Ngorongoro is home to various bird species. Some of the birds in the crater are less and greater flamingos, Kori bustard, African spoonbill, verreaux eagle, scarlet chested sun bird, Kenya’s ferrous and many more. It was declared as a world’s international biosphere reserve and also as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1979. The unique Masai people live in the areas surrounding Ngorongoro crater and can easily be identified with their unique ways of dressing, grazing in the outside plains while driving in the park. Part of the Ngorongoro crater conservation is where some scenes of the Oscar film Out of Africa was filmed. Giraffes don’t enter inside the crater reason being that its too steep for them to get in but they can be found around the crater.
The crater has welcomed some of the worlds famous people including Bill Clinton, Queen of Denmark and Prince William. Out of the 100% of visitors to Tanzania every year 60% of them visit Ngorongoro crater. The best time you can visit Ngorongoro is in February and March where you can witness the great wildebeest’s migration from Serengeti national park in Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The peak season is from May to October when the park is dry. The vegetation is thin and animals can easily be seen. During the dry season, animals can concentrate on permanent water sources of the park. Wildlife can be seen at Lake Ndutu and Empakai crater all year round. Six hour safari permits are issued and the gates are open by 6 am to 6 pm. Tourists can fly in to Kilimanjaro international airport in Moshi and drive to Ngorongoro crater with a distance of about 180 kilometers from Arusha town.
What to do in Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro crater boasts with diverse wildlife totaling up to about 25,000 animals living in the caldera. Some of the animals you can see while on safari include; the endangered black rhino, lions, zebras, wildebeests, elephants, Thompsons gazelles, buffalos, leopards, hippopotamus, cheetahs, warthogs and many others. The ancient inhabitants of Ngorongoro carter also live in the surrounding areas. The Masai are a nomadic pastoral group of people who live on grazing cattle with permission to graze their cattle on the rift valley floor. You can view their distinctive villages built with African architecture. You can visit the people in the villages and interact with them.
Ngorongoro crater is also endowed with various species of birds. The best place for seeing lesser flamingos here is in the famous Lake Magadi. It boasts with over 400 species of birds some of which include; African spoonbill, Jacksons widow bird, Kori bustard, greater flamingoes, Egyptian vulture, Kenya rufous sparrow, Namaqua dove and Rufous tailed weaver among the rest. Olduvai George is the place where Mary Leaky excavated the remains of the oldest human fossils. Its one of the important archaeological sights in the world. Its situated in the steep sided ravine in the great rift valley, east of Serengeti national park. About 45 kilometers south of Oldupai George is the 27 long trails of hominid foot prints of over 3.7 million years ago. Tourists can explore this place and walk in the ancient foot marks of ancestors of humans.
Explore Lake Magadi and encounter thousands of flamingos breeding in the lake. This saline alkaline lake is one of the top birding destinations in Ngorongoro conservation area well known for wading birds. Tourists can stay at Ngorongoro Serena safari lodge, Acacia farm lodge, Neptune Ngorongoro luxury lodge, and crater forest tented camp and many others. Ngorongoro crater is 180 kilometers from Arusha town; tourists can fly in to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Moshi.