Wildlife Encounters

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area : When visiting the northern part of Tanzania, tourists can also visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area which is home to numerous wildlife species.

Attractions around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

There are also different attractions found around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and they include the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Magadi, Lerai Forest, Olduvai gorge, Olmoti Crater and Empakaai Crater, Gol mountains, Nasera Rock, Oldeani Mountain, Lake Eyasi, Lake Natron among others.

  • Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater area is a UNESCO World Heritage site popular for wildlife viewing. The area is inhabited by wildlife species that include the Big Five such as elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions, and leopards. Other animals that can be encountered in the crater area include; cheetahs, hyenas, warthogs, antelopes, zebras, and many others. The lake area has stunning scenery that visitors enjoy. Lions are often spotted hunting for food in the open savannahs.

Tourists descend to the crater floor at about 200 feet (over 600 meters) for a crater safari drive to enjoy viewing different wildlife species and the beautiful scenery.

  • Lake Magadi

Another attraction found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is Lake Magadi which is an alkaline lake found in the crater area.

Lake Magadi is home to a variety of bird species such as flamingos which can be observed by the lake shores as well as wildlife species like hyenas, jackals among others.

  • Lerai Forest

The Lerai forest is another attraction found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It consists of acacia trees and is also home to wildlife species like elephants, rhinos, elands, bushbucks and different bird species.

  • Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge is a renowned archeological site in the Ngorongoro conservation area discovered by Louis and Mary Leakey whose findings include the early man’s ancestral remains. The tourists enjoy seeing and learning about these ancient findings and other fossils at the museum.

  • Olmoti Crater and Empakaai Crater

The Olmoti crater is among the beautiful craters found in the Ngorongoro conservation area and wildlife species such as elands, bushbucks, and reedbucks among others can be spotted around the area. The Maasai pastoralists can also be encountered during tours around the crater.

The Empakaai crater is one of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area multi-volcanic Caderas and probably the most beautiful and the highest rim compared to the rest. The Empakaai Crater is believed to cover approximately 75%, almost three-quarters of the crater floor. The beautiful Caldera is home to flamingoes and other birdlife species that love water.

  • Ol Doinyo Lengai

Tourists on safari around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area can also visit Ol Doinyo Lengai which is among the mountains found in the area. The local Maasai refer to the mountain as the “mountain of God” and it is also a hiking destination.

  • Gol Mountains

The Gol Mountains are also part of the attractions in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and tourists can enjoy short hikes around the mountain with amazing sights of different wildlife species such as wildebeests and zebras along the mountain slopes which are a breeding ground for wildlife species found in the Ndutu area and in the southern part of Serengeti national park.

  • Nasera Rock

The Nasera rock is another archaeological site found in the Ngorongoro Conservation area and wildlife species like klipspringers, and baboons among others can be spotted around the destination.

  • Oldeani mountain

Oldeani Mountain is one of the attractions found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and it is a unique hiking destination in the northern part of Tanzania.

  • Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi is a soda lake found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where tourists visiting the lake can also interact with local communities such as the Hadzabe tribe and the Datoga to learn about their lifestyle.

Different bird species can also be encountered during the tour around Lake Eyasi.

  • Lake Natron

Lake Natron is another attraction found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where flamingos can be seen during safaris.

It is a Salt Lake which is also a good destination for bird watching in Tanzania with Lesser Flamingos being the famous tourist attraction.

Activities to do around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Some of the activities that can be done during safaris around the Ngorongoro conservation area include the following;

  • Game drives

Game drives in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are conducted around the crater which is home to numerous wildlife species including the big five. Other wildlife species found around Ngorongoro include waterbucks, gazelles, impalas, kudu, wildebeests, hyenas, warthogs, zebras, and many others.

Giraffes can be encountered outside the crater during the wildlife safaris around the area. The game drives are done in the morning and afternoon during tours around the Ngorongoro crater.

  • Nature walks / Crater rim walks

Expect to explore the diverse habitats of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area at close range during the crater rim walk.

Tourists can also spot wildlife species in the savannah plains closely and it is possible to follow different tracks around Ngorongoro.

  • Cultural tours

Cultural tours around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area involve interactions with tribes such as the Maasai people, getting to know more about their culture, visiting their villages, and engaging in experiences such as traditional dance performances, and tasting their local cuisines among other activities.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Maasai People
  • Bird watching

Different bird species can be spotted during safari in the Ngorongoro conservation area. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in this area both native and migrant. Ngorongoro conservation area bird species include; guinea fowls, secretary birds, flamingos, kingfishers, woodpeckers, falcons, among others. Tourists can engage in bird watching around the different birding spots in the area.

Best time to visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The best time for tours around the Ngorongoro conservation area is the dry season in June to October and in December, January, and February. Safaris around the destination can be conducted during the rainy season.

How to get to Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is about three hours’ drive, approximately 155km from Arusha town which is a starting point for many safaris across the northern part of Tanzania.

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