A 600 metre deep, 300 sq km volcanic crater, the largest flooded crater in the world at 20kms across, it’s easy to see why this is becoming more and more popular every year with safari-goers. But stunning panoramas aside, it’s one of the best places to see the ‘big 5’ in Africa: Elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, as well as wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, cheetahs, jackals and bat-eared foxes, as well as over 400 different species of bird. In addition to the wildlife, walking, trekking and mountain bike riding are all available in the wider Conservation Area. Also, day trips can be arranged to visit Maasai and other tribes. The options for accommodation come down to two choices: You can stay at a hotel on the crater rim for spectacular panoramic views, but naturally this comes with a rather large price tag, or alternatively you can stay at nearby Karatu. Karatu is better value for money, with smaller more intimate lodging and offers those additional activities explained above, such as trekking, hiking and mountain biking. But it lacks the views. So, when is the best time to go? Well, there is wildlife in the crater year-round, so there is no bad or good time to go. That said, if you want to avoid the crowds, head to Tanzania in its low/rainy season, and you’ll be able to enjoy the crater with less crowds and often cheaper prices. And as a bonus, the lake in the middle of the crater will be at its largest, which attracts more animals and wildlife than at other times of the year.