Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania (with Map & Photos)

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a World Heritage Site, located 180 km west of Arusha in northern Tanzania and southeast of the Serengeti National Park. It occupies about 3,200 square miles (8,300 square kilometers), and extends over the eastern part of the East African Rift Valley.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Area contains a variety of habitats and landscapes, including grassland plains, woodlands, forests, mountains, volcanic craters, lakes, rivers, and swamps.
The Ngorongoro Crater is located within the area, where an immense concentration of wild animals coexist in its 20 km diameter.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is inhabited by more than 40,000 Maasai herders, whose cattle share the land with wild animals. This competition for water and pasture sometimes caused conflicts, a few years ago, especially during the dry season. Although currently it practically does not happen.
The name Ngorongoro in the Masai language means "Cold Place".

The Ngorongoro Area Landscape is dominated by the Rift Valley and Volcanoes. The two main areas of the Rift Valley are north of Lake Eyasi and east of Lakes Manyara and Natron.

The 9 volcanoes of Ngorongoro began more than 4 million years ago.
Of these volcanoes, the only one that is currently active is Oldoinyo Lengai, the "Mountain of God" in the Masai language, located in the area near Lake Natron and which has continued in volcanic eruptions in recent years, although fortunately without causing damage. natural or the local population.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Near the crater are other volcanic formations, such as the Olmoti and Empakaai volcanoes, in the direction of the Maasai town of Nainokanoka.
The Olmoti Crater is much more quickly accessible from the Conservation Area. A visit can be arranged on a morning or afternoon tour.
The climbing areas, although not very easy, are covered with immense forests that extend to the summit at an altitude of 3,100 meters.
On the other hand, the Empakaai crater is not as accessible, but it receives more visits than the Olmoti due to its larger size, its spectacular profile and its excellent views.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the largest herds of ungulates in the world, including wildebeest, common zebra, Thomson's gazelle and Grant's gazelle, and predatory animals such as lions, spotted hyenas, leopards and cheetahs, and some endangered rhinos. In addition to 400 species of birds in the area such as flamingos, hornbills, starlings. ostriches, egrets, secretary birds, crowned cranes…

Visit to the Olduvai Gorge Museum

The Olduvai Gorge is, together with the Laetoli site, one of the most interesting places that we can find in the world for paleontologists and archaeologists.
It is an area of ​​ravines considered to be the cradle of humanity since it is believed that life began here.
Oldupai is a name that comes from a plant that has water inside it, and it is the sustenance of humans, specifically the Masais, and the fauna of the region when the drought hits.

This gorge is located east of the Serengeti, in the north of the country, and is within the Rift Valley that crosses Tanzania. In it you can find one of the most important paleontological sites in the world, where they have discovered sediments from between 2 million to 15,000 years ago. For this reason, this canyon is known by the nickname of "the cradle of humanity".
Near the Olduvai Gorge we will find the museum of the same name where a sample of the remains found are exhibited.

Visit Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is the largest intact volcanic caldera on the planet, and is considered the eighth wonder of the world.

It is a natural amphitheater surrounded by walls 600 meters high, and a diameter of 16 kilometers that houses the densest populations of large mammals in the world. In a single day of safari it is possible to see an amazing variety of animals including large carnivorous predators.
The Ngorongoro crater is approximately 2,280 meters high, and the bottom of the crater at 1,670 meters.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area Map