The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is characterized by a highland plateau with volcanic mountains and craters, vast savannah, and forest. It is one of the top safari destinations in Africa.
Since the whole zone is classified as a “conservation area”, and not a national park, wildlife, humans and livestock cohabit together. Ground cultivation is prohibited, but the Maasai are allowed to bring their cattle down on the crater floor for water sources and minerals.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the world’s largest intact caldera. This three million year old caldera is considered one of the natural wonders of the world.
The crater (19 km wide, its rim rising from 365 to 490 m, total superficy of 265 km²) is the largest unflooded, intact caldera in the world. Due to its immensity and singular beauty, as well as abundance and concentration of wildlife, it constitutes for many the Garden of Eden.
An estimated 25 000 large mammals are resident in this bowl of plenty, including lion, buffalo, zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and elephant. Leopard are most often encountered in the bountiful Lerai Forest, while cheetah move in and out of the crater. It is also the home of the most endangered black rhino.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area protects the volcanically formed Crater Highlands dotted with deep volcanic craters of which the best known, Ngorongoro, is the world’s largest intact caldera and a natural wildlife reserve with few peers. Ngorongoro safari tours offer your best chance in Tanzania of spotting all the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and black rhino) in one game drive. It is also notable for the spectacular scenic combination of the verdant plains of the lake-studded crater floor and imposing 600m/1968ft cliffs that enclose it on all sides.
Wildlife & Animals in Ngorongoro Crater
You can witness the splendor of the by standing on its crater rim. It is home to around 35,000 animals including the Big Five of Africa, along with elephants, giraffes, hippos, waterbucks, zebras, buffaloes, warthogs, baboons, and other primates.
Ngorongoro also has a rich birdlife with over 500 species of birds with migratory birds spotted from November to April. The other major attractions are Lake Ndutu, shifting sands, and Oldupai Gorge, the cradle of mankind. All major animals are easily seen. There are over 7,000 wildebeest at the crater, 6,000 Black spotted Hyenas, 4,000 zebras, 3,000 Elands, 3,000 Gazelles, 300 Elephants, over 55 Lions, 30 black Rhinos and many small animals like Kobs, Antelopes, Jackals, Hippos and others.
Best time to visit Ngorongoro crater
Travelers can visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area all year round. Although the best time to visit the Ngorongoro crater is the dry season from June to October regards as the best time for wildlife viewing. however, it is easier to spot the flourishing wildlife population amid the dry season.