Ngorongoro Safaris

Located close to the Arusha Game Reserve, the Ngorongoro Conservancy Park is a spectacular game reserve and geographically unique site. The Ngorongoro crater is the remains of an ancient imploded volcano and lies within the area designated as a UNESCO world heritage site of nearly 9000 sq km of mixed habitat of both humans and wildlife. The region is contiguous with the Serengeti plains in the north-west and the crater lies towards the south. The south is also adjoining the Great Rift Valley and because of this, animal migration from this area is almost non-existent. The Great Migration of wildebeest and other ungulates through the Ngorongoro region is in December and June and hence, there is a big population of lions and cheetahs in the plains area of Ngorongoro.

This natural enclosure formed by the collapse of a volcanic mountain that rivalled Kilimanjaro in height, is one of the most amazing regions for a safari in terms of sheer beauty and size. The floor of the crater is a rich carpet of dense vegetation and a perennial lake and has often been referred to as the Garden of Eden. In fact, the metaphor is not far from the truth, since remains of the earliest humans have been discovered in the Olduvai Gorge within the plains and this is one of the most important pre-historic sites in the world. Famous paleontologists like Louis Leakey have worked here.

The crater region is the perfect choice for a Big Five viewing safari. Apart from these magnificent creatures, visitors can also see black rhinos and some of the hugest specimens of African elephant, Cape Buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. The crater is home to thousands of gazelles, serval cats, cheetahs and jackals and more than 400 species of local and migratory birds. The lake is the favorite habitat of a massive population of flamingos. Bats, reptiles, butterflies and myriad insects and grubs form part of this rich eco-system. Ngorongoro is unique in that it is a self-sustaining and self-contained safari destination and also very safe to traverse. The rolling treeless grasslands are also easier to monitor and protect endangered species like the cheetah and black rhinos.

With such a wealth of flora and fauna, this is one of the most popular safari destinations and it can get quite crowded! However, since the area is so huge, it's possible to find a quiet and peaceful trail. Apart from safaris, there's not much else to do here. Walking and picnics are permitted in the park and you can also visit the Masai settlements in the area and make a trip to the Olduvai Gorge. The crater rim has several good lodges and camp-sites and a few world-class luxury hotels and resorts. Smaller coffee-plantation home-stays and guest-house accommodation are also available.

Depending on your budget and time constraints, you can combine a Serengeti safari with a couple of days at Ngorongoro for that unforgettable game-viewing experience in the heart of Africa.

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