Exploring the Ngorongoro Conservation area is a fantastic experience – especially considering its rich history as well as its current state of preservation. From cultural heritage sites to beautiful landscapes, amazing wildlife, and stunning scenery, it is truly a place of wonder.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers over 2,100 square kilometers of land, spanning the western side of Arusha National Park. This protected area is home to diverse ecosystems ranging from dryland scrublands to montane forested areas. The NCA was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1979. Its name comes from the Maasai word ‘ngorongoro’, meaning ‘place where lions roar’. Today, Ngorongoro NCA receives millions of visitors annually.
Ngorongoro National Park
Ngorongoro National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tanzania. The park is home to a large number of wildlife, including lions, elephants, and hippos. Visitors can take safari drives through the park or go on foot to see the animals up close. There are many Maasai villages within the park boundaries, where visitors can learn about the local culture and way of life.
Masai Village in Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to many different Masai villages, each with its unique customs and traditions. One of the best ways to experience Masai culture is to visit one of these villages and learn about their way of life.
A typical Masai village consists of a few dozen huts made from sticks and cow dung, which are arranged in a circle around a central cattle pen. The cattle are the most important possession of the Masai people and are used for everything from milk to meat to transport. Visitors to a Masai village will often see women milking cows or preparing traditional dishes, while men tend to the herds or hunt for game.
One of the most interesting aspects of Masai culture is its unique relationship with wildlife. The Masai have co-existed with lions for centuries, and share their cattle herds with the big cats. If you are lucky enough to visit a Masai village during a lion hunt, you witness first-hand how these skilled warriors take down one of nature’s most feared predators.
Olduvai Gorge is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It is renowned for its extensive fossil record, which provides insights into human evolution and the African landscape over time.
Visitors to Olduvai Gorge can explore the museum and viewpoints, hike through the canyon, and camp overnight in the nearby campsites. The area is also home to several Maasai villages, where visitors can learn about their culture and way of life.
45,000 acre Manyara Ranch
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to Manyara Ranch, a 4,5000-acre private wildlife reserve.
It offers game drives, guided walks, night game drives, and horseback safaris. The ranch has a variety of wildlife including lions, elephants, leopards, and cheetahs. Visitors can also see hippos, giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests.
Majestic Crater Lake
Taking in the majestic beauty of Crater Lake is one of the best things to do in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The lake is located inside the crater of an inactive volcano and is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. Its turquoise waters are surrounded by sheer cliffs, making for a stunning sight. Visitors can also spot wildlife including hippos, flamingos, and storks around the lake.
Empakaai Crater is one of the best things to do in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The views from the crater rim are incredible, and you can even hike down into the crater itself.
The crater is a collapsed volcano that is now home to a spectacular lake.
Laetoli archaeological site
Laetoli is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The site is known for its fossils, which include some of the earliest human footprints. The footprints are preserved in volcanic ash and date back to around 3.7 million years ago.
Laetoli is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is a World Heritage Site. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, and rhinos. Visitors can also enjoy hiking and camping in the beautiful setting.
Climbing or hiking Gol mountains
Ngorongoro is home to the famous Gol Mountains. The range stretches for over 100 kilometres and includes some of the tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountains are a popular destination for hikers and climbers and offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Glamorous hike around the crater rim
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Africa. Hiking around the rim of the crater is one of the best ways to take it all in. The trailhead is located just outside the park entrance gate and follows the crater rim for about eight kilometres. Along the way, you’ll have panoramic views of the crater floor, which is teeming with wildlife. You might even spot a few animals from above as they go about their day. Remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as there is no shade along the trail.
Unique Photographic Safari
One of the best things to do in Ngorongoro Conservation Area is to go on a photographic safari. Many professional photographers offer safaris in the area, and they will be able to help you get the best shots of the wildlife.
If you want to get up close and personal with the animals, there are also many walking safaris you can go on. These will allow you to get some great photos while also getting an up-close look at the animals.
Visiting Tanzania’s Last Bushmen
The Hadza, sometimes called the Tanzania Bushmen, are an ethnic group inhabiting central Tanzania. They are the last surviving nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa and one of the oldest peoples in the world. The Hadza number about 1,300 tribe members appeared to be direct descendants of the earliest humans who lived in Africa some 150,000 years ago.
Today, the Hadza live much as their ancestors did. They hunt with bows and arrows, gather honey and berries, and live in temporary campsites. Though they have no formal government or leader, they do have a rich culture and strong social bonds.
Visiting the Hadza is a unique opportunity to see African bushmen in their natural environment and learn about their traditional way of life. Several tour companies offer guided visits to Hadza campsites.
Lerai Fever Tree Forest
If you’re looking for an adventure while in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, look no further than the Lerai Fever Tree Forest. This forest is home to some of the tallest fever trees in the world, and it’s a sight to behold. Visitors can explore the forest on foot or by safari vehicle, and there are even some hiking trails if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. Just be sure to bring your insect repellent, as this forest is also home to swarms of mosquitoes!
Game drives and wildlife viewing
One of the best things to do in Ngorongoro Conservation Area is going on a game drive. There are many different wildlife viewing opportunities available, and you will surely see something new and exciting on each drive.
There are several different types of game drives available, each with its advantages. The most popular type of game drive is the morning game drive, which departs around sunrise and gives you the chance to see the animals as they wake up and begin their day. This is an especially good time to see predators, as they are often more active in the mornings.
Another great option is the sunset game drive, which departs in the late afternoon and takes you into the nighttime hours. This is a great time to see nocturnal animals that you would not otherwise be able to see.
whichever type of game drive you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Large Volcanic Olmoti Crater walk
Olmoti Crater is one of the best things to do in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater is a large volcanic crater that was formed about three million years ago. The crater is home to a large number of animals, including many endangered species. The crater is also a great place to walk, with plenty of trails to explore.
Bird watching is one of the best things to do in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The area is home to more than 500 different species of birds, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts.
Some of the most popular bird-watching spots in Ngorongoro include Lake Manyara, Lake Eyasi, and the Ngorongoro Crater. In addition to being able to see a wide variety of birds, these locations offer stunning views and opportunities to learn about the local wildlife and ecology.
Whether you’re an experienced birder or just getting started, Ngorongoro is sure to provide an enjoyable and rewarding experience.