Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area


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Amazement amongst the crowds

Written on: September 03, 2013   |   I visited in July 2012 In the early morning mist Ngorongoro looks magical, clouds slowly rising above the stark crater walls. Descending into this animal kingdom is nerve wracking, the safari truck jerking downhill before the path straightens and takes us directly towards three hunting lions. At this early hour it's a predator's paradise, but once the mist clears there is no high grass to hide behind. Three times in a morning we see prowling lion packs, but the flat volcanic landscape makes it easy for potential prey to stay out of reach.

Ngorogoro is small and can be completely covered in a long morning. But it's arguably the most intense compact safari in Africa. Unique animal sightings seem to come by the minute; a lone hyena, elephants bulldozing through trees, hippos playing in the water, and lions sleeping in the shade of another safari truck. Flamingos bring the colour, thousands upon thousands of them creating a pink blanket upon the water. Ngorongoro is the often misguided preconception of African safaris; that you can turn up and within two hours see pretty much all the animals. For tick list fanatics there is nowhere better.

However, once the mist has cleared there is another ugly predator on the prowl; safari trucks. Ngorongoro is shockingly busy and we saw many trucks ignoring all the rules about off-road driving and not making unnecessary noise. All my photos seem to have a truck in the background and I got the sense that this precious and special ecosystem will rapidly deteriorate if tourism is not capped. Ngorongoro's size is its appeal and downfall. For the quality and quantity of animal sightings nowhere delivers so much in such a small area. But the number of safari trucks can potentially ruin the experience, so get in early when the gate first opens and the biggest predators come on four legs not four wheels.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Dec 19, 2015   |   Visited: Feb 2013.
Ngorongoro, as you read about in books, is paradise on earth. And I am here, still heart to believe I am really in Tanzania and walking in a crater!

It's marvelous to see animals everywhere! There's a lioness with a GPS on so they can follow her. We see other lions off in the distance. Many cars are behind each other. Suddenly, my guide turns. I know the group,... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Dec 16, 2015   |   Visited: Jun 2013.
Ngorongoro Crater is jewel for viewing, wildlife, photography and beauty. It has breathtaking views as an unbroken largest caldera in the world. The lodges at the crater rim has a view to savour for the lifetime. We find it one of the must see things in Tanzania. One can never forget the experience of the crater floor and can never find that experience anywhere els... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Dec 14, 2015   |   Visited: Feb 2015.
This year, 2015, I was for the 2nd time in Ngorongoro. This time for 3 days. Its amazing there. The 3 days I saw so many animals but also a wildebeest calf was born, an other wildebeest deep in the mud and the hyenas already waiting for his death, lions, so many cross the road. We have been there I think half an hour and small, middle and adult lions around the ca... read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Jun 19, 2015   |   Visited: Jun 2015.
Got to see a few rhinos in this park. Was stoked. It's amazing how many animals are packed in this crater floor. Also saw a ton of zebra and warthogs. Only spent a day here and then drove off to a lodge not on the crater rim.
Biggest downer: crowds! Even the animals are used to them. read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: May 06, 2015   |   Visited: May 2014.
The sweeping views of the overhead lush greenery, yellow flowers and cool winds as we descended into the crater floor made this my most favored park!

We were quickly greeted by a group of lions who leisurely crossed in front of us to the other side of the road. Other lions plopped down in the middle of the road in the shade of safari vehicles necessitating my ye... read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Apr 21, 2015   |   Visited: Jan 2015.
When you are coming from Arusha, the tarmac road ends as you reach the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The dramatic landscape of the Ngorongoro Highlands is the perfect complement to the flatness of the Serengeti. Populated by Masai tribes, this area of grasslands, volcanoes and forests makes utterly superb hiking terrain. The area includes the Oldupai Gorge, the ... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 30, 2015   |   Visited: Feb 2015.
With the light of a new dawn progressively streaming out across the floor as we made our way down the side of the crater, we rapidly understood what an animal ‘paradise’ the crater is.

They are all here except for cheetah, giraffe and leopard, the latter which can be found up around the top of the rim of the crater if you are very, very lucky. The animals can... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jan 13, 2015   |   Visited: Apr 2013.
It takes about a 3 hour drive from Arusha to get to the Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the crater, the majestic Ngorongoro Highlands, wildlife and a high concentration of Maasai settlements. Maasai graze their cattle throughout the Conservation Area. This area also includes Oldonyo Lengai, a Maasai holy site which remains an active vo... read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Dec 23, 2014   |   Visited: Jan 2011.
Ngorongoro Crater is a must-see for anyone visiting norther Tanzania. I found this park especially good for photographing wildlife. There's such a high density of tourists going through here, that the animals aren't nearly as skittish and will come much closer to the vehicles. I got some great zebra shots.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Nov 25, 2014   |   Visited: Oct 2014.
You can't miss a full day game drive in Ngorongoro crater. This is unique place due to highest wildlife concentration all over the world. Inside the crater there is also grass and water, it's now considered “Africa’s Garden of Eden” for wildlife. Here is the place where you can spot the black rhino in Tanzania, easily you can see lions, hyena and other predators. B... read more
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Go when the gate first opens, it's your chance to see Ngorongoro before its overrun by safari trucks.

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