Holidays to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers wildlife lovers a guaranteed opportunity to be in the presence of Africa’s most beloved animals, while history buffs can explore the archaeological sites where hominin footprints date back 3.6 million years.

The jewel in the crown is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest inactive and unbroken volcanic caldera at 19km wide. Formed after a volcanic explosion between two and three million years ago, the Crater now covers over 260 square kilometres of varied landscapes and habitats. It contains the highest density of lions found naturally anywhere on Earth and is the perfect place to watch their daily lives play out.

Inside the Crater walls you can observe some of the most endangered species in Africa, such as the black rhinoceros and “Big Tusker” elephants, you won’t be disappointed with the range of wildlife sightings on offer. Around 25,000 animals call Ngorongoro Crater home, and you can expect to see everything from buffalos and hippos to ostriches and gazelles as you pass the natural salt lakes, waterholes, swamps and springs.

Whatever the time of year an encounter with the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe grazing their cattle alongside the wild animals is an unforgettable sight. There are several traditional Maasai villages within Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which you can visit to learn more about this rich and vibrant culture.

Although the most well-known and visited, Ngorongoro isn’t the only crater within the area. On roads less travelled there are the Olmoti and Empakaai craters, which are just as breathtaking. The Olmoti Crater is famed for its stunning waterfalls and the surrounding trails that allow you do a walking safari alongside buffalo and blue monkeys, while sunbirds and turacos circle overhead. Hikers love the walking paths surrounding the forested walls of the Empakaai Crater.

A trip to the famous Olduvai Gorge archaeological site to explore one of the most important sites in the world is a must. This is where the earliest evidence of human ancestors was discovered through fossilised bones and stone tools dating back millions of years.

Highlights

  • Safari in the world renowned Ngorongoro Crater filled with wildlife

  • Discover the earliest human origins at Olduvai Gorge

  • Immerse yourself in culture with a visit to a Maasai village

  • Cross scenic highlands, volcanoes and calderas

Jen
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I was born and raised in Africa, and I have spent 25 years living, working and travelling across various African countries including South Africa and Tanzania. I learned how to track wild animals, went on to become a nature guide and later a safari lodge manager, and I can also speak Swahili and Afrikaans.

Map of Ngorongoro Conservation Area