About Ngorongoro Crater
Formed from a collapsed volcano that was once amongst the tallest on earth, the Ngorongoro Crater is now one of the largest calderas on earth. This ancient crater (formed over 3 million years ago) measures an impressive 12 miles (19km across), and is surrounded by steep walls that both protect the region, and reduce the migration of animals in and out. Considered Africa’s Garden of Eden for the amazing diversity contained within this park, you will find all of the big 5 here – lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants as well as the rare and endangered Black Rhino. Herds of zebras, wildebeests, hyenas, and the occasional cheetah can also be found, along with a dazzling array of birds. The presence of a permanent source of water inside the crater means that the inhabitants live in the crater year-round. Control to the crater is managed, and access is only possibly into the crater from 6:00am to 7:00pm via one of two roads that descend into the crater. The exception to this are the Masai Mara, a traditional group who have inhabited the region for hundreds of years. They are allowed to take their cattle in to drink and graze. The crater is a must see to any visitors in the region.
First To Review: Maria A.
Sep 29, 2008
The Ngorongoro crater is pretty incredible in many ways. Just descending down the dirt path from the crater's edge for one. The old elephants with their incredibly long tusks for another. The occasional rhino if you're super lucky.
The thing is, I think it's best if you see the Norongoro Crater first before the Serengeti. It's really a compact taste. I went to the Serengeti first before the crater, and while I was impressed with what I did see, it just couldn't compare in sheer grandeur, variety of wildlife, and sense of being out in the wilderness. So I guess I was a bit let down.
That said though, it's like nothing I've ever seen before, so definitely worth a visit.
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Sep 30, 2008
The Ngorongoro Crater is home to some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in the world. Some of the many highlights include elephants, leopards, and zebras. The zebras made for some interesting sights as they blocked the road ahead of us. There are even some rare black rhinos in the park, although you need to be a bit lucky to get close to one. They like to stop moving far from the vehicle paths. On the downside, the crater can get quite crowded with other safari vehicles, so you lose some of the "in the wild" feel. As well, the animals tend to be a bit more acclimatized to humans than the Serengeti.
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Mar 27, 2009
Awesome concentration of wild life in this amazing place. It is definitely worth checking out just for the sheer variety off animals seen in one safari. The only thing that was very dissappointing was the large number of vehicles allowed in to the park at one time and the seemingly scant regard for keeping a respectful distance from wild life. For example, we were lucky enough to be one of the first vehicles to happen apon a pride of lions stalking wilderbeast. We made sure our driver stayed back so not to interfere. Unfortunately, news got around and within 10 minutes there were 20+ vehicles in the area trying to get as close as possible. So much so, the lions gave up their stalking as it was impossible with so many vehicles going off road to get close. We were so disgusted, we left! Very disappointing this was allowed.
Oct 31, 2008
We actually camped in a Bush Camp on the crater rim the night before we drove into the crater. It was freezing cold because the rim is quite a way up. The wildlife within the Ngorongoro is extraordinary! So concentrated yet so diverse! We spotted an elephant that our guide estimated to be 75 years old! Our group went to the Serengeti first for 2 nights in Bush camps before visiting Ngorongoro and I must say, I saw more animals outside the Serengeti than inside. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (and Crater, od course) was teeming with wildlife and it seemed to stop as soon as we passed the Serengeti's Gate. When you see Ngorongoro (so called because of the Massai goat's bells that make a sound like ngoro ngoro when they move) it is hard to imagine that it used to be a massive volcano, roughly the size of Kilimanjaro!
Jul 2, 2010
Absolutely incredible! I loved my visit to the crater, and had an amazing night camping on the rim high above the night before our visit. The animal concentration was amazing, and we seemed to be there at the right time - all of the zebras and wildebeest were returning from migration and there were dozens of babies in tow! We saw lions, elephants, rhinos, wildebeest and zebras in hoardes, and thousands of flamingos! The only thing you won't see in the crater are giraffes, because the hill is too steep for them to walk down into the crater...we saw an elephant slowly making his way down from the rim, and it looked a little harrowing for the big guy! Definitely a spot not to miss on a trip to Tanzania!