Ngorongoro conservation area is among the conservation areas under UNESCO World Heritage sites located in Ngorongoro district, west of Arusha city in northern Tanzania. This conservation area gets its name from the popular Ngorongoro Crater which is a large volcanic caldera in the premises of this protected area. It covers an area of 8,292square kilometres after being established in 1959. Ngorongoro is a Masai word which means“sound produced from the cowbell”.
Ngorongoro conservation area is among the biggest protected areas in Tanzania and due to diverse wildlife, beautiful landscape and various calderas, it has attracted a big number of tourists to explore and enjoy this area. Ngorongoro crater attracts millions of tourists every year, coming second to Serengeti national park since it offers unmatched panoramic views.
There are different attractions a tourist can enjoy while visiting the Ngorongoro conservation area and these include;-
This is the biggest and unfilled volcanic caldera in the whole world, it is 610m deep and home to a high concentration of animals, mainly the Big 5. This has therefore attracted a big number of tourists due to its appealing views. The flow of this caldera has made formation of soda lakes, including Lake Magadi which attracts different bird species like flamingos.
Other caters apart from Ngorongoro crater which attract many travellers to visit them and these include Olmoti and Empakai Calderas. These are famously known as former waterfalls and also hold deep lakes and green walls. These craters serve as water sources for wildlife in this conservation area hence providing a chance for animal viewing.
This is a renowned historic site in East Africa and the whole continent famously known to be a place where the first skull of early man (Zinjathropus) was discovered by Dr. Leakey. This history and the small museum at this point with the tools used, has attracted a big number of tourists to come and witness the skull of the early man and again hear the story of evolution.
Ngorongoro area’s wildlife is unique in its own way and they keep roaming in the conservation area and among others include big five animals, big cats, zebras, wildebeests, cheetahs, wild dogs, gazelles, spotted hyenas, hippos, blue monkeys, and elands. This has made game viewing safaris possiblewhich normally take place around the conservation area. In addition, there are different bird species that tourists also enjoy and among others include ostriches, kori bustard, lesser flamingos, yellow wagtails and saddle-billed stork.
Attractions in Ngorongoro have made different activities possible that one can undertake on their visit to this conservation area. These include Game drives, walking safaris, Bird watching, Visiting the Olduvai Gorge, Cultural visits and picnicking. Taking one or two activities on your safari will create the best memorable experience.
Ngorongoro can be visited year in year out since it’s located in east Africa that has favourable climate all year through. Tourists can visit this destination in both rainy and dry seasons. The dry season starts in May to October and this is the best time to do game drives but the wild animals tend to hide since there is limited pasture but this time, they tend to congregate around water collection points.
During the wet season that takes place from November to April, roads in the park can be quite impassable but the area is filled with fresh pasture, making it possible to spot wild animals grazing freely with predators behind them to catch the prey. Therefore, both seasons present great experiences.
Therefore, as you plan to take a wildlife safari in Tanzania, endeavour to head north of Tanzania where you will explore the Ngorongoro conservation area in addition to other national parks like Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Arusha national parks.