Why You Should Visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area in 2023? The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a breathtaking site that ranks among Africa’s finest safari destinations, including the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Kruger Park, Etosha, and the Okavango Delta. It is Tanzania’s third UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s eighth Wonder, with a rich cultural legacy, diverse animals, and magnificent scenery.
What to expect when you visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area in 2023?
The major feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, located in northern Tanzania, is the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater. The region is 8,300 square kilometers (3,204 square miles), and it sustains traditional Maasai villages while also promoting sustainable tourism. The Maasai tribe may be seen grazing their sheep on the grasslands.
The Ngorongoro Crater is encircled by smoking volcanoes and borders the conservation area to the north and west, connecting it to Serengeti National Park. The Crater was originally a volcano taller than Kilimanjaro that fell in on itself. It now makes a lovely basin.
When you enter the Ngorongoro Crater Area, they will feel as if they are in a soup bowl with steep edges. The 18-kilometer-diameter basin stands 500 meters (1,640 feet) below the rim, which rises around 2,200 meters (7,217 feet) above sea level.
The Crater is said to have developed two million years ago and has a variety of landscapes and natural features such as forests, hills, craters, valleys, rivers, lakes, and plains. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area also includes the Olduvai (Oldupai) Gorge, Africa’s most important archaeological site, which is located a few kilometers north of the Crater.
The descent into the Crater begins in the woodland, which resembles a rainforest and is reliant on the Crater’s copious mist and drizzle. However, the amount of safari vehicles that enter the Crater during opening hours, causing dusty conditions, might detract from the experience. Nonetheless, once tourists have pushed through the congestion, the grandeur of the sight gradually emerges.
The protected area also has a rich highland forest that looks to be a rainforest because to the Crater’s consistent and plentiful mist and precipitation. Close investigation reveals mist particles spinning like showers amid the old branches.
What to see during your visit to Ngorongoro Conservation Area?
Among the trees in the forest are pillar wood, figs, croton trees, evergreen highland Bersama, and wild tobacco purple blossoms. Thousands of epiphytes, such as arboreal orchids and ferns, cling to the branches of these trees and collect rainwater with their aerial roots.
Wildlife such as monkeys, bushbuck, bush pigs, and elephants can be found in the jungle, however they are rarely observed. Gardeners can be observed working; in some crater resort compounds, zebras and buffaloes can be seen mowing the grass. After dusk, ungulates seek sanctuary from predators here, and zebras and baboons may be heard patrolling.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to a massive flamingo-filled alkaline lake surrounded by the world’s largest concentration of predators, including lions, hyenas, jackals, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, and massive herds of ungulates.
The area’s predators use extremely little energy pursuing enormous herds of prey such as Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, impalas, giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests. It is usual to see bloated lions laying on their backs with their paws in the air, completely packed and tarnishing their magnificent Kingly image.
There are also endangered rhinos in the vicinity, and spotting one in the wild is a special treat. The black and white rhinos can be spotted on a game drive, although they are difficult to spot. The Ngorongoro Crater is also a wonderful location for a hippo-filled river boat safari.
Along with the numerous animals, the region is home to a number of rare bird species, including the Rufous-tailed weaver, Schalow’s wheatear, and vast flocks of the beautiful crowned cranes. If you are a bird enthusiast, let your tour operator know ahead of time so that they may give you a guide who knows where to look for birds.
When is the best time to visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania?
April and May are unusually rainy months in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Because there are no restrictions on the number of cars allowed on the reserve, there can be significantly more than a hundred at any given moment during the busy season (January to the end of September).
It’s incredible to get up close and personal with some of Africa’s greatest wildlife, but not when you’re surrounded by other cars and frequently loud, raucous visitors. It’s ideal to arrive as early as possible (the gates open at 6 a.m.), but keep in mind that many others may have the same idea. Regardless, the Crater is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so grit your teeth, ignore the other visitors, and take in one of the world’s most beautiful sights.
How can I get to Ngorongoro Conservation Area?
Most visitors to Tanzania will visit Ngorongoro as part of a larger safari package that includes the Serengeti National Park farther northwest. The conservation area is strategically located along the northern safari route. It is simply a three-hour asphalt road drive from Arusha, the beginning location for most Tanzania safari vacations.
You may fly around the northern circuit parks on chartered or scheduled flights from Arusha, or you can drive 180 kilometers and accomplish the entire safari circuit by 4×4 car. Flying into the Serengeti and driving back via the Ngorongoro Crater is a popular method to arrive to Ngorongoro. Your tour operator will usually pick you up at the airport.