The Ngorongoro Conservation Areas as well as the adjacent highlands are among the most spectacular areas in Africa. The most well-known feature is undeniably the Ngorongoro Crater, which is the largest unbroken volcanic caldera in the whole world, and habitat to the largest population of big game on the continent. The crater’s walls are as high as 600 meters while its great volcanic floor host a variety of animals among which are the big 5. For that reason your tour to Northern Tanzania should include a visist to the Ngorongoro Crater as it is additionally an exceptional place where you can get the opportunity to interact with the resident Maasai people.
The Floor of the Ngorongoro Crater
The floor of the Ngorongoro crater us exceptional and characterized by very rich volcanic soils covered with a diversity of vegetation, and a constant supply of water all through the year. These have been the major contributor and support of the lives of about 25,000 big living here. The verdant Lerai forest together with Lake Magadi which filled by River Munge as well as the prominent hippo pool are delimited by large plains that cover-up the crater floor which is approximated to be 20 kilometers or 260 square kilometers wide. Although some wild animals leave the boundaries of the crater, this place is the best place to see large numbers of wildlife all year round.
Wild Animals living on the Crater Floor
Unique about the Ngorongoro Crater is that it is the most ideal place where you can enjoy sights of the Big Five. There is a great population of the rare black rhinos and a number of the endangered forest elephants and these two species are the most prominent gem of the crater. Additional wild animals within the crater include lions, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, Thompson’s gazelles, bat-eared foxes, wildebeests, buffaloes, jackals, zebras plus a profusion of about 400 bird species among which are flamingoes.
Activities within the Ngorongoro Crater
Basically activities within the crater restricted to just game drives. The crater additionally offers a picnic area where you can always enjoy your picnic lunch between the game drives. The area adajcanet to the crater on the other hand offers a variety activities among which are cultural visists to the Maasai villages, naturea walks, visiting the Olduvai Gorge and trekking.
The Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai is actually a misspell of a local Maasai word “Oldupai”, and it is another well visited tourist site within the Ngorongor Conservation Area. it was here that Louis Leakey and his wife Mary Leakey may well known archaeological discoveries that are estimated to be more than two million years old. It was because of this great discovery that this place was named the “Cradle of Mankind”. Presently there is a small museum where visitors can have a briefing about this area and even find guides that will offer them thrilling walks into the impressive gorge. Special here is that a copy of the well known Laetoli footprints is displayed not far from the museum.
When to visit
Because the wild animals remain in the crater all through the year, there isn’t actually a best time to visit this national park. Nonetheless, because the floor of the crater is congested with safari vehicles during the peak season, then I would recommend that you visit during the off-peak months. The centrally located Lake Magadi on the crater floor attracts thousands and thousands of flamingoes each year, but visisting the crater at any time of the year will guarantee great game viewing since the crater has adequate water to sustain the animals all year round.