Are you planning a visit to Africa and wondering where to head, with so many different options? Take a serious look at Tanzania and the Ngorongoro Crater. Really just the right destination for people who can’t have enough of wildlife, the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is one you just cannot skip visiting. This is a part of the sprawling Ngorongoro conservation area and offers you a direct peek into Africa’s rich wildlife. So visit with your backpacks ready and start exploring the short-grass plains on the Serengeti Plain from where you can move to the cluster of now collapsed and ancient volcanoes in Ngorongoro Highlands located on the western edges of the valley of Great Rift.
Created after a massive volcano collapsed after exploding millions of years ago, the Ngorongoro crater is a UNESCO world-heritage site since 1978. It can easily be counted as one of the natural wonders for the sheer geological splendor it hosts. Nowhere else will you find such large population of land mammals living in perfect harmony with man and with the crater measuring just about 19 kilometers in diameter with walls towering just at 400 t0 610 meters perhaps the smallest area for such huge natural reserve.
Visiting the crater is easy, and access comes through a flight from Dar in Tanzania from where you fly to Arusha. A four hours drive from here takes you straight to the crater. An alternate route is by taking a flight to Manyara that’s closer, about an hour from this crater. So what can one expect to find in Ngorongoro? A memorable stay in one of the many lodges built around the crater that directly overlook its rim giving you one of the most incredible views and a feel of living nestled in nature! There are also camps in another area close by called Karatu. More of adventure!
Within a small and compact area you’re likely to find perhaps the densest population of wildlife. The Lerai forest on one edge offers an adventurous hike. Going through it one can reach the Lake Magadi on the north. This is really a shallow and soda lake. Spend some hours around the lake and then start moving to the Ngoitoitok Springs to spot the hippo or head east and reach the Gorigor swamp where there’s more of hippo watching awaiting you. Ngorongoro is arguably the best place in Tanzania to spot the mighty and mysterious black Rhino and the black-maned lions. Its also a haven for bird watching sweeping you directly into the colorful realm of flamingoes and more than 100 water bird species.
Also look out for zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, and different species of gazelle. Its very rare to bump into an elephant herd but sometimes elephants do pass close to the crater. If however you’re keen to watch at close range the Giraffe and Impala then Ngrongoro is not the place to go. Once you’ve sated your eyes with the wildlife spotting just relax and plunge into the luxurious comfort of the resort or luxury lodge you’ve booked into.