Ngorongoro Conservation Area is widely known to have the most iconic spectacles in Africa. It is part of Tanzania's great Serengeti National Park ecosystem, where the annual Wildebeest Migration happens. The highest density of wild animals and plants are housed here – no wonder it is referred to as, the '8th world’s wonder.’ The area can accommodate over 30, 000 wild animals at any given moment. The wildlife diversity at this safari destination is second to none. A small population of the endangered Black Rhino and other interesting games thrive in this mind-blowing environment. Here are the top 8 attractions in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conversation Area.
10 The Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is, of course, the main attraction at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Various wildlife species, including elephants, warthogs, wildebeest, jackals, and the rare black rhinos call this place home. It is the largest volcanic caldera in the world, covering 264 square km, and was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. Just a few miles away from the crater's main gate, visitors can enjoy a beautiful view of the animals and landscape from the crater’s viewing point. The crater features soda lakes that attract different species of birds, and Lereal Forest, which offers a picnic view space for visitors. The forest also provides shelter to some birds and acts as a hiding point for predators looking for food.
9 Gol Mountain
Located on the North West side of the conservation area in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, is Gol Mountain, a cultural symbol to the Maasai people living around. The locals translate the mountain's name to mean the Mountains of the Gods, and they have a strong belief and cultural attachment to it. The mountain’s slopes are perfect for an excellent wildlife view. Visitors can also enjoy cultural encounters with Maasai Herdsmen who live there. If exploring the remote African wilderness is a dream, then every traveler should visit Gol Mountains, at least once in a lifetime!
8 Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge is the point where ancestors began the journey toward achieving civilization. At the most iconic archaeological sites on earth, visitors can view the earliest tools and the first human settlements. The site, where the early man fossils were found, was discovered by Dr. Leakey in 1959. Travelers can choose to visit this site either from Ngorongoro or Serengeti, depending on the vacation plans. No one should complete a Tanzania Safari without a guided tour to the museum at Olduvai.
7 Empakaai Crater
This crater was created when a volcano collapsed into a caldera, 6 km wide. While this crater is not well known, it has a lot to offer to travelers. 85 meters deep alkaline lake, which changes colors from time to time, attracting thousands of flamingos, covers a large part of the crater. A wide range of wildlife call this place home, including elephants, blue monkeys, buffalos, bushbucks, waterbucks, and pink flamingos. One can even enjoy a stunning view of Ol Doinyo Lengai and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Planning a holiday vacation? Don’t forget to tour around this beautiful crater!
6 Olmoti Crater
Translated as a cooking pot, Olmoti Crater is located within the Ngorongoro conservation area and is 3030 meters above sea level. While Olmoti Crater doesn't match Ngorongoro or Empakasi crater, it is a beautiful environment worth exploring. This place is an excellent spot for hiking and doing nature walks, and most Maasai herdsmen take their livestock there for grazing. One can then tour, from the Crater's main viewpoint, the nearby waterfall, Munge, which feeds into Lake Magadi. Who wouldn’t want to experience and capture this moment?
5 Tanzania’s Last Bushmen
The Maasai community settled in Serengeti about 300 years ago and sent away the Hadzabe Tribe and other bushmen who initially inhabited the area. Some of the bushmen still live and haven’t changed their ways of living, unlike the Maasai. The Hadza community is believed to have 1300 members, approximately. Because they are hunter-gatherers, these people do not rare livestock or keep food. They survive, solely by using their bows (hand-made) and arrows to hunt food. They also forage the wilderness for edible plants. Plan a tour, while visiting the Ngorongoro conservation area to experience their amazing culture and secret lifestyle.
4 Nasera Rock
Travelers can view a wide variety of birds, baboons, and of course, the mountaineering klipspringers in this beautiful safari spot. It is about 80 meters from the foot of the Gol Mountain, and it's home to a Stone Age human shelter. How to get there? Drive north from the museum in Olduvai Gorge. It only takes an hour to get to Nasera Rock from this point. It also takes an hour from the gate of Naabi Hill. Actually, travelers can visit this place from anywhere within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
At Laetoli, visitors can have some of the most fascinating African travel experiences. Being a pre-historic site, situated in Arusha Region, Enduleni Ward in Ngorongoro district, one can see the footprint remains of the early man. Visitors can reach Laetoli from Olduvai Gorge (40 km). The entire trail of footprint, which includes an impression of about 70 footprints of the early man, is 27 meters long. There is a very close spacing between the footprints, clearly indicating that the ancient group of humans had short strides.
2 Lake Magadi
Lake Magadi is a chemical lake that is located in the most beautiful landscape; African Rift. The saline hot springs recharge the lake from time to time - the reason it's very salty. Millions of years ago, when the lake was born, it was not salty. The volcanic faults are the cause of their saline nature. The water inside the basin evaporates every dry season, and 80% of its layer remains Sodium Carbonate. With dazzling scenery, beautiful nature, and an excellent bird watching point, Lake Magadi will never disappoint! Thousands of wading birds, including flamingos and pelicans, nest and feeds around here.
1 Lerai Fever Tree Forest
This forest is among the best attractions within Ngorongoro and is found on the floor of the crater. The slim, tall, and yellow acacia trees, present in the forest give it a distinctive look that attracts hundreds of tourists. Here, visitors can easily spot the black rhino, various birds species, hyrax, and bushbucks. Spotting the endangered black rhino is a guarantee because of the foliage of leaves; its favorite food is in this very forest. Elephants, buffalo, and antelopes are especially attracted by the swamps found in this forest. They obviously need to take a lot of water after grazing. Lions and other predators use this forest as a hideout to easily catch their prey for a meal.