra and antelope won't fit in a matchbox.They will and can be spread over a very large area. One day they will be at Olduvai and the next move onto to Two hills and then onto the the plains between Naabi Hill and Lake Masek.

If you do your game drives around Lake Masek and Ndutu Safari Lodge where there are also about 20 other semi permanent camps probably most pretty large you will see people everywhere.

If you don't want crowds move away from that area the wildlife will be spread all over.

midwest
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4. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

We were on safari last February with EASTCO and in the Ndutu area for 3 nights at their camp. The only time we had many other cars at a sighting was when we saw a Leopard and there were about 13-14 cars around it. We stayed for a bit and left. Our guide, Ezekiel, was great at keeping us away from the crowds! We didn't have that problem at Ngorongoro either. If there was a crowd, we just moved on and found our own special sighting :) Hopefully your guide will know to do that too.

California
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5. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

Thanks for the info all, really looking forward to the coming trip and just wanted to try to clear up that piece in my head. Trying not to get over-excited as I have about 50 days before I leave but find myself daydreaming of vast open plains a light breeze and solitude... some of the best sightings in the Serengeti don't even involve animals.

Ok... back to work!

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

<<some of the best sightings in the Serengeti don't even involve animals>> I hear you. My appreciation of the full moon has chanced since seeing it in the Serenegeti. Serengeti sunsets and clouds have moved me to tears. Taking time to look at the skies has been an addition to my awareness since returning from Tanzania. There is more to a safari than critters. Have a great trip.

Auckland Central...
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7. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

We have been to both but in January this year. There are far fewer vehicles around a "sighting"" ie cheetahs at a kill in the Ndutu area. Vehicles are spread and there are many different areas to be in, such as the lake bed, the forest or the plains. So if a vehicle stops and the guide gets on the radio, it takes a while for others to find you. Or you get there and everyone has moved elsewhere. Ngorongoro, the vehicles get to the sighting quickly and line up on the road... Its fantastic where ever you are,, signing off in envy

8. Re: Ndutu Ngorongoro comparison/information request...

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