Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area holds the Ngorongoro Crater, formed long ago when a volcano collapsed. It’s vast, plunging over 600m deep, making it one of the world’s biggest. This crater is cherished worldwide for its majestic presence and intriguing past, drawing many visitors.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Recognized in 1979, the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area gained UNESCO World Heritage status. Its unique fauna and harmonious cohabitation of Masai tribes and native wildlife are celebrated globally. The area teems with elephants, lions, wildebeests, gazelles, cheetahs, and flamingos, while the endangered black rhino finds refuge within its protective rim.
Exploration and Sightseeing
Every day, adventurous souls embark on game drives, delving into the crater’s depths aboard 4×4 vehicles. To preserve the area’s purity, passengers usually remain in their vehicles, with only a few designated spots for alighting. Nevertheless, there are serene picnic areas for relaxation. Beyond the crater, the park offers ample opportunities for walking, hiking, and engaging with local communities.
Attractions in Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
Game Drive and Wildlife Viewing
The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area boasts diverse fauna thanks to its expansive plains, Crater Lake, and acacia woodland. It’s aptly nicknamed the “Garden of Eden” and the “Cradle of Life” for good reason. The area hosts numerous lion prides and leopards, with cheetahs also making occasional appearances. Spotting a serval, caracal, or golden cat is a rare treat for feline enthusiasts.
Apart from these predators, the Crater is home to black rhinos, zebras, gazelles, elands, hyenas, baboons, and various other species. The lake and its surroundings attract hippos, waterbucks, and diverse birdlife, including flamingos, herons, pelicans, and eagles. Exploring the Crater promises encounters with these fascinating creatures amidst breathtaking scenery.
Best Time to Visit
The Ngorongoro Crater offers a spectacle year-round due to its abundant wildlife. Game drives are rewarding at any time, as animals seldom leave the Crater floor. However, peak tourist seasons, like July-August and December-February, can be bustling. Yet, the sheer experience of being amidst an extinct volcano’s vastness makes the visit worthwhile.
Numerous lodging options dot the Ngorongoro Crater’s vicinity, ranging from standard lodges to eco-lodges, bush camps, and tented camps. Perched on the Rift Valley Escarpment or the Crater rim, these accommodations offer comfort amidst nature’s splendor. Examples include Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp, Ngorongoro Forested Tented Lodge, and Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, among others. Visitors can choose from a variety of options catering to different preferences and budgets.