Ngorongoro crater is one of world’s well-known wildlife–viewing areas and also one of the largest calderas. Within its walls (610 meters deep and an area of 260 sq. kilometers) is a variety of animals and vegetation, including grasslands, swamps, forests, salt pans, fresh water lake and abundant birdlife. Among the animals to be seen there are lions, elephants, buffaloes, black rhino, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, reedbucks and a fleet of flamingos wading in the shallow-soda “Lake Magadi”. Of remarkable interest, visitors will have a chance to see local Maasai tribe sharing the crater with wildlife as they graze their cattle. Clients spending a day in the Crater (accessible only by 4-wheel-drive vehicles) enjoy tremendous wildlife viewing at close range.
There are no accommodations in the Crater, but several outstanding lodges on the Crater rim offer spectacular overviews and are fine staging locations for game drives into the Crater. Campsites on the eastern slope of the Crater wall also allow superb access to the wildlife. We often place our luxury camps in these locations as bases for clients spending one or more days exploring the Crater floor.
With the Crater as its centerpiece, the surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a stunning multiple-use region almost as large as the Serengeti. Forested mountains, rugged highlands, smaller volcanic craters, and expansive plains feature spectacular vistas and game viewing, and almost no other tourists. Unlike the national parks, the conservation area is still home to Maasai people who maintain their traditional pastoral lifestyle in harmony with wildlife. Cool temperatures, opportunities to become acquainted with the Maasai, and fantastic hiking make this area ideal for our walking safaris.