Ngorongoro is located on the edge of the Serengeti National Park 180 km west of the city of Arusha, in northern Tanzania. The total area of ​​the reserve is 8288 km². This is not an ordinary nature reserve that has a protected to preserve rare species of animals and plants, but also the Masai tribe lives here. You can get to know this tribe better in two ethnic settlements (Bomas) – on the way to Serengeti Park, and in the village of Irkeepusi. The flora of the reserve is unusually diverse. There are mountains and meadows, forests, swamps, lakes, rivers, endless steppes, and savannas here. There are more than 30,000 animals live in the Ngorongoro Reserve. There are almost all representatives of the animal Africa world: lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, leopards, wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, buffaloes, warthogs, rhinos, hippos.

In the center of the reserve, there is a volcanic crater created by the explosion of a large volcano about 2.5 million years ago. Its diameter is about 22 km, depth is up to 762 meters, and its total area is 264 square kilometers. At the bottom of the crater, there is Lake Magadi. It is famous for its large population of flamingos. Elephants and buffaloes visit the lake surrounded by swamps. Reed goats, cheetahs, hyenas and dark-maned lions can be found near the swamps. Not far from the lake there are two small woodlands, which are home to impala and congoni antelopes, and there are white and black rhinos, which are endangered species. There are no more than 20 of them. 

The crater has become home to more than 100 bird species. These are the bearded woodpecker, yellow-breasted apalis, brubru, paradise flycatcher, cranes, herons, ostriches, bustards, flamingos, secretary birds, starlings, red-throated wagglers. 

Since 1951, the crater has become part of the Serengeti National Park. 

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area park was created around the crater in 1959. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. Since 1981, the territory of the park has been recognized as a biosphere reserve. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the few places in Africa where you can see a black rhinoceros. 

Tripety travelers may plan and organize their visit here with the Tripety travel app. There are many places to put in the Tripety planner

  • The Ngorongoro Crater was formed when a large volcano erupted and collapsed on itself. This explosion created a caldera approximately two and a half million years ago.
  • When it was a volcano it’s thought to have been a similar size to Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s highest mountains. Estimates of the volcano’s original height vary between 4,500 to 5,800 meters. The crater itself is about 610 meters deep and 260 kilometers squared.
  • Approximately 40,000 people live in the conservation area.
  • You won’t find any giraffes in the crater. It’s thought they can’t enter as the sides are too steep for them to walk down. However, you’ll still be able to find them around the crater.
  • The Ngorongoro Crater along with two others in the region (Olmoti and Empakai) were enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It’s also one of the Sevens Natural Wonders of Africa.
  • The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world. The fossils discovered there are said to be the earliest known evidence of the human species.
  • Tourism is essential for economic growth however visitor numbers are being monitored to avoid damaging the environment. Around 450,000 people travel to the Ngorongoro a year and all are required to obtain a permit to enter the crater and gorge.
  • The region has welcomed numerous famous people including Prince William, Bill Clinton and the Queen of Denmark. Visitors to Ngorongoro account for approximately 60% of the 770,000 who travel to Tanzania each year.
  • The Oscar-winning movie Out of Africa was filmed partly in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. One of the scenes you can spot the crater is when Denys takes off from the Olkurruk airstrip and flies over the Masai Mara and Ngorongoro.
  •  The Ngorongoro Crater is also referred to as ‘the Garden of Eden’ due to its dazzling beauty and being a paradise for animals.

Ngorongoro gorges. Olduvai is a gorge in northern Tanzania. It is a 40 km long crevice along the Serengeti Plains in the Ngorongoro Protected Area, about 100 meters deep and 250 square kilometers in area.

Olduvai Gorge is the site of many prehistoric finds. The remains of Homo habilis (antiquity over 2 million years) were found here. The skull of an Australopithecus, the split bones of animals killed in the hunt, and very rough stone tools dating back to the ancient Paleolithic era were also found here.

Now in the gorge there is a museum of anthropology and human evolution “Olduvai Goj”, which displays the remains of the predecessors of modern man, the remains of prehistoric animals, mammoth tusks.

Tripety travelers enjoy sharing this place with other travelers in the Tripety blog.

Ngorongoro museums. Olduvai Goj Museum is a museum of anthropology and human evolution that is located in Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The museum displays the remains of the predecessors of modern man, the remains of prehistoric animals, mammoth tusks, as well as stone tools of ancient people. In several halls of the museum, there are the remains of various animals that at different times inhabited the region of East Africa, where the Olduvai Gorge is located now.

The most interesting and extensive exposition of the museum is dedicated to the paws and hooves of prehistoric animals and the footprints of humanoid creatures – hominids, discovered by archaeologists in 1979.

The Olduvai Gorge was chosen as the location for the museum, not by chance. Many interesting archaeological finds have been made here in different years. The remains of Homo habilis (antiquity over 2 million years) were found here.

Ngorongoro Falls. Kalambo is a waterfall on the Kalambo River (flows into Lake Tanganyika), on the border of Zambia and Tanzania.

The height of the waterfall reaches 427 meters, the width varies from 3 to 18 meters. It is the second-highest continuous falling waterfall in Africa. Kalambo is a popular tourist destination for Tripety travelers.

The waterfall was first discovered by Europeans in 1913. Archaeologically, it is one of the most important sites in Africa. For the first time, excavations around the small lake at the bottom of the falls were led by John Desmond Clark  in 1953.

Maasai village near Ngorongoro. Not far from the Ngorongoro Crater there are small Masai villages (boma). Some of them host tourist excursions. At the same time, the villages are not tourist sites, but real authentic Maasai settlements. 

For Tripety travelers, the villagers put on small performances, sing and dance. Then they walk through the village, show the huts and the school for the children. At the same time, the Masai are not too good-natured and open, so a visit rarely lasts more than 15 minutes.

The Masai live in cow-dung huts, women build huts, and men graze livestock. A family with several children and young livestock live in the hut.

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