The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and abundance of wildlife. The area is comprised of the Ngorongoro Crater, the Olduvai Gorge, the Empakai Crater and the Oldonyo Lengai Mountain and is situated some 118 miles west of Arusha, between Lake Manyara and Serengeti National Park. Covering approximately 3,200 square miles, the area is a pioneering experiment in multi-purpose land use where the diverse interests of wild animals, plants, and people are being integrated. Wild animals are protected in the national parks however the craters of Ngorongoro and Empakai are reserved exclusively for wildlife. The rest of the Conservation Area is shared by wildlife, people, and livestock.
There are 25,000 larger animals within the crater itself, mostly Zebra and Wildebeest, however, this area is undoubtedly the best place to see black rhino while on safari as well as the pride of lion that include the magnificent black-maned males. Additionally, there are many of the famous Ngorongoro flamingos along with a variety of other birds around the soda lake. Other games found inside the crater include leopards, cheetah, hyena, elephants, warthog, impala, eland, impala, birds as well as other smaller mammals.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the most notable of the attractions in the Conservation Area. It is a natural amphitheater created about 2 million years ago when the cone of a volcano collapsed into itself, leaving a 100 square mile caldron like the cavity. The caldera, protected by an unbroken circular 2,000-foot rim contains all that is necessary for Tanzania’s rich wildlife to exist and thrive. Afro Wilderness game viewing vehicles descend the steep crater wall every morning and spend the day on grass plains that are teeming with animals. By sunset, the night belongs to the animals however and all vehicles must leave the crater floor. Ngorongoro has diverse habitats and micro climates as well. The rim is at an altitude of 7,500 feet so be prepared for cool temperatures and clouds that roll over the rim in slow motion.