The Ngorongoro crater is popularly known as the eighth wonder of the world. It covers an area of 259 square kilometers (100 square miles). The walls of the crater are 610 meters high, which makes it the largest intact crater in theworld. It is home to about 25,000 larger mammals, almost half of them zebras and gnus. There are also buffalos, gazelles, elands and warthogs. Such vastnumbers naturally attract many predators, mainly lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. The crater is also well known for its hugely diverse bird life. More than 100 species of birds not found anywhere in the Serengeti have been spotted here. Whereas the temperature on the rim of the crater is usually chilly andthe atmosphere foggy, half way down the crater it brightens up. At the bottom of the crater the temperature is as warm as in the savannah.
The Ngorongoro Crater is often called as the ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ’8th Natural Wonder of the World’. It has as well being declared as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. A visit to the crater is a main draw card for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world class attraction. Within the crater rim, large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby while sleeping lions laze in the sun. At dawn, the endangered black rhino returns to the thick cover of the crater forests after grazing on dew-laden grass in the morning mist. Just outside the crater’s ridge, tall Masaai herd their cattle and goats over the green pastures through the highland slopes, living alongside the wildlife as they have for centuries.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes its eponymous famous crater, Olduvai Gorge, and huge expanses of highland plains, scrub bush, as well as forests that cover approximately 8300 square kilometers. Being a protected area, only indigenous tribes such as the Masaai are allowed to live within its borders. Lake Ndutu and Masek, both alkaline soda lakes are home to rich game populations, as well as a series of peaks and volcanoes that make the Conservation Area a unique and stunning landscape. Of course, the crater itself, actually a type of collapsed volcano called a caldera, is the main attraction. After a beautiful descent down the crater rim, passing through the lush rain forest and thick vegetation, the flora opens to grassy plains throughout the crater floor. The game viewing is truly incredible, and the topography and views of the surroundingÂ Crater Highlands further surpasses the beauty of this world. Accommodation facilities are located on the ridges of the crater.
This truly magical place is home to Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys discovered the hominoid remains of a 1.8 million year old skeleton of Australopithecus boisei, one of the distinct links of the human evolutionary chain. In a small canyon just north of the crater, the Leakeys and their team of international archaeologists unearthed the ruins of at least three distinct hominoid species, and also came upon a complete series of hominoid footprints estimated to be over 3.7 million years old. Evacuated fossils show that the area is one of the oldest sites of hominoid habitation in the world.
The Ngorongoro Crater and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are without a doubt some of the most beautiful parts of Tanzania, steeped in history and teeming with wildlife. Besides vehicle safaris to Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, and surrounding attractions, hiking treks through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are becoming increasingly popular options. Either way you choose to visit, the Crater Highlands are an unforgettable part of the Tanzanian experience.
All year around
June - October
June - October
June - October
Driving Distance from Arusha town: 154 km, Duration: 2 hours 41 mins, Route: A104 and B144
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