The jewel Ngorongoro’s crown is a deep, volcanic crater, the largest un flooded and unbroken caldera in the world. About 20kms across, 600 meters deep and 300 sq kms in area, the Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtaking natural wonder.
Archeologists will be interested in Olduvai Gorge which is in the Conservation Area and where it is possible to see the famous discoveries of remains of early Man by Mary and Louis Leakey. However most of the activity is within the crater which is popular for bird watching, photography, walking safaris, and game viewing from a vehicle (4 wheel drive).
There are 25,000 larger animals within the crater itself, mostly Zebra, wildebeest, Black Rhinoceros, Lions, Cheetah, and Leopards. Only bull Elephants descend regularly to the Crater floor.
The Maasai arrived here about 200 years ago and have since colonized the area in substantial numbers, their traditional way of life allowing them to live in harmony with the wildlife and the environment. Today there are some 42,000 Maasai pastoralists living in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area with the cattle, donkeys, goats and sheep.
The Maasai are allowed to take their animals into the Crater tor water and grazing, but not allowed to live or cultivate there. They are however allowed to road freely everywhere else in the NCA.
WHERE TO STAY/ACCOMMODATIONS
There are a number of lodges and camps to stay at on the rim of the Crater. Lodges includes -Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro crater Lodge and Ngorongoro Serena. Lake Ndutu Safari Lodge is on the Serengeti plains
Outside the crater are many other facilities e.g. Gibbs Farm, Then Manor House, Kifaru Lodge, Bougainvillea Lodge etc. there are many other guest houses in the town of Karatu midway between Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro
This is not allowed in the crater itself; however there are some designated campsites on request