The Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers 8,292 square kilometers. It is one of the three divisions that make Ngorongoro District in Arusha Region.
Ngorongoro Crater is UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered to be one of the natural wonders, and it is the largest un flooded and unbroken caldera in the world. About 20kms wide, 600 meters deep and 300 km2 of open space, the Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtaking jewel of Tanzania and the world itself.
It’s wildlife coexists with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoral tribes, who are practicing traditional livestock grazing. Ngorongoro holds critical importance for biodiversity conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, such as the Black Rhino, Wild hunting dog and Golden Cat. The density of wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals into the northern plains. Extensive archaeological research has also uncovered evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back 3.6 million years, which are found at Oldupai ( Olduvai ) gorge.
Ngorongoro is home to a population of approximately 25.000 of large animals, containing the highest density of mammal predators in Africa, including the densest known population of lions (estimated 68 in 1987).
Best Time to Visit
RAINY SEASON (NOVEMBER TO APRIL)
The short rains are from November to December and the long rains from February to April, generally considered as the off season. However, the rainy season is a very exciting time of year as this is when animals congregate on the Short Grass Plains to have their offspring. Late February, early March is usually a good time to see the migration on the plains. This attracts large number of predators, resulting in spectacular interactions between predators and their prey.
DRY SEASON (MAY TO OCTOBER)
The dry season is a beauty on its own. Generally, in Africa the dry season is the best time for game viewing because the animals are concentrated along permanent water sources. Within the Crater game viewing is excellent during this time, but keep in mind that the short grass plains become completely without game during this season. This is the best time of the year to visit Empakaai and Ndutu, which has resident game that remains around the lake all year round.
How to Get Here
The road from Arusha to Lodoare Entrance Gate is 160km long. As of recently, the entire journey is on tarmac and it takes about two hours. Unless you stay on the main roads, which are graveled, a 4×4 vehicle is essential when entering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.