Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is arguably the most impressive geological feature in Africa;.

Created by the implosion of a massive volcano, this vast flat-bottomed 20km diameter caldera contains a world of safari in miniature, with sightings of many of the major game species virtually guaranteed, including lion, elephant, hippo and rhino, plus excellent birding around the freshwater lakes and flamingos on the central soda lake.

The crater is also a major traffic hotspot, with hundreds of vehicles visiting daily in high season. We therefore tend to recommend that guests treat the crater as a great place to spend a half day driving through on the way north to the Serengeti, rather than to linger longer.

Our safaris often skip staying on the crater itself and head to smaller lodges in the Karatu area to the south and the Serengeti to the north.

In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the main rifts are north of Lake Eyasi and east of Lakes Manyara and Lake Natron, where the nine volcanoes of Ngorongoro highlands were formed during the past four million years. Of these, only volcano Oldonyo Lengai is still active. The ash and dust from the eruptions was carried by the wind to form the fertile soils of the Serengeti plains.

Today, Ngorongoro's caldera shelters the most beautiful wildlife haven on earth. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of some 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the Crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable. Since most of the Crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate: gnu, zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland and kongoni (Coke's hartebeest) and warthogs.

About Ngorongoro Crater

Nearly three million years ago Ngorongoro towered alongside Mount Kilimanjaro as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Forged during the tumultuous birth of the Rift Valley, its volcanic top erupted at the time that ancient man first walked the plains.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers some 8,300 square kilometres. It boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa. It is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land use.

The concept of multiple land use in conservation perspective is a deviation from a traditional approach of regarding conservation as complete absenteeism of human interference







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