NGOROGONRO NATIONAL PARK AND CRATER
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area holds the status of a National Park. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans 8,300 square kilometers, stretching from the Rift Valley to the Serengeti. About 2.5 million years ago the young Ngorongoro Volcano became filled with molten rock that then solidified into a crust or roof. As the lava chamber emptied, the solid dome collapsed and from this was formed the largest caldera in the world. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) offers one of the richest wildlife viewing experiences on the African continent. Approximately 25 000 large animals live in the natural enclosure formed by the 300km² crater, while the greater conservancy surroundings are home to wildebeest and zebra migratory movement in the wet season. It is undoubtedly the best place in Africa to see the Big Five, and photo opportunities are superb. The mineral-rich floor of the crater is covered in nutritious grasses, attracting great herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle that can even be seen from the crater rim, swarming across the landscape in great columns. Populations of predators are extraordinarily high and lion and cheetah roam freely, and elusive leopard can often be spotted darting in and out of the Lerai forest.
It was recently voted one of the new Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the last remaining areas in Tanzania where you can see the endangered Black Rhino. A small population is thriving in this idyllic environment, and it remains one of the few wild places where they continue to breed.
In the conservation area lives 56,000 Masai in harmony with the East African Wildlife. Seeing the Masai let their herds share the grazing areas with thousands of Wildebeests and Zebras is unique phenomenon. The encircled grasslands of the crater floor offer excellent game viewing year-round with 25,000 large mammals, including black rhino, zebra and eland, and Africa’s densest population of lion. The rainforests of the crater walls are home to elephant, buffalo, leopard and cheetah, making for spectacular game viewing.
As well as the spectacular wildlife viewing, the NCA is also renowned for its extraordinary flora and fauna. The region is a botanist’s dream, showcasing a landscape of mountain forests, open grass plains and swampy marshland, each with a splendid variety of vegetation and fern species.
At Ngorongoro Crater, you will see dormant and active volcanoes, archaeological treasures, rivers, forests, lakes, grass and sand dunes. A Ngorongoro safari is one for the books!