ngorongoro conservation area tanzania africa

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was created in 1959 when multiple areas destined for the conservation of natural resources were joined together.
It is the only place in the world where humanity and wild animals coexist in harmony.

The heart of the park is the Ngorongoro crater, 610 meters deep with a base covering an area of 260 km².
The height of the volcano originally was between 4,500 and 5,800 meters.
In addition to the main crater there are two other volcanic craters: Olomoti and Empakai.

In this area we can find 25,000 animals including 26 black rhinos, 7,000 wildebeest, 4,000 zebras, 3,000 gazelles of oryx and 3,000 between Grant and Thompson's gazelles.
The area of the crater is populated by a good number of lions: 62.
Furthermore, it is possible to find leopards on the edges of the crater and in the rainforest, 30 adult elephants, reed antelopes, about 4,000 buffaloes in addition to spotted hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, cheetahs and other felines.

Peculiarities of Ngorongoro Conservation Area:

  • this area includes archaeological sites, volcanoes (extinct and active), breathtaking mountains, forests, lakes and wild animals;
  • the Ngorongoro crater is a famous World Heritage site, it was also one of the contenders to become one of the seven wonders of the world;
  • there are several archaeological sites: Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli, Lake Ndutu and Nasera Rock Shelter;
  • the ruins of Engakura, or what remains of a terraced city with irrigation systems, are located on the east side of Empakaai crater;
  • if you are lucky you can see the "big five" (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino);
  • the large bird population makes of it a great place for bird watching.

What to Do

Bird watching, cultural tourism (trips to Masaai villages), climbing, walking safaris, wildlife safaris, camping, luxury safaris, and safari weddings.


It covers an area of 8,300 km², is located along the Great Rift Valley.
It extendes reaching Lake Natron in the northeast, Lake Enyasi in the south and Lake Manyara in the east.
It is 190 km from Arusha and 40 from Lake Manyara National Park.

Getting There

Arusha is 55km from Kilimanjaro Airport, served by some international airlines.
Driving along the B144 from Arusha to the west you reach the Lake Manyara National Park (after about 2 hours of travel) and continuing for another hour you will arrive in Ngorongoro.

When to Go

Being on different levels the movements of the air masses cause a great variation of the climate of the area.
Precipitations are seasonal and vary depending on the altitude from 500 mm per year in the dry plains to the 1700 mm in the forests on the slopes.
On the highlands the climate is humid and foggy.
The temperature in the semi-arid plain varies from a minimum of 2° to a maximum 35°C.
It is always a good moment to visit this area as the animals never leave the grasslands to go towards the crater.

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