Discovering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area: A Natural Marvel

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area extends from Serengeti National Park in the north to the Great Rift Valley in the east, covering over 8,000 km² (3,200 sq. miles). It includes remarkable sites like the Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu, Olduvai Gorge, Empakaai, Olmoti Crater, and Oldonyo Lengai Mountain. This diverse landscape of forests, valleys, savannahs, craters, lakes, and swamps supports a rich variety of wildlife.

The Ngorongoro Crater: Africa’s Natural Treasure

Central to this region is the renowned Ngorongoro Crater, formed from a massive volcanic eruption that occurred two to three million years ago. This collapsed volcano has since evolved into a unique ecosystem with varied vegetation. Today, it boasts Africa’s densest concentration of wildlife, including zebras, buffaloes, warthogs, baboons, elephants, flamingos, ostriches, hippos, and numerous predators like lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and leopards. The Big Five—buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino—are all found within this 20 km (12.5 miles) wide and 600 m (2,000 feet) deep crater, making it a must-see destination. The panoramic views from the crater’s rim are breathtaking, earning it a place among Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders.

Cultural Encounter: The Maasai Tribe

While on safari, visitors have the opportunity to interact with the Maasai tribe, who are permitted to graze their livestock in the area. For those keen to delve deeper into Maasai traditions and lifestyle, a Maasai Tour is highly recommended.

Activities and Excursions in Ngorongoro Conservation Area

  • Mountain Biking at Lake Manyara
  • Visiting Maasai Villages
  • Exploring the Hadzabe Tribe
  • Cultural Tours in Mto wa Mbu

Travel Logistics

  • Arusha to Ngorongoro: 3 hours
  • Ngorongoro to Serengeti: 2 hours
  • Ngorongoro to Lake Manyara: 1 hour
  • Ngorongoro to Tarangire: 2 hours

Expert Travel Tips

It’s preferable adventurous spending at least one day exploring the crater floor, with an additional day to discover the surrounding areas. For accommodation, he recommends the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, praised for its stunning views, friendly staff, and beautiful rooms.

Planning your visit to Ngorongoro Crater? Browse our Tanzania safaris or reach out for personalized travel advice.