Ngorongoro conservation Area
Ngorongoro conservation Area is the world’s only crater filled with life instead of water! The conservation area stretches through the Tanzania highlands, plains, savannah, woodlands, and forests, it was formed in 1959 following its separation from Serengeti national park and multiple land use together with the nomads practicing their livestock rearing in the ecosystem. Ngorongoro is the largest caldera in the world. The area derives its name from the Masai people who are the original natives of the area, it is popularly referred to as the “crown jewel” because of its mouth-dropping beauty one that cannot be easily described by words but rather a physical being there.
Ngorongoro crater is one of the wonders of the world, situated between elevated grounds at 10,000ft high and 5,400ft along the floor of the crater, its comprised of an evergreen environment, characterized by the thick forest cover at the hill ridges of the crater, high open moorland, bamboo, open grasslands, Acacia woodlands, marshes, and swampy areas, these are habitat areas to the abundant wildlife of the conservation area. The area is a rich migratory point for animals from the Serengeti national park and an archeological point of value containing the sites of mankind (early man). The vast importance of the Ngorongoro national park led to it being declared a UNESCO world heritage site by 1979.
The features of the crater make it one of the most visited places in Tanzania, it is one of the most populated places in Africa, filled with animal numbers. The area captures wildlife due to the green grass, It hosts the so-called big five of the wilderness (lions, African elephants, African buffaloes, Black Rhinos, leopards), and it is one of the few areas where you can see the black rhino in its natural habitat.
Other present species include wild beasts, zebras, elephants, elands, hartebeests, black rhinos, buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs, kudus, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, jackals, wild hunting dogs, leopards, and many other animals, over 500 birds exist in the crater region some of these are migratory species while others are resident species examples include the lesser flamingos inhabiting the Lake Magadi along the floor of the crater, the highland area contains a rich bird life, popular seen birds include the white-eyed slaty flycatcher, Livingstone turaco, ostrich, Kori bustard, crowned crane, secretary bird, black-winged lapwing, black kite, African soon bill, lesser flamingos, Egyptian vulture, greater flamingo, Rufous-tailed weaver.
Ngorongoro crater hosts thousands of animals in Tanzania, based on the fact that it acts as an animal corridor between Serengeti and Lake Manyara, most animal species on the hunt and move get caught up by what the area has to offer right from food to water hence the high population density.
Game drives are the best way to view wildlife in the Ngorongoro crater, these are organized in two shifts in the morning and the afternoon, there is a set time to leave the crater in the afternoon, and 4×4 wheel car drives are used to do the drives, this enables great sights of the animal species. It is a great birding safari destination, only advice to a birder is to bring a good binocular and camera, there are many bird species here including Tanzania endemics.
Visiting the Masai people, they are one of Africa’s most unique and interesting tribes, known for their great hospitality, they are allowed to graze their animals inside the park even if they live outside, and arranged visits to the community are possible, you learn about their culture, tradition, and customs, you will have a chance to even join the dancing and singing. Other park activities include visiting the last group of early men, hot air balloon safari, hiking the mountains, visiting the crater lakes in the ecosystem, and visiting the Olduvai gorge.
Wildlife viewing at the crater is perfect most of the year, animals that come here don’t tend to migrate a lot, it is best visited during the dry seasons from December to march, and September.