About Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a famous protected area in Tanzania. It is named after the Ngorongoro Crater, a volcanic caldera that forms a natural enclosure for a diverse range of wildlife. The conservation area covers an extensive area of 8,292 square kilometers and is situated about 180 kilometers west of Arusha.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the main highlight of the conservation area and one of the world's most remarkable natural wonders. It is the largest intact volcanic caldera globally, with a diameter of about 20 kilometers and a depth of over 600 meters. The crater is home to an extraordinary concentration of wildlife, including elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras, wildebeest, and numerous bird species.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is renowned for its abundant wildlife populations. The broader conservation area supports a variety of ecosystems, including grasslands, swamps, forests, and highland plains. It provides a habitat for diverse species, including the endangered black rhinoceros, Maasai lions, African buffalo, elephants, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and a wide range of antelope species.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is also home to the semi-nomadic Maasai people, who coexist with wildlife within the area. The Maasai are known for their rich cultural heritage, distinctive customs, and traditional livestock-keeping practices. Some Maasai villages and cultural activities are accessible to visitors, offering opportunities to learn about their way of life and traditions.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 due to its exceptional natural and cultural values. It is managed by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), which aims to balance wildlife conservation, sustainable tourism, and the preservation of Maasai culture.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and safari-goers. Visitors can engage in game drives within the crater, exploring the diverse wildlife populations. Additionally, there are opportunities for hiking, cultural tours, and visiting archaeological sites such as Olduvai Gorge, where significant fossils and artifacts have been discovered.