The majestic beauty of Crater Ngorongoro—also known as the Ngorongoro Crater, located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area—in Tanzania, East Africa is absolutely breathtaking. Here, visitors have the unique opportunity to observe some of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife and partake in an abundance of cultural heritage that exists within its remarkable ecosystem.
From its abundant plant life to its diverse animal species, a visit here will leave you with lasting memories. In this post, we’ll explore the 7 Wonders of Crater Ngorongoro and what makes this place so special.
1. The View from the Rim
The first wonder of Crater Ngorongoro, and arguably one of the most famous, is the view from the rim. As visitors stand on the crater’s edge, they become overwhelmed by a remarkable, panoramic view of the landscape. Its sheer size is astonishing, measuring 12 miles in diameter and reaching 2000 feet deep. This one-of-a-kind experience leaves an unforgettable impression that will last forever.
From the rim, visitors can see the entire ecosystem of the crater, from the lush forests and grasslands to the sparkling lakes and streams. The view is particularly impressive at sunrise and sunset when the colors of the sky are reflected on the waters of the crater.
2. The Wildlife of Crater Ngorongoro
The second wonder of Crater Ngorongoro is its wildlife. The crater is home to an incredible variety of animals, including some of Africa’s most famous. Lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, are common, as well as a number of lesser known species. A safari tour provides visitors with the unique opportunity to witness these animals in their natural habitat, observing them from a close distance.
The alluring crater is renowned for its singularity, particularly due to the presence of the critically endangered black rhinoceros. This rare species can only be encountered in a few habitats within East Africa. The crater is also a key location for the annual wildebeest migration, one of the most incredible natural phenomena in the world.
3. The People of Crater Ngorongoro
Crater Ngorongoro houses its own distinct treasure, the Maasai people. For thousands of years, they’ve called this area home and still practice their ancient customs today. Travelers can take a journey into the past by immersing themselves in their vibrant culture, from traditional garments to spectacular jewelry and dance performances.
The Maasai are known for their deep-rooted connection with the land and conservation measures. Beyond that, they employ sustainable practices in farming and herding to protect the environment from disruption.
4. The Geology of Crater Ngorongoro
A geological marvel, Crater Ngorongoro has captivated and left visitors in awe for centuries. This incredible crater was formed when a colossal volcano erupted more than two million years ago and then collapsed in on itself.
The resulting caldera is now home to a thriving ecosystem of plants and animals. The geology of the area is unique, with a range of different rock formations and volcanic features. Visitors can learn about the history of the area and how it has changed over time.
5. The Olduvai Gorge
Ngorongoro Crater’s fifth marvel is none other than the renowned Olduvai Gorge. Located just outside of the crater, this site is one of humanity’s most historic and important archaeological sites to date.
It is here that some of the earliest evidence of human evolution was discovered, including the famous “Lucy” skeleton. At the site, tourists can explore and discover a rich history of human evolution through ancient fossils.
6. The Conservation Efforts in Crater Ngorongoro
The sixth wonder of Crater Ngorongoro is the conservation efforts that surround it. As a protected area, a variety of efforts are being made to ensure that the ecosystem remains healthy and intact.
Again, the Maasai people are heavily involved in conservation efforts, working to preserve the land and its inhabitants. Through safari guides, visitors can learn about conservation projects in the area and how they are making a difference.
7. The Empakaai Crater
Topping off the seven incredible features of Crater Ngorongoro is the breathtaking Empakaai Crater. This smaller crater is located within the larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area and is home to a stunningly beautiful crater lake.
The lake is an intense shade of green and is surrounded by lush forest and grassland. For those who take the journey, a thrilling hike down into the crater rewards intrepid visitors with up-close views of its crystalline lake and an array of wildlife.
Best Time to Visit Ngorongoro Crater
If you’re planning a trip to Ngorongoro Crater, June-October, dry season, is the ideal time to visit. You’ll benefit from brighter days and clearer skies while also having an easier chance at spotting wildlife due to its lack of vegetation.During this time, it’s also much easier to navigate the park’s roads, as they are less muddy and more accessible.
The dry season brings with it the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Great Migration, an incredible event that entails hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and other animals traversing across the Serengeti’s vast plains.
If you prefer a less crowded trip, January and February are optimal since it’s still the dry season, yet there are fewer tourists. Keep in mind that temperatures can be quite toasty during this time though, reaching up to 30°C/86°F.
The rainy season, which runs from March to May and from November to December, can still be a good time to visit Ngorongoro Crater for those who are prepared for wet weather. The scenery is lush and green, and the wildlife is still active. However, it is important to note that the roads can become quite muddy and slippery, making them difficult to navigate, and some lodges and camps may be closed during this time.
As safari guides who traverse the beauty and wonder of this amazing area, we officially invite you to take a journey to Crater Ngorongoro, one of the world’s most incredible sites, where you can observe seven awe-inspiring wonders.
From its magnificent view from the vantage point atop the rim to its unique cultural heritage with indigenous Maasai people, this is a place that will capture your heart and inspire admiration no matter what interests you, be it wildlife spotting, geology, or human history. Don’t miss out on this opportunity – start planning your trip today so that you may experience these marvelous sights firsthand.