NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA, TANZANIA…
The Largest Intact Volcanic Caldera
Its beauty and grandeur make for an extraordinary safari experience.
Want to enter a unique and special world? A place of deep green grasslands, acacia woods, and humming marshes brimming with wildlife? And all of this is in a volcanic basin 610 m (2,000 ft) deep into the earth. This immense crater floor is home to the largest density of predators in Africa and one of the most amazing habitats anywhere.
Over 25,000 animals live in this secluded volcanic caldera – you’ll find all of Africa’s “Big Five” in this exceptional landscape – lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and even rare rhinos. Grazers too abound in this blue/green paradise – you’ll be looking for gazelles, zebras, wildebeests, eland, hartebeests, and warthogs.
On your journey here, you’ll descend the steep crater walls in your 4 x 4 Jeep to a magical ecosystem where you’re as likely to see pink flamingoes as discover lions on the prowl. Such is the gift that nature has bestowed on the world’s most intact volcanic crater floor.
In The Beginning…
There stood an immense volcano about the size of Mt. Kilimanjaro, 5,800 m (19,000 ft). Around 2 – 3 million years ago, the great volcanic mountain exploded and then collapsed onto itself, forming the crater we see today. The resulting floor covers an area of 260 sq km (100 sq mi) and is about 19 km (12 mi) wide.
Over time forests up at the crater’s rim fed streams leading down the caldera as, marshes, and woodlands developed. The foliage attracted grazers into the area and that in turn, brought their natural predators like lions and leopards.
The Habitats You’ll Find
Those flowing streams fed natural springs at the crater floor creating the many living habitats and their supported wildlife. At the Lerai Forest, you’ll be looking for monkeys, baboons, and great bull elephants. You may stop for lunch at Ngoitoktok Springs to watch the hippos there as you picnic.
And don’t miss Lake Magadi, home to many florescent pink flamingoes in the rainy season. In the marsh areas, you’ll come upon a colorful variety of avian life. Look about for the sounds and flutterings of egret, firefinch, starlings, ostrich, and raptors such as buzzard, eagle, and the white-backed vulture.
Explore the crater floor – This is where you’ll game drive through the crater’s habitats spotting great numbers of grazers and predators as the rich birdlife swoop about in a dense, busy swirl of wildlife.
Meet the Maasai – Take some time to meet the people of this region, the Maasai. You can visit a local village at the crater’s rim and learn up close about their pastoral culture and way of life.
Sunsets – A very special treat for all visitors here – toward late afternoon you’ll head back up the crater walls in time to catch one of Ngorongoro’s signature and brilliant sunsets.
Survey: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The entire Ngorongoro Area covers 8,293 sq km (3,200 sq mi) including the crater and surrounding regions.
Best safari lodges & tented camps at Ngorongoro Conservation Area
This is Ngorongoro
Considering its spectacular vistas and the natural abundance of wildlife here, it is no surprise the vast crater was named one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of Africa”. Its beauty and grandeur make for an extraordinary safari experience.
Join us at Ngorongoro Crater
4 parks: Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater & Lake Manyara
5 parks: Masai Mara, Lake Victoria/Serengeti/Ngorongoro, & Tarangire
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