It cost me 5000 Tanzanian shillings to go from Ngorongoro to Arusha. Ben, the safari driver, drove me from the camp ground to the bus stop, which consisted of a small clearing surrounded by 3 shops, and bunch of people waiting for the bus. My co-passengers included Tanzanians dressed in western attire (trousers and shirts), maasai tribal men wearing their traditional shawls, and some live poultry packed in boxes with holes in them to allow the air to flow in. Some of the maasai were also dressed in western attire. The markings on their faces and the holes in their earlobes are dead giveaways. The crater is so wide and the rim is so broad that there are dirt roads that go along the rim. Buses and Land Rovers drive on that road, offering a spectacular view of the crater and the mountain side.
After about one hour of bumpy driving, I saw the gates of the park. The road from the gate to Arusha was tarred, well paved and smooth. I slept all the way to Arusha.
The only way you'll get around the crater is in a four-wheel drive vehicle, in fact, expect for specially designated picnic areas, you aren't even allowed out of the vehicle. The roads are bumpy, especially on the descent and ascent roads, so it is fortunate that you are unlikely to be driving yourself. Even better, the drivers will have a much better idea of good wildlife-watching areas. Sometimes everyone seems to arrive in the same spot at the same time to stare at something exciting, like a leopard, but other times you'll be entirely on your own, especially if you make clear to your driver that you're interested in - for example - close-up birdlife as much as a rhino that's so far away you need an astronomical telescope!
Kumuka organised our safari vehicles for us with Roy Safari's Ltd in Ngorongoro Crater. Our guide was fantastic, getting us into poll position for some excellent game viewing, he was also very informative and friendly. You can also book direct with them... see the website below. The crater is very steep and you need a good vehicle to get you around... So one of these 4x4 companies is a must.
Because of the steep and rough roads that descend into the crater, only 4X4 vehicles are allowed access into the crater. There are seperate roads for ascent and descent, both very steep with danger of mudslides in the rainy season.
It was wet and slushy when we visited because of some rain the previous night and our driver had to carefully negotiate some really precipitous turns as we descended into the crater.
While in Kenya the common safari vehicles are the Combi vans, in Tanzania those are 4x4 vehicles like Toyota Landcruisers or Landrover Defender. Both made especially for safari needs. We used Toyota Landcruiser with an open roof where we could base the TV camera for filming the animals.In this photo we film the elephant.
We used Ebony tours for our 4/5 hour game drive. The price was included in our truck price so i dont know how much it is. They use small vehicles with roofs that come off for good viewing. Lunch is included.
If you're a Baboon short on change, you'd have no problem finding transporation around the crater!!