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Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania is home to the vast, volcanic Ngorongoro crater and the “big 5” game i.e. elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. Huge herds of wildebeests and zebras traverse its plains during their annual migration. Livestock belonging to the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe graze alongside wild animals. Hominin fossils found in the Olduvai Gorge date back millions of years. The gigantic Ngorongoro crater is the flagship of the tourism industry in Tanzania. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock this area annually. Due to the enclosed nature of the crater it has virtually formed its own ecosystem. It measures about 16-19km in diameter, with walls of 400-610m in height. The crater sinks to a depth of 610 metres, with a base area covering 260 square kilometres. The main Ngorongoro crater is the worlds sixth-largest unbroken caldera of volcanic eruptions. Ngorongoro also has two other volcanic craters: Olmoti and Empakai famous for their stunning waterfalls and a deep lake with lush green walls. On the leeward side of the Ngorongoro highlands protrudes the iconic Oldonyo Lengai which is an active volcano that last erupted in 2007. It is Tanzanias third highest peak after Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. For visitors, lunch is usually served in picnic style surrounded by natural wonders as well as the exceptional wildlife roaming freely. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A safari to this conservation area is usually taken as a 'northern circuit' Tanzanian safari.
This area contains over 25,000 large animals including black rhinoceros, wildebeests, zebras, eland, Grant's and Thomson's gazelles. The crater has a known population of lions numbering over 60. Leopards, elephants, mountain reedbuck, buffalos, spotted hyenas, jackals and rare wild dogs are found higher up in the forests. The legendary annual wildebeest migration passes twice through Ngorongoro concervation area.
• Crater forest game drives and guided nature walks - These activities take place daily and will take you into the crater forest reserve. Lunch is exciting and usually done on a carefully selected picnic site. Your tour guides are well versed with the area and will take you to landmarks of interest.
• Lake Eyasi & Manyara excursions - These lakes are only a short drive from Ngorongoro. You will carry a lunch box with you for this excursions.
• Olduvai Gorge - It is the historic site know as "The Cradle of Mankind" where the world famous archeologist, Dr Leakey, discovered the remains of the early man. Olduvai Gorge is a canyon carved by water through the southern part of the Serengeti Plains. The gorge is about 50 km long and in some places 90 metres deep.
• Balloon safaris - They allow you to move swiftly over the crater floor, lakes and rivers. An early morning balloon safari is provided before breakfast. It gives you more chance to explore this area from a birds eye-view. You will land on the crater floor for a picnic breakfast.
(Note – Hot air balloon is an excursion booked separately. It is advisable that you book it early to avoid disappointment.)
• Walking safari - It is a must do if you are looking for something very special and different in the Ngorongoro. The beauty and peacefulness that you see and feel while on a Tanzania walking safari cannot be compared to any other.
Visitors to the game reserve can find different types of accommodation according to their budget ranging from lodges, luxury tented camps, open-air camping sites and fly camping options. Accommodation include among others:
• Ngorongoro SOPA Lodge - located at the highest point on the crater's entire rim.
• Ngorongoro Oldeani Mountain Lodge - which is a 5-star colonial-style type of lodge set on 40 acres of pristine lush gree gardens.
• Luxury safari tented camps.
• Open-air campsites.
• Fly camping sites
• Picnic sites.
Tourist accommodation varies from luxury to the most basic rooms for the budget traveller. It is a tourist destination that is full-filling for those who love exciting game drives. Accommodation feature all the neccessary amenities a visitor would require. It is very suitable for all travellers. The park include several airstrips such as Ngorongoro airfield.
✓ Lemala Ngorongoro tented camp ✓ Crater forest tented camp ✓ Ngorongoro Wild Camp ✓ Flamingo Safari Lodge and Campsite.
Park entry: The park is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:00 pm.
Entry to the park is by smart card, obtained and loaded at the main gates.
Ngorongoro Crater which was created when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself around 3 million years ago is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. The area presents breathtakingly beautiful gorges, craters and lakes beyond the Ngorongoro Crater. Ngorongoro Crater is listed as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. It is knowned for its geological splendour and for being a natural reserve that is home to some of the densest large mammal populations found anywhere in Africa. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area has some of the highest concentrations of large mammals, including predators in Africa and is the only place in the world that supports human communities living in harmony alongside wildlife. The crater encompasses several different types of landscapes. The Lerai Forest is found in the south west corner of the crater and is an area where leopard, elephant and mountain reedbuck are often spotted. To the north of the forest is the shallow lake Magadi that it is characterised by large flocks of pink flamingos. Other watery areas include the Gorigor Swamp and the Ngoitokitok Springs with a picnic area in the east and inhabited by a great number of hippos. Most of the crater basin, is covered in short nutritious grass that is a ‘must-have’ for large herds of zebras, wildebeests, buffalo, gazelles, topi and black rhinos.
• Empakaai Crater - The crater is about 6 kilometres wide and half of this area is covered in a deep alkaline lake. Thousands of flamingos can be found wading in the lake’s shallower parts. You will enjoy fantastic views from the top such as mount Kilimanjaro which is visible at a distance from the crater rim. Short hikes or longer walks can be arranged around this crater.
• Laetoli and Olduvai Gorge - It’s actual name is Oldupai Gorge originally misnamed as Olduvai. This gorge is one of the most important historical places in the world. Hominid footprints about 3.6 million years old, were found here preserved in volcanic rock at Laetoli, and they are some of the earliest signs of mankind. In the same area many more discoveries have been made, including evidence of four different kinds of hominids, the skull of Zinjanthropus or the ‘Nutcracker Man’, fossils, evidence of large predators and gigantic plant-eaters. The gorge is still the site of ongoing excavations for further archaeological discoveries. You may visit the excavation sites that have been preserved for the public at any time of the year and the Olduvai Museum that displays replicas of unearthed hominid fossils, the Laetoli footprints, prehistoric tools and much more. It is a truly fascinating experience that will date you back in time.
• By Road: Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies immediately adjacent to Serengeti National Park. It is 180 kilometres from Arusha. Transfers by road from Arusha take approximately 4 hours drive. If coming from Kilimanjaro (JRO-Kilimanjaro International airport), it is about 3 hours drive.
• By Air: A ‘meet and greet' transfer services are offered. Available are a number of local flights from Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar that land on different accommodation units and public access airstrips such as Ngorongoro airstrip.
(Make sure to contact us if you wish to visit this game park for your next north Tanzanian safari circuit holiday activity.)
Park charges are based on " " Tanzania tourism development tariffs which are reviewed from time to time. The rates we have quoted here are for information purposes and are indicative of the likely park charges you can incur. They are NOT accurate but approximate. However please note that if you have booked a complete wildlife safari package with us, park charges are included in the total cost of your safari at the time of booking. Therefore you need not worry about park entry fee!
Tourism development levy - It currently stands at US$ 1.5 per person per day including children.
• This park accepts Safari Cards.
• Park Entry Fee are based on Tourism development Tarrifs.
• Tanzanian law protects the whole Ngorongoro ecosystem from human pressures. It prevents human-wildlife conflict. As a visitor, you are therefore required to leave the park as tidy as you found it. Litering and dropping rubbish is strictly prohibited. You will be prosecuted if you violate these rules.
• If you take a walking safari along the forests, rivers and lakes, it is your responsibility to ensure that you keep a safe distance from wild animals and wear life jackets and other recommended items for your safety while in the water ways.
• The park is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
• Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:00 pm.
• Entry to the park is by smart card only, obtained and loaded at the main gates.
• Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Scheduled local flight services to Ngorongoro are available from Nairobi, Arusha, Dar es salaam and Zanzibar Airports.
Airport transfers are available at an additional charge. Please let us know that we need to pick you up at the airport upon your arrival. Do not assume.