Ndutu Airstrip

The Ndutu Airstrip may be small, but it plays a crucial role in Tanzania’s tourism industry, connecting visitors to some of the most incredible natural wonders in Africa.

This small airstrip is located just south of Lake Ndutu and provides easy access to the surrounding areas. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Ndutu Airstrip, including its location, facilities, and the best time to visit.

Whether you’re planning a safari adventure or a scientific research expedition, the Ndutu Airstrip offers convenient and reliable services and a gateway to the wilds of Tanzania.

So why wait? Book your flight to the Ndutu Airstrip today and start your adventure in the heart of Africa!

Are you planning a safari to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area? If so, you’ll likely pass through the Ndutu Airstrip, a small but vital aviation hub located in the heart of the Ndutu Plains. Here’s everything you need to know about the Ndutu Airstrip, including its history, location, services, and attractions.

Ndutu Airstrip: An Introduction

The Ndutu Airstrip is a single-runway airstrip located in the Ndutu Plains, a grassy savanna region that straddles the border between the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania. The airstrip is situated at an altitude of 5,700 feet (1,740 meters) above sea level and has a gravel runway that measures 1,000 meters long and 30 meters wide.

History of Ndutu Airstrip

The Ndutu Airstrip was first constructed in the 1970s as a private airstrip for the use of tourists visiting the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Over the years, it has grown in popularity and is now a vital aviation hub for safari operators, researchers, and wildlife enthusiasts.

Ndutu Airstrip: Location and Accessibility

Ndutu Airstrip is situated in the Ndutu area, which is part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is about a 5-minute drive south of Lake Ndutu and adjacent to the Ndutu ranger post. The airstrip is approximately 280 kilometers (174 miles) west of Arusha and can be reached by air or road.

The Ndutu Airstrip is located approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Arusha, the main city and gateway to Tanzania’s northern tourism circuit. It is accessible by air from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, and other major cities in Tanzania. Scheduled and chartered flights are available from several airlines, including Coastal Aviation, Safari Air Link, and Regional Air.

Getting to Ndutu Airstrip

There are two ways to get to Ndutu Airstrip: by air or by road. Several airlines operate flights to Ndutu Airstrip from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and other airports in Tanzania. The flights are usually short and take around an hour or less.

If you prefer to travel by road, you can hire a vehicle from Arusha or one of the other nearby towns. The drive takes approximately 6-7 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. However, keep in mind that the roads can be bumpy and rough, especially during the rainy season.

Best Time to Visit Ndutu Airstrip

Ndutu Airstrip is open throughout the year, but the best time to visit is from December to March when the wildebeest migration is in the area. During this period, millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles move from the Serengeti to the Ndutu area to give birth to their young. It is a remarkable sight to see and is often referred to as the calving season.

During the rest of the year, Ndutu still offers excellent game viewing opportunities, with predators such as lions and cheetahs often seen in the area. The wildebeest may not be present, but you can still see other animals like elephants, giraffes, and buffalo.

Ndutu Airstrip: Services and Facilities

Despite its small size, Ndutu Airstrip has several facilities that make it convenient for travelers. There are toilets available for public use, a parking area for vehicles, and a small airport lounge where you can wait for your flight. However, keep in mind that only small planes can land at this airstrip.

Despite its small size, the Ndutu Airstrip offers several services and facilities for travelers, including:

  • A small terminal building with basic amenities
  • Ground transportation to nearby lodges and camps
  • Safari vehicles and guides for hire
  • Fuel and maintenance services for private aircraft
  • 24-hour security and safety measures

Ndutu Airstrip: Attractions and Activities

The Ndutu Airstrip is surrounded by some of the most spectacular wildlife reserves in Tanzania, making it an ideal base for safari adventures. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to enjoy near the Ndutu Airstrip:

1. Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous wildlife reserves in Africa, known for its vast open grasslands, stunning landscapes, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can witness the annual wildebeest migration, spot the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos), and explore the park’s many rivers, forests, and rock formations.

2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans over 8,000 square kilometers (3,100 square miles) of pristine wilderness. It is home to the Ngorongoro Crater, a massive volcanic caldera that hosts a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including lions, hyenas, zebras, wildebeests, and rare black rhinos.

3. Lake Ndutu

Lake Ndutu is a shallow alkaline lake that attracts thousands of flamingos and other water birds throughout the year. Visitors can take guided walks along the lake shore, enjoy scenic picnics, and watch the sunrise or sunset over the sparkling waters.

4. Olduvai Gorge

The Olduvai Gorge is a paleontological site located about 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of the Ndutu Airstrip. It is known for its significant discoveries of early human fossils, including the famous “Lucy” skeleton, which dates back over 3 million years. Visitors can take guided tours of the gorge and learn about the history of human evolution.

5. Hot Air Balloon Safaris

For a unique and unforgettable experience, consider taking a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti. You’ll soar above the plains and witness stunning views of the sunrise, wildlife, and landscapes from a bird’s eye perspective.

Ndutu Airstrip: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the Ndutu Airstrip open to the public?

Yes, the Ndutu Airstrip is open to the public and serves as an important aviation hub for travelers visiting the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

  1. Can I rent a car at the Ndutu Airstrip?

No, car rentals are not available at the Ndutu Airstrip. However, you can arrange for ground transportation to nearby lodges and camps through your safari operator or accommodation provider.

  1. Is there accommodation near the Ndutu Airstrip?

Yes, there are several lodges and camps located within a short distance of the Ndutu Airstrip, including Ndutu Safari Lodge, Ndutu Kati Kati Tented Camp, and Ndutu Under Canvas.

  1. Are there any restaurants or cafes at the Ndutu Airstrip?

No, there are no restaurants or cafes at the Ndutu Airstrip. However, some of the nearby lodges and camps offer dining options.

  1. Can I book a hot air balloon safari from the Ndutu Airstrip?

Yes, several tour operators offer hot air balloon safaris that depart from the Ndutu Airstrip. It is recommended to book in advance.

  1. What is the best time to visit the Ndutu Airstrip?

The Ndutu Airstrip is open year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests and preferences. The dry season (June-October) offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, while the green season (November-May) is ideal for birdwatching, photography, and witnessing the wildebeest calving season.

More FAQs About Ndutu Airstrip

  1. Can large planes land at Ndutu Airstrip? No, Ndutu Airstrip is too small for large planes. Only small planes can land at this airstrip.
  2. Is there accommodation near Ndutu Airstrip? Yes, there are several special campsites, tented camps, and lodges near Ndutu Airstrip. Some of the popular options include Ndutu Safari Lodge, Ndutu Under Canvas, and Lake Masek Tented Camp.
  3. What is the weather like at Ndutu Airstrip? Ndutu Airstrip is located in a savannah ecosystem with a semi-arid climate. The area receives most of its rainfall between November and May, with the long rains falling from March to May. The short rains occur from October to December.
  4. Is it safe to visit Ndutu Airstrip? Yes, it is safe to visit Ndutu Airstrip and the surrounding areas. However, it’s always advisable to take necessary precautions while traveling,

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