About the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Crater is situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania, Africa.
The caldera is 610 meters deep, 20 kilometers in diameter, and covers an area of 311 sq. km. (100 square miles.)
When to go:
Accessible every month of the year, although roads may be less navigable during the rainy season, April to June.
You can descend to the floor of the crater only in a four-wheel drive vehicle, and game rangers are compulsory for all.
What to do:
The Ngorongoro Crater sees approximately 450,000 tourists a year who travel there to see the approximately 30,000 to 40,000 birds and animals, most notably the large, bull elephant “tuskers” and the rare black rhino.
Ngorongoro Crater became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, as part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This vast protected area stretches from Lake Natron (the breeding ground for East Africa’s flamingos) in the northeast, to Lake Eyasi in the south, and Lake Manyara to the east. Before 2.5 million years ago, Ngorongoro was the highest mountain in Africa, which then collapsed in a massive volcanic eruption to form the largest intact caldera in the world.
Spectacular as it is, the “crater” accounts for just a 3% of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater is home to many species of wild game and birds. With the exception of giraffe, impala and topi, almost every species of African plains mammal lives in the crater, along with the densest population of predators in Africa. Views from the rim of the crater are sensational, looking out on the crater floor as grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains.