The famous Ngorongoro Crater is a World Heritage Site situated at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. The crater is the largest unbroken ancient caldera in the world. Nearly three million years old, the once-volcanic Ngorongoro is now considered “Africa’s Garden of Eden” – a haven for thousands of wild game, including lions, elephants, wildebeests, zebras, rhinos, Thomson’s gazelles and buffaloes.
World Heritage Site since 1979
Largest unbroken volcanic caldera in the world
Phenomenal game viewing
Sparkling soda lake
Considered by some as the Eighth Natural Wonder of the World
The crater is ringed with steep walls and shelters forests, grasslands, fresh springs and a large soda lake at its centre.
The Ngorongoro volcano before it exploded and collapsed 2 million years ago, was one of the world’s tallest mountains. The crater measures about 19 kilometres (12 miles) across and the rim is 600 metres (2,000 feet) above the crater floor.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is inhabited by 30 000 animals, all protected within the confines of the crater walls. Resident zebra, wildebeest, Grants and Thomson’s gazelle are a predator’s dream. Tanzania’s few remaining black rhino are protected and regularly sighted in the crater, as are large herds of buffalo. Huge tusked elephants, black-maned lions, cheetah and spotted hyena are also found, as well as thousands of lesser and greater flamingoes in the soda lake.
The Maasai people live within the conservation area around the crater. Known as nomadic herders and warriors, a visit to these traditional, temporary villages “enkangs” is a highlight for all visitors to the area. Get a glimpse of their fascinating culture: see them in their bright red robes, watch as they create ornate beadwork and how they live off the land by utilising cattle. The nomadic Maasai have grazing rights of the Ngorongoro Crater and treat cattle as a sign of wealth.