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Ngorongoro conservation area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in northern Tanzania, along the northern safari route, and is about 153 kilometres (99 miles) west of Arusha, a major Tanzanian tourist safari destination. Ndutu region serves as the confluence of this conservation area and the southern region of Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area adjoins Serengeti National Park. Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a unique Tanzania safari destination and a part of the great Serengeti ecosystem. The distance between Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park is 50 kilometres, 139 kilometres, and 213 kilometres, respectively.

With Ngorongoro crater as its primary feature, Ngorongoro conservation area is a special place to visit on a Tanzania safari. At 2,000 feet deep and 260 square kilometres wide, Ngorongoro crater is the world’s biggest continuous volcanic caldera. Ngorongoro crater was created by a volcanic explosion and collapsed approximately 2-3 million years ago. Ngorongoro crater was designated a World Heritage site of International Importance in 1979 due to its singularity. In addition to Ngorongoro crater, Ngorongoro conservation area has other stunning elements that serve as additional highlights of Tanzania safaris there. The Oldupai or Olduvai Gorge, which is renowned as the cradle of man, is one of these features. Olduvai Gorge is a mysterious archaeological site hosting the last remaining evidence of the first human evolution on Earth, and these remains were discovered in the 1950s by paleoanthropologists Louis Leakey and his wife Mary Leaky. Laetoli footprints, Nasera rock, and Olduvai Gorge Museum are some of the other archaeological wonders that can be discovered in Ngorongoro conservation area.

The 8,292 square kilometre Ngorongoro conservation area has a terrain with a variety of natural features, including lakes, craters, wetlands, and more. Physical features in Ngorongoro conservation area include Ngorongoro crater, Makai crater, Olmoti crater, Lake Magadi, central plains, Lerai forest, Rumbe hills, Munge stream, Mandusi swamp, Gorigor swamp, Ngoitokitok springs, Gol Mountains, Mount Lolmalasin and Losirua, Lake Ndutu, Lake Maseke, Olkarien gorge, and the shifting sands. Grasslands dominate the central plains of Ngorongoro conservation area, which are a great place to go on a Tanzanian safari to see wildlife. The central plains also support the existence of many different wildlife species.

One of the reasons Ngorongoro conservation area is ranked as one of the top locations for Tanzania wildlife tours is because it serves as a fantastic habitat for a significant number of animal species in Tanzania. Primarily the Ngorongoro conservation area hosts over 25000 large mammals, which is dominated by grass plains west of the Gol Mountains, northeast of the crater, and the area around Lake Ndutu, which is near to the Serengeti national park’s border. Predators including lions, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, black-backed jackals, golden backed jackals, waterbucks, Bohor reedbucks, elands, warthogs, hartebeests, wildebeests, serval cats, elephants, black rhinos, zebras, and many other species can be found in Ngorongoro crater.

Ngorongoro conservation area in Tanzania is a great place to go on a birding safari because it is home to over 500 different bird species, both resident and migratory. Some of the birds that can be seen there are African spoonbill, Capped wheatear, Egptian vulture, Hildebrandt’s starling, Kori bustard, Livingstone’s turaco secretary birds, Namaqua dove, sparrow, Northern anteater chat, Jackson’s widowbird, Kenya rufous sparrow, Augur buzzard, Grater flamingo, Speke’s weaver, White-eyed slaty flycatcher, Scarlet-chested sunbird and among many other. Birds primarily live near Lake Ndutu, Empakaai Crater Lake, and other savannah grasslands in Ngorongoro conservation area.

Safari activities to do in Ngorongoro conservation area. 

Game viewing.

Game viewing safari in Ngorongoro conservation area is done with a 4X4 wheel vehicle and begins after descending through the lush woodlands to the crater floor. Ngorongoro conservation area is a very rewarding site for Tanzania game viewing safaris with fantastic sightings of game activity. Game viewing can be done in the morning, during the afternoon, or at night. The morning game drive is best for observing the game, such as big cats like lions and leopards hunting for prey, while the night game drive is fantastic for seeing predators like lions, leopards, and wild dogs while using a spotlight torches.

Look out for species including lions, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, black-backed jackals, golden backed jackals, waterbucks, Bohor reedbucks, elands, warthogs, hartebeests, wildebeests, serval cats, elephants, and black rhinos from the windows of your vehicle while on a game drive is a such stunning safari experience in Ngorongoro conservation area.

Bird watching. 

A must-see location for a Tanzania birding tour, Ngorongoro conservation area boasts over 500 bird species, both resident and migratory, that live in the area’s woodland groves, grassland plains, lakes like Lake Magadi, and marshes. A variety of bird species such as Lesser Kestrel, European bee eater, Pallid Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, saddle bills, yellow throated longclaw, shrikes, kingfishers, martial eagles, plovers, goshawk, harrier, ostriches, Kori bustards, waxbills, starlings, reed warblers, woodpeckers, herons, grey crowned cranes, secretary birds, African spoonbill, capped wheatear and among many others. And many more are spotted on a birding safari in Ngorongoro conservation area. Finding lesser flamingos and other water birds on Lake Magadi, a salt lake on the crater floor, is the highlight of bird watching in the Ngorongoro conservation area.

 Walking safaris.

An exciting and gratifying location, Ngorongoro reserve area is ideal for Tanzania walking safaris. Walking safaris in Ngorongoro conservation area is a wonderful way to see the area’s many tourist attractions while accompanied by a safari guide. Ngorongoro conservation area offers a variety of walking safari sessions, including short walks, crater rim walks, hikes to Empakaai crater, ascents of the Olmoti volcano’s sides, and walks along Lake Eyasi.

Crater rim treks, which last between one and four hours, begin early in the morning from Lemala gate on the crater’s eastern side and give you a beautiful views of the crater floor and numerous birds in the dense forest cover. Walk along Lake Eyasi is a half-day excursion that takes place in Maasai village and along the shores of Lake Eyasi. Other hiking options include climbing Olmoti volcano’s flanks, which begins from the highlands camp and involves a trail through mountain forests, grasslands, and outcrops leading to the summit.

Archaeological tours.

Numerous archaeological sites, including Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli footprint, which contain remnants of human race’s predecessors, are located inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. These sites are visited as part of archaeological excursions. Olduvai Gorge, considered to be the origin of humanity, is well known for housing early Homo sapiens bones. The Olduvai Gorge Museum, which has two rooms one devoted to Oldupai and the other to Laetoli displays a collection of artefacts found by Dr. Leakey and his wife. Archaeological tours in Ngorongoro Conservation Area offer a chance to see a fossil that paleoanthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey found in the 1950s in Olduvai Gorge.

Camping safaris.

There are many approved camping sites used on camping safaris, including public campsites and special campsites, some of which are located on the rim of Empakaai crater, in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro conservation area. Public campsites offer less amenities, such as restrooms and showers, and they are typically reserved for backpackers. Special campsites in the Ngorongoro conservation area feature amenities needed by campers, such as food outlets, and are typically substantial in size. Bookings for camping safaris in Ngorongoro conservation area can be made at the organization’s main office.

Ngorongoro conservation area
Ngorongoro conservation area

Cultural tours. 

The intriguing Maasai people are one of the best tribes to visit on a Tanzania cultural tour because of their distinctive culture, which has been distorted by modernity and technology. Cultural excursions in Ngorongoro conservation region lead travelers to visit the fascinating Masai people.  Tourists can discover more about the traditional beliefs, traditions, and practices of Maasai people by taking a Tanzania cultural tour in their town, which shares borders with the Ngorongoro conservation area. Other customary pursuits in the Maasai culture include visiting the cultural Bomas, tasting regional cuisine, raising cattle, and native attire in shukas and ornamented with exquisite handcrafted jewelry, such as enormous colorful necklaces.

Where to stay in Ngorongoro conservation area.

Ngorongoro conservation area offers accommodation facilities in a wide variety of lodges and camps that are available in three statuses: luxury, midrange, and budget. Accommodation in Ngorongoro conservation area include Ngorongoro crater lodge, Lemala Ngorongoro Tented camp, Ngorongoro Spa Lodge, Serena Ngorongoro Lodge, Ang’ata Ngorongoro camp, Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury lodge, Lion’s paw cam, Ngorongoro Forest Tented lodge, Hhando coffee lodge, Ngorongoro wildlife lodge, Ngorongoro Rhino lodge,

 Mountain Lodge and many more.

How to get to Ngorongoro conservation area.

Arusha, a well-known tourist destination in Tanzania, is located approximately 173 kilometres away from Ngorongoro conservation area. Getting there can be done by both air and road transportation. From the city of Arusha, a route leads to the Loduare Gate, which is close to the village of Karatu. Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and other places on the northern safari circuit can all be reached from the Ngorongoro conservation area by different routes.

Direct flights and domestic chartered flights are available to Ngorongoro Conservation Area by air transportation. Direct flights are also available to Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is located 46 kilometres away and serves as the entrance to Arusha town. You travel to Arusha town for a domestic flight to Ngorongoro airstrip or Lake Ndutu airstrip from Kilimanjaro international airport. Domestic charter airlines Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Regional Air, Zan Air, Safari Air Link, and Coastal Aviation provide service to the Ngorongoro conservation region.

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