Ngorongoro Conservation Area is in the Southern part of Tanzania, Arusha Region (Ngorongoro Division) and is under the Protection of Tanzania government through its arm Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.
It is the home to the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater which it is named after and Olduvai Gorges.
Its habitat consists of highlands forests, savannah, savannah woodlands, highlands plains, and Lake Makat-a soda lake filled by Munge River. This is mainly influenced by variations in climate, landforms, and altitude.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area plays an important role during the Great Migration. This where the Great Migration begins as millions of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle move from Tanzania Serengeti National Park to Kenya Masai Mara National Reserve.
The Maasai Community resides in this area and meeting them is guaranteed. They co-exist here with the wildlife practicing traditional livestock grazing.
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Ngorongoro Crater is the world largest inactive volcanic caldera. It is 610 m deep and its floor covers an area of 260 km2. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
Its floor is mostly covered by grassland and a huge swamp inhabited by hippos. The stunning landscapes of Ngorongoro Crater with its spectacular variety of wildlife can be said to be one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.
Olduvai Gorges play an important role in the origin and evolution of humankind. This is where the remains of Homo habilis were discovered. If you are an enthusiast of archaeology, I have given you a reason to visit this area.
Olduvai Gorges is part of the Great Rift Valley that cut across East Africa.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to a wide variety of wildlife including the big five-the elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and the leopard.
Most popular of all in terms of numbers are the wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle that are witnessed in the Great Migration.
Other major animals include the hippopotamus, common eland, waterbuck, cheetah, leopard, wild dog, serval, and hyena.
Things to do in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
You can indulge in a number of activities which include
- Game viewing-wide variety of wildlife
- Wildlife and landscape photography-stunning landscapes
- Picnics with the opportunity to visit the Olduvai Gorges
- Bird watching
- Hiking and mountain climbing
- Nature walks
Close Tourist Attraction Sites
- Mount Ol doinyo Lengai
- Tarangire National Park
- Lake Manyara National Park
- Arusha National Park
- Lake Natron
- Lake Eyasi
- Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Weather & Climate
Ngorongoro climate is warm and temperate.
The average annual temperature is 17°C. March is the hottest month of the year with an average temperature of 19°C while July is the coldest with an average temperature of 15°C.
The average annual rainfall is 911 mm. The lowest rainfall is recorded in July with an average rainfall of 5 mm. In April, rainfall is at peak with an average of 209 mm.
When to Visit
The dry season is the best time to visit. Trails are dependable and animals usually gather around the remaining watering bodies during this period i.e. June-February.
How to get there
The easiest and the cheapest way to get to this area is to fly to Nairobi and Join a Nairobi Safari or take a bus to Arusha from Nairobi.
The Nairobi route is very convenient and offers the best packages ever and a team to travel with.
Another option is to fly to the Mount Kilimanjaro Airport and hit the road to Arusha about 45 km away.
Mostly a visit to Ngorongoro is part of a bigger safari that passes different areas such as the Serengeti National Park.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Fees
Charges are as follows:
East African Residents
Adults (Above 1 6yrs): Tsh 1,500
Children (Btw 5-1 6yrs): Tsh 500
Adults (Above 1 6yrs): $50
Children (Btw 5-1 6yrs): $1 0
All children below 5yrs enjoy free entry.
Remember to carry your identification documents to avoid inconveniences during the Safari.
Park and camping charges are paid through the Tanzanian Banks upon where you will be issued with a deposit slip. On getting to the park, a card will be issued to you for free movement inside the park.
Popular Ngorongoro Hotels and Lodges
Hotels and Lodges near Ngorongoro Conservation Area include
- Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
- Lemala Ngorongoro
- Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge
- Pakulala Safari Camp
- Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
- Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
- Tanzanlce Safari Lodge
- Pembeni Rhotia
- Ngorongoro Oldeani Mountain Lodge
- Hhando Coffee Lodge
- Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge and Children’s Home
- Kudu Lodge and Campsite
- St Catherine Monastery and Guest House