Activities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Activities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area : The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s biggest volcanic crater and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area which encompasses the Olduvai Gorge, woodlands, mountains, and isolated highlands to the north. Until 1959, the whole Ngorongoro Conservation Area was part of the larger Serengeti National Park before becoming a distinct reserve. The crater is located in northern Tanzania close to Kenya’s southern border (30 miles). The renowned film “Out of Africa” was partly shot at the Ngorongoro crater giving it widespread exposure and attracting additional visitors to the area
The Ngorongoro crater was created 3 million years ago when a massive volcano (the size of Mount Kilimanjaro) erupted and collapsed under its own weight. Some experts estimate it was around 19,000 feet tall, while others say it was much taller than Kilimanjaro. What’s left is a 20-kilometer-wide crater with a depth of 2,000 feet. The crater’s confined nature has resulted in the formation of its unique ecology, which includes wetlands, acacia woodlands, savannah grasslands, tiny streams, and lakes.
Ngorongoro crater alongside Ngorongoro conservation area hosts a wide range of tourist attractions. One of Tanzania’s few wildlife areas that allows human living is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. During droughts, Maasai herders are allowed to graze on the lip of the crater or within the crater. This means that you may embark on an incredible safari that includes an interaction with the Maasai tribe. You might be interested in learning more about Tanzania’s cultural attractions. Thousands of visitors visit Tanzania each year to see the Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area. It’s one of the finest sites in Africa to see all the African big 5: lions, rhinoceroses, leopards, elephants, and buffaloes. Hippos, jackals, reedbuck, waterbuck, wildebeest, warthogs, hartebeests, servals, zebras, cheetahs, and crocodiles are among the other creatures found within the crater. The crater is home to approximately 26,000 large animals and 500 different bird species. Game drives, photographic safaris, picnics, nature walks, birdwatching, visiting Maasai communities, hot air ballooning, a tour of Olduvai Gorge, seeing the Empakaai Crater, trekking to the peak of the Gol Mountains, and Oldoinyo Lengai are the primary activities within/around the Ngorongoro crater. The Olmoti Crater, the Lerai Fever Tree Forest, and Lake Magadi are also worth seeing.
Activities in Ngorongoro Crater
Game drives and animal viewing:
In the Ngorongoro Crater game drives are without a doubt the finest method to see wildlife. Game drives are conducted in a conventional tour van in two shifts – morning and afternoon. All tour cars must be out of the crater by 4:30 p.m. To visit every section of the crater you’ll need at least to do a full day game drive. Expect to see all the African big 5, big cats, as well as birds, lakes, beautiful woods, and savannah flora, on every safari. Descending down to the broken caldera is worth experience. You feel the glipse of the nature as you descend down to the 600meters. Welcomed by different animal species leaving in the bottom of the crater dominated by the open grassland. Morning game drives are more rewarding when the crater is more active with action parked.
If you’ve already been on a game drive in the Ngorongoro crater and like what you saw, you may plan another safari just for the goal of taking great animal photographs. The scenic views of the edges of the deep caldera gives you beautiful pictures of nature. A photographic safari should include more than just animals; it should also include birds, lakes, and savannah flora. Maasai tribesmen that live around the crater may be willing to participate in your photographic excursion.
Experiencing the Maasai culutural safari:
One of Africa’s most fascinating tribes is the Maasai. They are allowed to graze their animals around the crater rim or bring them down the crater for water during the dry months of the year. Despite the fact that they reside outside the crater, Ngorongoro conservation area is among the few protected areas where humans share with wildlife at peace. Tourists can arrange to visit one of their houses or cultural centers while visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to learn about their customs and culture. Instead of stage-managed tours it is more rewarding to visit villages/families that are less visited in order to have a more fulfilling experience. Attending traditional dance performances, taking photographs, purchasing souvenirs, and meeting the elders are all part of visiting the Maasai people.
Visiting the Last Bushmen of Tanzania:
When the Maasai came in the Serengeti area some 300 years ago, they drove the Hadzabe Tribe and other bushmen out of the park to isolated locations. Only about 2000 of these Bushmen remain in the region. Unlike the Maasai who have adopted contemporary methods of life these Bushmen are still primitive and rely on hunting and gathering for their livelihood. You may learn about their culture and hidden ways of life by taking a tour of their isolated habitats.
Nature and Crater View Walks: After finishing your activities below the crater and returning to your lodge for a shower, enjoy a stroll around the crater’s margins or rim. The woods, open meadows, and acacia forests may all be seen from the crater’s western side. You may also see the Maasai herd their cattle back to the kraals or for pasture.
Birding is also one of the Activities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro crater is one of Tanzania’s greatest birding spots. Some of the most sighted bird species include: Flamingos, Kori bustards, and crowned cranes, African cytrill sightings, forest buzzards, golden wings sunbirds, and white eyed slaty may all be seen from the crater rims.
Hot Air Ballooning:
Hot air ballooning is one of the Activities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This is done in the Conservation area around Ndutu region. This is a pricey yet thrilling way to see the huge crater and its surroundings. During the migration, when the wildebeest are wandering or calving beyond the crater and the neighboring Serengeti, hot air ballooning is highly recommended. The beauty of hot air ballooning is that it allows people to appreciate and enjoy the scenic beauty of the crater.
Hiking Gol Mountains
Gol Mountains are located inside Serengeti National Park and may be reached by hiking to the peak. The hills are ideal for animal watching and cultural interactions with the Maasai herdsmen who live nearby. The famed Nasera Rock located at the base of the Gol Mountains is home to a variety of birds and hundreds of baboons. During the stone age the Leakey family unearthed the bones of people who lived there. If you want to visit the isolated African wilderness, the Gol Mountains will pique your interest. After touring the Gol Mountains you have the option of climbing Oldoinyo Lengai an active volcano.
Visit the Olduvai Gorge
Regarded as the “Cradle of Mankind.” Richard Leakey and his family made the earliest archaeological findings there. At the early twentieth century the Leakeys found the bones of the first hominids in Olduvai Gorge. They went on to make several significant findings, the majority of which date back more than 2 million years. Extinct creatures that inhabited the region, as well as more recent stone age man are among the fossils. You may sign up to go on a guided tour into the gorge. In Laetoli, don’t forget to look for hominid footprints. These footprints, which date back over 3 million years, were discovered on a volcanic rock.