Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Authority Area is a truly one of the most magnificent testaments to the beauty of Tanzania’s land. The popular tourist stop spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. A multiple land use area, and currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro features wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing. Perhaps most notably, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest and only intact caldera.
Almost nearly three million years old, the Ngorongoro Crater is the most famous feature and focal point of both the park and Conservation area. The ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth ,and spans 260 square kilometres – over 600m deep, so those with vertigo beware: the rim of the crater is at an altitude of 2400m
The ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth, with a very high game concentration on the Crater floor. This includes wildebeest, black rhino and a number of black-maned lions. Cheetah move in and out of the Crater, and Maasai herdsmen graze their cattle side by side with these varieties of predators and prey.
You may also be able to spot the infamously elusive leopard, which (if you have a keen eye) can be seen lounging along the branches of the trees. Giant tusked elephants may be seen wandering about and in the northern plains, you can witness the awe-inspiring annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals – frequently said to be incredibly moving and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Not only are globally threatened species sheltered in Ngorongoro, but the area is a centre for scientific inquiry. Extensive archaeological research has yielded a long sequence of evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back 3.6 million years. This ancient area holds many secrets and wonders. So, those travelling with an interest in human history will be pleased to explore such a valuable site – and those without such interest, might very well discover it here!
Ngorongoro, as one of the most visited and popular parks and areas in Tanzania, has all the expected luxuries and recreational activities of an attraction of its stature – game drives, luxury lodges, hotels – yet all pay close attention to their effect on the highly sensitive environment, and visitors to the area are naturally expected to do likewise.
The best time to visit the Ngorongoro is between June to September.
Animals you will see: The Ngorongoro Crater includes most of the animal species found in East Africa. Hippopotamus, Zebra, Black Rhino, Elephant, wildebeest, common eland, Thompsons gazelle, waterbuck, buffalo, eland and the crater lion.