The un rivaled beauty within the almost un changing Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Established in 1959, with co-existence of wildlife and the semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists as a multiple land use area, Ngorongoro Conservation area is one of the stunning places to visit while on a Tanzania safari. Land in the conservation area is multi-use and unique because it is the only conservation area in Tanzania that protects wildlife while allowing human habitation. Land use is controlled to prevent negative effects on the wildlife population. For example, cultivation is prohibited at all but subsistence levels.
Ngorongoro Conservation area is a protected area and World Heritage Site 180km west of Arusha comprising of Ngorongoro Crater- the world’s large, intact, inactive, and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater derives its name from the Maasai pastoralists who derived it from the sound produced from the cowbell-ngoro ngoro. About 20kms across, 600 meters deep and 300 sq. kms in area, Ngorongoro Crater is the best and awe-inspiring crater where you can see wildlife on a wildlife safari in Tanzania.
Ngorongoro conservation area is situated in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara. The Ngorongoro volcano was one of the world’s tallest mountains before it exploded and collapsed. Ngorongoro Crater conservation area is one of Tanzania’s most popular wildlife viewing areas.
The Ngorongoro volcanic crater has a permanent water supply which attracts all kinds of animals that stay in this area rather than migrating. Tourists on Tanzania safaris have explored the area and have viewed the large game as well as Tanzania bird safaris.
Ngorongoro crater offers a classic Big 5 Tanzania wildlife safari experience. There are thousands of wildlife animals that can be seen on the crater floor for example; lions, elephants, rhinos, Thomson’s gazelles, and buffaloes. The biggest number of animals in this conservation area are the wildebeests and zebras that count to over half of the animals that call the Ngorongoro Crater home.
Tanzania birding safaris are excellent, especially around Lake Migadi, which attracts flocks of flamingoes to the shallows. Hippos are also pleased to submerge themselves during the day and then graze in the nearby grass in the evening. Activities in Ngorongoro crater conservation range from game drives to nearby Lake Manyara and local bird watching to cultural visits and mountain biking.
The Olduvai Gorge within Ngorongoro Conservation area
Still within the conservation area, is the Olduvai Gorge. Olduvai Gorge is an important archeological site that has revealed ancient skull and bone fragments that have delivered critical information about early mankind. The bones are determined to be approximately 2 million years old. There are also tools and hunting weapons from that were discovered in Olduvai Gorge and they are date to over 1.5 million years ago. These and other discoveries provide more room for Tanzania cultural safaris to tourists.
On your safari, don’t worry about accommodation. Within the Ngorongoro Crater are amazing accommodation facilities that gives tourists the best views of the conservation area. Staying at these prime-location lodges will put you first in the queue to drive down to the crater floor in the morning but for more affordable Ngorongoro safari accommodation in an equally tranquil and not much less scenic setting, head for the town of Karatu, set some 20km south from the crater in the green rolling hills of the Karatu Highlands.
On a safari in Tanzania to Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park or Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a good ally to create beautiful memories within the heart of Africa.