Ngorongoro Crater

8,292 sq km - 180 km from Arusha

The Ngorongoro crater is a conservation area and a UNESCO world heritage site located 180 km west of Arusha. The carter is recognized by one private organization as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. Land in the conservation area is multi-use and unique because it is the only conservation area in Tanzania that protects wildlife while allowing human habitation. Land use is controlled to prevent negative effects on the wildlife population. For example, cultivation is prohibited at all but subsistence levels. The Ngorongoro Crater includes most of the animal species found in East Africa.

Approximately 25,000 large animals, mostly ungulates live in the crater. Large animals in the crater include the black rhinoceros, the local population of which declined from about 108 in 1964-66 to between 11-14 in 1995, and the hippopotamus. There also are many other ungulates: the wildebeest, zebra, the common eland, and Grant's and Thomson's gazelles. Impala are absent because the open woodland they prefer does not exist. Giraffe also are absent, possibly because of a lack of browse species. Cheetah, African wild dog and leopard are rarely seen. The crater has one of the densest known population of lions, numbering 62 in 2001.

Getting there
The road from Arusha to Lodoare Entrance Gate is 160km long and it takes about two hours with car.

What to do
Game drive, Masaai walk outside the crater, trekking outside of the crater

When to go
Since the animals stays in the crater all year, there really is no good or bad time to be in the park. However, given that the crater floor can be busy with vehicles the low season months can be beneficial. But travelling to Ngorongoro at any time of year will guarantee great game.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Lemala Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Serena and Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge