Haven for the Big 5
Facts about Tanzania's Ngorongoro crater
Discover fascinating Facts about Tanzania’s Ngorongoro crater, another popular destination in Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is believed to be the largest inactive volcanic caldera in the world that is not filled with water. The crater is home to around 25,000 large animals, such as elephants, giraffes, lions, and black rhinos.
Wildlife can be seen throughout the year, but the area can get crowded during peak months. Although there are no camps inside the crater, there are some perched on the rim, offering stunning views. Alternatively, visitors can stay further out in the wider Ngorongoro Conservation Area and take a day-trip into the crater. Look for accommodation close to the access road to make the most of your time in the area.
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View on the way to Tanzani's Ngorongoro crater
- The Ngorongoro Crater was formed by a volcano that erupted and collapsed 2.5 million years ago. It’s about 610 meters deep and 260 square kilometers wide.
- Around 30,000 animals live in the area, including leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hyenas, warthogs, buffalos, impalas, and the endangered black rhino and black-maned male lions.
- The Ngorongoro Crater is home to the Maasai tribe in Tanzania
- Giraffes can’t enter the crater because the sides are too steep, but you can still find them around the area.
- The Ngorongoro Crater, Olmoti, and Empakai were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and are among the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
- The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is an important prehistoric site. Olduvai Gorge, located within the area, was the site of a major archaeological discovery in the 1950s. The fossils found there are the earliest known evidence of humans, greatly enhancing our understanding of evolution.
Tourism is important for the area’s economy, but visitor numbers are monitored to avoid harming the environment. About 450,000 people visit Ngorongoro each year and must obtain a permit to enter the crater and gorge.
The ngorongoro conservation is home to the big five animals, lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, and buffalos. It is also home of the endagered black rhinos.
Famous people, such as Prince William, Bill Clinton, and the Queen of Denmark, have visited the area. Ngorongoro receives around 60% of the 770,000 tourists who travel to Tanzania each year.
The movie Out of Africa, which won an Oscar, was partially filmed in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. One of the scenes shows the crater as Denys takes off from the Olkurruk airstrip and flies over the Masai Mara and Ngorongoro.
The Ngorongoro Crater is often called “the Garden of Eden” because of its stunning beauty and its role as an animals paradise.