Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a Protected Area (PAs) and a Mixed World Heritage Site
Welcome to Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), one of the world’s truly amazing places. The NCA is not a national park but it is a pioneering experiment in multi-purpose land use. Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a Protected Area (PAs) and a Mixed World Heritage Site in Northern Tanzania, covering 8,292 square kilometres and sheltering the finest blend of landscape, wildlife, people, and archaeological sites in Africa.
It is located 180km West of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania, extending from the plains of Serengeti National Park and Maswa Game Reserve in the West, to the Eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley. This Protected Area was named after Ngorongoro Crater, world’s largest unbroken and unfilled volcanic caldera, which is 610m deep and host over 25,000 large animals including some of Africa’s last remaining black rhinos. Outside the big crater, wildlife in Ngorongoro Conservation Areaco-exist with the semi-nomadic Maasai, who practise traditional livestock grazing. The Maasai are a pastoral tribe that has managed to preserve its culture over hundreds of years, living in harmony with the wild animals.
Apart from the Crater and its wildlife and people, the other significant features in Ngorongoro Conservation Area include Olduvai Gorge (also spelt Oldupai) and Laetoli, which contain important palaeontological records related to human evolution. Indeed, Ngorongoro has been a place for extensive archaeological researches in the past 100 years, revealing evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, collectively extending over a span of almost four million years.
From the misty mountains and lush forests to the sweeping grasslands with their teeming herds. Ngorongoro provides a rich adventure to every visitor. Part of the fees that you pay help the NCAA to carry out its many projects and duties and improve roads and other facilities and services. But a large part also goes to the central government to help support the country as a whole. NCA and the National Parks are the important earners of foreign exchange for Tanzania. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority want you to enjoy Ngorongoro’s outstanding wildlife and scenery. You can help by respecting their rules. Please do what you can do to help protect this wonderful land, its wildlife and people.
Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact and unfilled volcanic caldera, and is indeed the flagship tourism attraction of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Measuring an area of 260 square kilometres and extending about 20km in diameter, the crater is actually a huge caldera of a volcano that collapsed to a depth of 610m about three million years ago. Over the course of time, streams of water made their way down the crater to form little ponds, and vegetation developed all over, attracting a wide range of wild animals. The crater is host to over 25,000 animals including populations of large mammals such as elephants, buffaloes, elands, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, hippos, and rhinos, as well as such carnivores as lions, hyenas, jackals, and cheetahs. The ponds, or rather small lakes on the floor of the crater also host a wide-range of water birds including flamingoes and pelicans. Away from the crater floor, the forests on the crater rim is home to leopards, reedbuck, warthogs, and forest birds to complete a natural zoo, and Africa’s ultimate destination to see the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo).
Many animals stay in the crater for large proportion of their lives, but others move out and may move back again. There are nine craters in the Conservation Area, of which Ngorongoro Crater is the biggest and most stunning. Before it collapsed, geologists estimate, its height was about 4,587m above sea level. The stunning landscape of Ngorongoro Crater combined with its spectacular concentration of wildlife is one of the greatest natural wonders of the planet. The crater was voted one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa in February 2013, by the organization Seven Natural Wonders, based in the United States, which had conducted a campaign since 2008 to determine the most phenomenal natural features of Africa.
Other craters includes Empakaai Crater and Olmoti Crater, visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area website if you want to learn more about the fantastic place before booking for your safari. Explore safari options in Ngorongoro by visiting our Sample Itineraries page or by checking our 10 Days Luxury Safari and 8 Days Luxury Safari. We can also customize any safari options you need.