Since 1979, the famous Ngorongoro Crater was known as a World Heritage Site and is located at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. The Crater belongs to the Crater Highlands, with vast plains and stretches of bush and woodland areas – creating complex and interrelated ecosystems. The entire Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers about 8300 km2 and next to the famous Crater is the Olduvai Gorge – an area were many fossils have been unearthed. The Ngorongoro Crater has the perfect mix of safari animals, stunning scenery and fascinating history – this area will definitely captivate you During your Tanzania safari experience.
The alkaline Ndutu and Masek lakes in the west of the Ngorongoro Crater are particularly good areas for game viewing during the rainy season from March to May. In the east of the Ngorongoro conservation area are a string of volcanoes and craters and along the southern border is Lake Eyai, a salt lake around which the Hadzabe people live – who are one of Tanzania’s original ethnic groups. To the north-east on the Kenyan border is the beautiful Lake Natron
Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s best known game viewing areas and is Tanzania’s most visited. This Ngorongoro crater is about 20 km wide and it is also one of the largest collapsed volcanoes in the world. In the crater you may find a variety of animals and vegetation, including grasslands, swamps, forests, salt pans and a freshwater lake. You are likely to see lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and many of the plains herbivores such as; the wildebeest, the Thomson’s gazelle, the zebra and the reedbuck, as well as thousands of flamingos wading in the shallows of Lake Magadi – the soda lake at the crater’s base. Despite its steep walls, there’s a considerable amount of movement of wildlife in and out of the crater – mostly to the Serengeti, since the land between the crater and Lake Manyara is intensively farmed. The Ngorongoro Crater remains a favoured spot for wildlife because there’s a permanent water supply and grassland on the crater floor.
The animals don’t have the crater to themselves… The local Maasai tribes have grazing rights and you may come across them tending their cattle in this area. During the German colonial era there were two settlers’ farms in the crater; you can still see one of the huts…
If you are planning a Tanzania safari then you have to add the Ngorongoro crater to your ‘must see’ list – its one of the most magical destinations around boasting fantastic animal sightings, enthralling history and amazing scenic views of the Ngorongoro Crater…something not to be missed!