About Ngorongoro Conservation Area

NGORONGORO CRATER

About Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater and conservation Area boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archeological sites in Africa. Often called an ‘African Eden’ and the ‘eighth’ wonder of the natural world’, it is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land use. For Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the idea of multiple land use means to allow humans and wildlife to coexist in a natural setting. Traditional African pastoralists co-operate with Tanzania’s government bodies to help preserve the natural resources of the area and to ensure an experience for tourists.

The Ngorongoro Crater, at 2,286 m. above sea level, is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. Surrounded by very steep walls rising 610 metres from the crater floor, this natural amphitheater measures 19.2 km in diameter and 304 sq. km in area. It is home to up to 30,000 animals, almost half being wildebeest and zebra. Buffalo, elephant, hippo, hyena, jackal, lion, ostrich, several, warthog, bushbuck, eland, hartebeest, reedbuck, waterbuck and huge herds of both Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle are easily seen on the crater floor. Thanks to ant-poaching patrols, the crater is now one of the few places in East Africa where visitors can be certain of seeing black rhino. There number is now approaching 20. Leopard may occasionally be spotted in the trees of the surrounding forest while cheetah are present but rarely seen. Large herds of giraffe live on the rim of the crater and will be seen on the drive to Olduvai Gorge and the Serengeti. Countless flamingo form a pink blanket over the soda lakes while more than 100 species of birds not found in the Serengeti have been spotted. The crater, which has been declared a World heritage site, lies within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which covers more than 8,000 sq. km. It is bounded by Lake Eyasi in the southwest and the Gol Mountains in the north. Roughly in the centre is the Olbalal Swamp and the arid Olduvai Gorge.

Open grassland covers most of the crater floor, turning yellow with wild flowers in June. The Makat Soda Lake is a great attraction for flamingos and other birds, while predators hide in the marsh to ambush animals that come to drink from the river that feeds the lake. Also on the crater floor are swamps, providing water and habitat for elephant and hippo as well as numerous smaller creatures such as frogs, snakes and several cats. Game viewing around Lake Makat is especially rewarding large antelope like Zebra and gazelle come to drink, while herds of hippo’s sunbake in the thick lakeshore mud.

Getting there:
A four hour drive, or one hour flight, from Arusha. A two hour drive from Manyara or Tarangire.

Highlights

  • ALL MEMBERS OF THE BIG FIVE
  • ACTION-PACKED GAME DRIVES AND SAFARI PROGRAMME
  • FABULOUS BIRD WATCHING
  • FOLLOWING THE GREAT MIGRATION
  • MEMORABLE HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES

ACTIVITIES

  • Twice Daily Game viewing drives in open 4X4 safari vehicles with sunrise and sundowner stops
  • Guided Nature Walks
  • Bush breakfasts and dinners at spectacular locations are a specialty
  • Swimming pool and sundeck
  • Massage Services
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides
  • Board games and library of Africa books

WILDLIFE

Ngorongoro Crater is home to approximately 25,000 large animals, mostly ungulates. They include the black rhino, hippos, wildebeest, Burch ell’s zebra, eland, grants and Thomson’s gazelle. The annual ungulate migration passes through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,000 zebra and 470,000 gazelles.