Ngorongoro Conservation Area - Tanzania
This area is known for almost guaranteed sightings of Africa's Big Five.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is Best For
Directions to Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is quickly becoming as famous as the neighbouring Serengeti Plains for its varied habitats, famous crater and rich wildlife populations. Located between the Great Rift Valley and the Serengeti, the Conservation Area is known for almost guaranteed sightings of the Big Five (elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard).
The varied environments of the Conservation Area include plains, bush, forests, and rolling volcanic peaks and turrets. Its saline lakes are home to large flamingo populations, as well as migrant populations of birds such as cranes, storks and wagtails.
Within the Conservation Area lies the Ngorongoro Crater, known as the eighth natural wonder of the world. Virtually all the Big Five live or travel within the crater rim, while along its edge, Masaai tribesmen graze goats and cattle on the highland plateaus. As a protected area, only Masaai (approximateily 42,200) are allowed to live within the Conservation Area and graze their animals around and within the crater. The crater provides a safe environment for the highly endangered black rhino, which number approximately 24 within the crater.
Olduvai Gorge is another main attraction of the Conservation Area. The steep ravine is the location where, in 1959, anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered a 1.8 million year old hominid skeleton. That and many other important early human fossils discovered in the gorge make Olduvai one of the world's most important anthropological sites.
Arusha is the gateway to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and most safaris from Arusha will include both the Serengeti and the NCA. The town can be reached easily by scheduled or charter flights directly to Arusha or connecting through Dar es Salaam. It is also accessible by road.
When To Go:
The population of the crater remains relatively stable year-round, making Ngorongoro a good choice for a safari at any time of year. However, the rainy season (April and May) may mean fewer people and more slippery roads.
What To Do:
As Ngorongoro is included in many Serengeti and area safaris, many of the same day trips apply - hot air ballooning, cultural trips and visits to other parks. The best thing one can do in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is sit back and relax on a game drive while taking in the Big Five and one of the most unique environments in the world.
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All Tanzania National Parks & Game Reserves
Arusha National Park
Gombe Streams National Park
Katavi National Park
Kitulo National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mikumi National Park
Mkomazi National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ruaha National Park
Rubondo Island National Park
Saadani National Park
Selous Game Reserve
Serengeti National Park
Singita Grumeti Reserves
Tarangire National Park
Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Lesser Known Game Reserves
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority
P.O. Box 1
Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha Tanzania
Tel: +255 27 253 7006 and +255 27 253 7019
Fax: +255 27 253 7007