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Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a huge area containing active volcanoes, mountains, archeological sites, rolling plains, forests, lakes, dunes and of course, Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge.

The views at the rim of Ngorongoro Crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains – all a heaven for wildlife, including the densest predator population in Africa.

The crater is home to up to 25,000 large mammals, mainly grazers – gazelle, buffalo, eland, hartebeest and warthog. You will not find giraffe as there is not much to eat at tree level, or topi, because the competition with wildebeest is too fierce, nor will you find impala.

The crater elephants are, strangely enough, mainly bulls. There are a small number of black rhinos here too. The birdlife is largely seasonal and is also affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor.

In the northern, remote part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you will find Olmoti and Empakaai Craters, Lake Natron and Oldoinyo Lengai, Mountain of God, as named by the Maasai. Lake Natron is the only known breeding ground for East Africa’s flamingoes.

The ruins of a terraced stone city and complex irrigation system lie on the eastern side of Empakaai – the Engakura Ruins. Their origins are a mystery as there is no tradition of stone building in this part of Africa.

Olduvai Gorge, more accurately called Oldupai after the wild sisal in the area, is the site of some of the most important fossil hominid finds of all time – “Nutcracker Man” or Australopithecus boisei who lived 1.75 million years ago – by Leaky There is a small informative museum located at the visitor center. The gorge is a treasure trove of archeological sites filled with fossils, settlement remains and stone artifacts. Lecture tours are offered (read more…).

Activities

  • Vehicle photographic safaris,
  • Walking safaris through out the conservation area,
  • Visit the Elephant caves in the NCA forest reserve,
  • Walk through the crater rim, lake Ndutu, crater highlands walks guided by Maasai, cultural safaris.

Features

Zebra in the Ngorongoro CraterNgorongoro Crater, Gol mountains, Nasera rock cave paintings, Olduvai gorge the cradle of mankind, crater highlands, Oldmoti crater, Empakaai crater, woodland, grass land, plains and bush, resident elephant, black rhino, buffalo, lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, warthog, wild pig, giraffe, dik dik, sykes ( blue) monkey, vervet monkey, baboon, birding, python.

Luxury lodge accommodation around the crater rim, luxury tented camps and lodges in Ndutu area, public camping on the crater rim and B2B mobile camps with donkey or vehicle support for walking safaris through out the NCA.

Best time to visit

Year round for the crater, for walking safaris, June – early Oct and Dec through to March, Nov – Dec in areas surrounding the NCA good chances of coming across the migration and many plains game wildlife.