Ngorongoro crater is one of the unique natural features that is found in Tanzania. This u-shaped caldera that was formed when an extinct volcano collapsed to itself. The crater is the world’s largest unfilled broken caldera. It hosts the high population of predators and other aniamls. This uniqueness of the caldera makes it to be listed as UNESCO Heritage site in 1979. It has biodiversity ecosystem that is rare in the world. It forms part of the world’s oldest ecosystem that is Serengeti ecosystem that extends up to Kenya Maasai mara national reserve. In early 2000s the crater was voted as the 8th natural wonders of Africa in Arusha. Ngorongoro crater is found in the famous Ngorongoro Conservation area. Its managed by the Ngorongoro conservation Authority. The crater measures between 16 to 19 kilometers by diameter, its covers a total land area of 264 square kilometers (103 square miles). The rims are much raised to almost 2,000 feet roughly 610 meters above the crater floor. The walls of the Ngorongoro crater are mostly covered by the dominant bamboo forest. The Ngorongoro crater elevation is 2,286 meters (7500 feet).
The Ngorongoro was named by the Maasai locals after the cowbell sound “Ngoro ngoro” which the British combined to make it one word Ngorongoro. The area has been for year being occupied by the Maasai locals who replaced the traditional hunters and fruit gatherers who had leaved in the place for long. The Maasai Pastoralist remain the occupants of the area till now.
Ngorongoro crater is located along the famous Eastern Great Rift Valley in the Northern Tourist circuit. It’s just 2 to 3 hours’ drive away from the tourist city Arusha covering a distance of 120 kilometers along good tarmac road. The drive is more scenic as it pass through the local coffee plantations along the valleys of the Great Rift Valley region. You will also pass through the home of tree climbing lions that is Lake Manyara national park. The park can be easily accessed by road. Nearest town to the park is Karatu which hosts most of the lodges that are found outside the park. The road that leads to Ngorongoro crater is much direct and straight till you reach the branching sport only ones to the right and leave the one which continues to Tarangire national park. One can also reach to the park by flight with more domestic flights available from Arusha airport. There are several airstrips located inside the conservation area which the guests can land.
Ngorongoro Crater remains one of the world’s best tourist destination that homes thousands of wildlife. Do you want to see all the African big 5 in a short period of time? Ngorongoro crater is the best destination to be. It can be visited any time of the year since all the animals are permanent residents. The park hosts big cats (Lions, Leopards) rare black Rhinos, Elephants, hyenas, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Zebras, Gazelles, Topis, warthogs mention but a few. Game viewing is excellent at any time of the year. Come see the historical site where the remains of the oldest human kid was discovered that is Oldupai Gorge, wildebeest migration and many more action parked adventure in Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. In the conservation area in its Northern part is delivery ground for the millions of young wildebeests every year. In the early time of the year, Ndutu hosts the calving season of the wildebeest. This is one of the remarkable wildebeest migration season. Over 1000 calves are born daily and they have to survive from the mouth of the predators as all the big cats gather around this area in this period. Ndutui is always where the entire wildebeest migration starts before they proceed top Serengeti as their journey continues clock wise till they enter Masai mara national reserve.
Attractions in Ngorongoro crater
Animals are the dominant attractions in Ngorongoro Crater. The park is regarded as one of the world’s remote wilderness with high population of animals. The crater is famous with the lion populations. Its one of the small places with high lion population per capita in the world. The park has all the five members of the African big Five (Lions, leopards, Elephants, Rhinos and Buffalo). Other animals at the park include: The Wildebeests, cheetahs, hyenas, bushbaby, Topi, dik-dik, civet, African wildcat, duiker, gazelles, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, Hyrax, impala, jackals, Mongoose, Eland and many more.
Game viewing is done any time of the year due to its favourable climatic conditions. The animals dominates the Ngorongoro national park attractions that attracts almost 90% of the travellers to the park.
The remote location of the park and less crowns greatly contribute to the large number of bird species at this Crater. The park homes over 500 bird species that are easily listed during your trip at the park. Birders call the park one of the little birding paradise due to good rewarding birding safaris at the park. The untapped habitants with quite environment has made birding one of the key activity done at this park. Even first time birders will get the guts to do birding after achieving the long birding list within a small period of time. The park is also found along the migratory routes of most of the European birds hence taking chance to rest at the park before they continue with their journey. Some of the bird list include: Starlings, Kestrels, Ostriches, Buzzards, Weaver birds, Horn bills, Kingfishers, Herons, Secretary bird. Lovebirds, Doves, common bul bul, Little egret, Harmer kop, open bill stork, crown cranes and others. Birding is best done during the rainy season that is from March to May when birds are breeding.
The world’s largest broken caldera is one of the unique things that the guests come and view. You will have a chance to have an aerial view of the crater at the crater view point before you descend down to the crater. The home of the different habitants has scenic views that attracts more. It also has historical attachment like the remains of the oldest human skull at Oldupai Gorge.
Its only in this conservation area in the world where humans are allowed to share with wildlife in the protected area. The locals which were relocated from Serengeti national park was resettled to the conservation area where up to date they leave in harmony with wildlife. Visiting Ngorongoro crater gives you an opportunity to explore the unique culture of the Maasai people that are found inside the conservation area. The Maasai culture is the only unique culture that the current modernization of the world has failed to change.
Due to several attractions at the park, guests enjoy a good number of activities at the park like: Game viewing, Birding, Nature walks, Cultural tours, visiting oldupai gorge and many more.