Pakulala is a simple, permanent tented camp set up in traditional style on the crater rim’s “Simba Special Campsite B”. The camp was opened in 2012 and sits on a sloping, grassy clearing on the Ngorongoro crater’s southwest rim, close to the rarely used airstrip and about 3km from the park headquarters.

Pakulala (whose name means “Sleeping Place”), is the sister camp of Pumzika in the Serengeti, and is a convenient base for Ngorongoro Crater visits.

Of the 11 guest tents, eight are ranged around the west side of a roughly circular clearing in the crater rim’s low forest. They looking eastwards down towards the crater. Three more tents are on the south side of the clearing, with views of the western crater wall. Each of the modestly sized safari tents is comfortably furnished, using single beds standing alone or brought together to create doubles in a bedroom area of around 25m². When we visited the camp was mid-way through switching its beds to all-front-facing beds with headboards.

The rest of the guest tent furniture is made up of leather-upholstered directors’ chairs and iron-framed leather semi-recliner “butterfly chairs”. The tent groundsheets are covered with grass-mat flooring, making for a warm base in this often chilly highland environment. The front of each tent has a simple verandah area for crater-gazing. At the back of the tents, the functional bathrooms are each furnished with a single steel washbasin (with an old jug and pail for ablutions), a safari shower with hot water to order from the staff, and a flush loo.