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Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater and Conservancy is a wildlife haven and, as such, well visited but it is virtually a ‘must’ on any first visit to Tanzania. A breathtaking sight, and an extraordinary place, the unique appeal of the Ngorongoro Crater is the sheer abundance of wildlife permanently resident on the crater floor. Lions stalk the grasslands in search of vulnerable game; flamingos grace the shallow lakes, and yet the Masai still bring their cattle down into the crater to graze alongside huge herds of wildebeest, zebra and buffalo as they always have done.

Ngorongoro is a truly fascinating and unusual Conservation Area which includes the mystery of the Ngorongoro Crater at its centre, and then extends through the Crater Highlands, in which local tribes are permitted to maintain their traditional lifestyles in as natural environment as possible. This extraordinary volcanic landscape is rich and fertile, with stunning craters and lakes, and the high altitude creates a malaria-free micro climate.

Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater - Basic Facts
The Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest intact caldera in an exceptional geographical position, forming a spectacular bowl of about 265 square kilometres with sides up to 600m deep, the stalking ground of around 20,000 to 30,000 wild animals at any one time.The crater floor consists of a number of ecological environments that include grassland, swamps, forests and Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lake Makat, a central soda lake filled by the Munge river. All these various habitats attract various wildlife to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb. Although animals are free to move in and out of this contained environment, the rich volcanic soil, lush forests and spring source lakes on the crater floor tend to incline both grazers and predators to remain here throughout the year.

Ngorongoro Crater is also presently one of the most likely areas in Tanzania to see the endangered Black Rhino, as a small population are thriving in this idyllic and protected environment one of the only areas where they continue to breed in the wild. The crater protects a microcosm of East African wildlife within its boundaries, said to be the most densely packed wildlife concentration in Africa.

Ngorongoro Crater and Wildlife Attraction
Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area, Tanzania
Today, Ngorongoro's caldera shelters the most beautiful wildlife haven on earth. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of some 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the Crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable. Since most of the Crater floor is grassland,
grazing animals predominate: gnu, zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland and kongoni (Coke's hartebeest) and warthogs. The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania's last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons and vervets. The steep inner slopes provide a habitat for dikdiks and the rare mountain reedbuck. Towering euphorbias cling to the crater walls and on the floor, Fever tree and Fig tree forests give shade to an awe-inspiring array of creatures. All these animals in turn support large predators such as Lion and Leopard, and scavengers such as Hyena and Jackals. For the best viewing and photography, approach the animals slowly and quietly and stay on the official tracks.
Birdlife in the Ngorongoro Crater
What you can see of birdlife depends greatly on the season of the year, because there are resident birds and migrant birds. You are certain to see many residents, like ostriches, bustards and plovers all year round. In wet season they share the Crater with European migrants such as White Storks, Yellow Wagtails, swallows, etc.

The migrants pass through from November through May, coinciding with the rains in Africa and the winter in Eurasia. There are also local migrants such as flamingos, storks and ducks which come and go depending on the state of the lake and ponds. Other birds you can see are Stonechat, Anteater Chat, Schalow's Wheatear, Fiscal Shrike. Augur Buzzards, Verreaux's Eagle and other raptors live in the Crater.
Ngorongoro Crater Climate and Visits
The Crater rim, over 2,200 metres high, touches swathes of clouds for most days of the year, with cool high altitude vapours that seem to bring a clean lightness to the air, and also a chill. These highlands wake up to a misty fog in most months, other than the high dry season during December and January. The weather is usually dry from June to November.

July is the coldest month and highland temperatures may fall below freezing. It rains anytime from November to May, with the longer rains in April to May. The amount and pattern of rainfall varies and a dry period in January and February may split the rainy season into short and long rains. The forested eastern slopes get much more rain due to their elevation than the arid country to the west. The rain arrives in stormy showers usually during afternoons and nights, which cleanses the air to reveal clear views.

Ngorongoro safari lodges are situated on the rim of the crater, which is 2,235 metres (7,264 feet) above sea level. It can get quite fresh up here, and gets very cold at night in the winter months of June to August, but is opposingly hot down in the crater during the day. The recommended Lodges and hotels around the Ngorongoro Crater include Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge , Ngorongoro Serena Lodge and Ngorongoro Farm House among others.

Further Information and Booking
Memorable visits to the Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Areas are featured within various Tanzania safari itineraries featured in this site. We have a wide range of carefully designed tours and safaris to Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania that will reveal to you the true meaning of a Tanzania wildlife safari. Your safari consultant will always be at your assistance should you need a tailor-made holiday to any of these locations. For more information regarding this attraction, please DO NOT hesitate to contact us.
 
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Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area, Tanzania

 
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