Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area

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"It is impossible to give a fair description of the size and beauty of the Crater, for there is nothing with which one can compare it. It is one of the Wonders of the World" quote by the late Professor Bernhard Grzimek - famous and respected naturalist.

Spanning roughly 8,300 sq kms (3,192 sq miles), the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a perfect microcosm of East Africa: it combines spectacular scenery and valuable archeological sites with mountains, forests, grassland plains, extinct volcanoes and a staggering profusion of wildlife. Central to the Area is the Ngorongoro Crater the floor of which covers an area of 260 sq kms (100 sq miles). Accommodation is available in one of the lodges on the rim of the crater or just outside the Conservation Area. The road meanders along the rim of the crater affording breathtaking views and descends 2,000 feet to the crater floor.

Ngorongoro Crater is really a caldera, the sunken or collapsed cone of a volcano. It is the largest inactive, unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world.

Living on the floor of the crater are bull elephants, lions, hyena, zebra, wildebeest among others living on the grasslands and acacia forests. The crater also has a soda lake - Lake Magadi, the word magad translates to salt water in Maasai. The lake attracts greater and lesser flamingo and other water birds.

The crater is best known as a highly successful sanctuary for the endangered black rhino.

The settings in which you watch the animals are beautiful, the crater is an outstanding place for photography as well as direct observation.

The ground water springs are said to be highly nutritious and the Maasai bring their cattle into the crater daily to drink as they have done for centuries.

Just to the north of the crater are the Olmoti and Empakaai Craters both of which can be explored on foot escorted by a local ranger. It is a wonderful way to explore the highlands and volcanic landscapes. Maasai tribesmen live on the open moorlands and arrangements to visit their manyattas (homestead) can be arranged.

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