A UNESCO World Heritage Site, found in the crater highlands of Tanzania. Located 180km west of Arusha. The Ngorogoro crater is the world’s largest inactive volcanic caldera. The crater was due to the volcanic eruption that happened 2million years ago and is estimated to have 4500-5800m high.
The conservation Area also protects the Olduvai Gorge, it has vast wildlife that has ever existed on earth. Over 25,000 animals, including the eland, hippos, hyenas, lions, leopards, wild beasts, gazelles, among others. It has rivers like Magadi and grasslands that wildlife feeds on. There is a lot that be done when you tour the place.
Things to do
Don’t miss out on this 19km wide crater and the world’s unbroken caldera. Check out its walls and enjoy the amazing view of it. It also has Olmoti and Empakaai craters that are part of the rift valley whose formation was more than 2million year ago.
Visit Olduvai Gorge
The place is also a world Heritage Site that has human fossils that were discovered and believed to have been used by early man million years ago. In the same area, lies the Olduvai museum that was discovered in 1959 that has many of Mary Leakey’s discoveries.
Enjoy Game drives
There are so many wild animals in the area especially in the dry season. The sight of wild beasts, leopards, zebras, lions, elephants will amaze you. These can be enjoyed at night or during day.
Visit Gol Mountains
Located in the western part of Ngorongoro conservation area. They are favorite grounds for animals for they have rich grasslands. You will also be able to see the Nasera rocks.
Tour Lake Manyara and other lakes
The area is endowed with lakes that supply the area with water, and favors a breeding ground for wildlife and birds. Other lakes include, Lake Mnyara, Lake Ndutu, Lake Elemeti among others.
When to visit
Just like other parks in the country, Ngorongoro also had high and low seasons, and the best time to visit gives you room to enjoy all that the area has at its disposal. The area is quite enjoyable throughout the year but the Dry season is more rewarding than the wet season as elaborated below.
The Dry Season (June -October)
The season has the best weather for both wildlife and human. Tourists enjoy the attractions of the area with no fears of heavy rains.
Wildlife is easy to Spot.
Since it’s dry, the grasslands are generally low for better visibility of animals. Tracking is easy compared to when the grasslands are long and animals most of them hide.
Wild beast Migration
The famous migration in the Serengeti Park is also witnessed in Ngorongoro. This is epic and happens only in the dry season. Once you visit in the wet season you will miss it out.
During the dry season, there less chances of malaria contractions compared to the wet season. Mosquitoes are feared in the wet season due to the rains.
The dry season is what we would recommend. However its necessary to come with warm clothing. In the morning and evenings it tends to be cold though not for long hours in the morning.
Wet Season (November-May)
The area register few visitors compared the dry season. The early period of the wet season is characterized with rains and few storms.
The weather favors vegetation. The area during this time has a wonderful green throughout. The trees, rivers, everything can be at its best and very beautiful
There many animals that stay in the area during the rainy season especially around the crater. So you will not miss out on them.
For bird lovers, this is the perfect period. The migratory birds are so common in the area that you will not miss out on any. For a better view come with binoculars.
It’s important to note that when visiting come with warm clothing for the cold weather in the morning and evening. The period from March to April can be disorganizing for it’s the peak of the wet season.
The area wildlife, on land and in water. Prepare to meet the likes of elephants, wild beasts, lions, leopards, buffalos, black rhinoceros, eland, kudus, and Thomson’s gazelles, Zebras that roam the landscape or enjoy the life in trees.
Also part of Ngorongoro where tourists can go and enjoy the breeze. In the middle of the day it harbors birds at its shores. Catch sight of the pink flamingos having a snack or having a wonderful time, other birds, and animals near the shores.
Olduvai Gorge, Olduvai Museum and Laetoli
These are basically in the same area. The Olduvai Gorge that was discovered by Mary Leakey, revealed tools, and other archeological instruments that were used by early man. The museum has most of Mary’s findings and the history of it all is told. The Laetoli ground has footprints of early man. A look at these places will give you a history of the first people to settle on earth.
Sands that shifts
Ol Dionyo Lengai ash concentrates to a hundreds of meters high and hundreds of meters wide. The unique thing about this black sand dune is that it moves at a rate of 15m across plains every year.
Ngorongoro, Empakaai and Olmoti craters
The physical features that were formed million years ago due to the volcanic eruptions. The craters are big attractors to the area. All these are part of the Great East African rift valley. They are world’s largest unbroken calderas. A lot of wildlife resides around the area.
Ngorongoro has mountains which are hiding grounds for animals. You will have a chance to enjoy the beauty of these mountains, enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, animals in the area, and the grasslands.
Oldonyi Lengai and Lake Natron
Oldonyi Lengai is one of the few active volcanoes in Africa. It was last active in 2007. The Volcano is 3188m above sea level, the third highest mountain in the country. Some tourists enjoy climbing the lava. The view of this mountain will be rewarding. Lake Natron is close to this volcano, where birds and animals concentrate for water. You will enjoy the color of the water that changes according to the environment.
The area has the best places of accommodation that you will enjoy and make your stay worthwhile. The have all sorts of accommodation for everyone. First class, second class and third class. The have camps and lodges, providing you with the best services at an affordable cost. Some are within and others are outside Ngorongoro.
They settle very close to Nogongoro around Lake Eyasi. Commonly known as bushmen, Hadzabe tribe have lived a life of pastoralism, and hunting to the extent that they communicate with animals.
Check out the Lerai Fever Tree Forest
The unique tall, slim, yellow barked acacias, forming fairy laced canopied woodland of glades. Rhinos, elephants, bushbucks, among other animals, and birds, feed on these trees and enjoy their view as you tour.
Camps, Hotels, lodges, provide tourists with the best service but at varying prices depending in their need. Below are the options to choose from.
- Enyati Lodge
Located in Karatu region near Manyara National Park, has a restaurant, a boutique, wonderful rooms, beautiful compound, where you will enjoy views of the park, lake and wildlife. It’s a 3 star lodge.
- Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
Situated on a lake, it provide free breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking, and very nice meals. You will enjoy nice views of Lake Magadi, National park, and Karatu play ground in the region. It’s a four star hotel.
- Anga’ta Ngorongoro
Located in the crater rim, has a variety of tents for accommodation, with good canvas to create enough warm. Their tents vary in size form family, king size, and twin size with wide beds.
- Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge
If you’re looking for a luxurious setting, this is the place. Located in Ngorongoro volcanic landscape. Has a restaurant, boutique, free Wi-Fi, and other services. It is a good relaxing ground. It has 20 luxury suites.
- Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
It’s found in the crater rim, provides safari, has an outdoor swimming, pool, free Wi-Fi, childcare services with wonderful relaxing grounds.
- Manyara Wildlife Camp
Located in the rift valley escarpment, boosts in the great location and wonderful views of the River. It’s easily accessible. Offers tourists with a memorable treat and different settings at different prices.
- Africa Safari Glamping Manyara
Situated in Lake Manyara, has affordable service to tourists who didn’t plan luxury settings. It has great views of Lake Manyara, enjoy wildlife in the area and activities on the lake like fishing.
- Ngorongoro Tented Camp
Located in the Ngorongoro crater close to Lake Magadi, offers a wide range of service to tourists and its location is not for from wildlife grounds.
As you look into all accommodation options, endeavor to point out what satisfies your need.