Discover The Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater, Northern Tanzania, East Africa.

Ngorongoro Crater, Northern Tanzania, East Africa.

Once a gigantic volcano, the Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania is the largest intact caldera in the world. Caldera is another word for volcanic crater, but it’s usually one that was formed as a result of the volcano’s mouth collapsing.

Many people believe that the Ngorongoro Crater likely stood taller than Mount Kilimanjaro before it erupted, which is currently the highest peak in Africa.

Thing are quite different today, though. This volcano has long since collapsed and eroded. In its place sits an extensive highland area with the famous 600 m deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point.

This little bit of history should give you some indication of the crater’s age. It takes quite time for a volcano of this magnitude to collapse and erode. And the Ngorongoro Crater is approximately 3 million years old. This ancient caldera also shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth.

Ngorongoro Landscape

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area geologically lies in an area that is in constant change. This is a result of the eastern side of Africa starting to breach, which causes the land between the rifts to wane.

This resulted in the formation of lines of weakness in the earth’s crust which acted like vents for molten material, hence the creation of the rift valley. Ngorongoro is the largest of the craters and volcanoes in this area.

Ecologically, it covers an area of 8,300 square Kilometres with varied terrain and altitudes. These variations result in diverse and distinct habitats from grassy plains to mountain forest. The Crater itself measures an average of 18 Kilometres in diameter and has an approximately 700 meter vertical drop.

Ngorongoro Wildlife

The Ngorongoro Crater is a stunningly gorgeous setting on its own, but it’s also the best place in Tanzania to see the big 5.

The big 5 are at the very top of the food chain. People are drawn to them because they’re the most dangerous animals in Africa. These animals are the reason why many people go on safari in the first place.

And for a relatively small area, the Ngorongoro Crater is well-known for having an extremely dense population of wildlife. Especially the top 5:

  1. African Lion
  2. African Leopard
  3. African Elephant
  4. Cape Buffalo
  5. Rhinoceros

Apart from being home to 25,000 large animals, the crater forms part of what is known as the Serengeti-Ngorongoro-Masai Mara ecosystem. This ecosystem allows for the free movement of 1.5 million animals in their continuous search for green pastures known as the migration.

Nearly all the big wild animals can be seen in the crater. Apart from large herds of zebra and gnus the Ngorongoro is the scene for elephants, lions, hippopotamuses and in particular the black rhinoceros.

Just don’t expect to see any giraffes. The giraffe is strikingly absent: their long necks and legs prevent these animals from making the steep descent into the crater.

Customize Your Journey 

Avoid the crowded commercial photographic safaris and join Golden Sky Safaris for a one-of-a-kind experience through the Ngorongoro Crater.

  • Duration – Choose a quick tryst or a long safari depending on how much time you have to dedicate. For most, these are major excursions with much to see and do, so we recommend at least 7 days.
  • Comfort. Some people love camping style and “roughing it” outdoors while others are looking for a more luxurious vacation. We have various accommodation options for every safari, so tell us about your personal style, and we’ll help you build the perfect trip.
  • Activity level. Our safaris can range from leisurely car rides (with exciting wildlife spotting among breathtaking terrain) to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. And we cover everything in-between. The sky is the limit. Just let us know more about your dream safari.
  • Budget. All safaris are customizable to suit various budgets, so we can accommodate guests from the entry level all the way to fully personalized luxury safaris.

Next Steps

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With Golden Sky Safari, each safari is customized to your needs, expectations and budget. Whether you prefer the 5-star tented remote experience or want to be in the bigger lodges on a less budget, we will customize your safari to perfection.