Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Ngorongoro District, 180 km (110 mi) west of Arusha City in Arusha Region, within the Crater Highlands geological area of northern Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro District in Arusha Region.

The 2009 Ngorongoro Wildlife Conservation Act placed new restrictions on human settlement and subsistence farming in the Crater, displacing Maasai pastoralists, most of who had been relocated to Ngorongoro from their ancestral lands to the north when the British colonial government established Serengeti National Park in 1959.

History

The name of the crater has an onomatopoeic origin; it was named by the Maasai pastoralists after the sound produced by the cowbell (Ngorongoro). Based on fossil evidence found at the Olduvai Gorge, various hominid species have occupied the area for 3 million years.

Hunter-gatherers were replaced by pastoralists a few thousand years ago. The Mbulu came to the area about 2,000 years ago and were joined by the Datooga around the year 1700. Both groups were driven from the area by the Maasai in the 1800s.

No Europeans are known to have set foot in the Ngorongoro Crater until 1892, when it was visited by Oscar Baumann. Two German brothers (Adolph and Friedrich Siedentopf) farmed in the crater until the outbreak of World War I, after leasing the land from the administration of German East Africa. The brothers regularly organized shooting parties to entertain their German friends. They also attempted to drive the wildebeest herds out of the crater.

Attraction:

The Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area attracts thousands of tourists to Tanzania each year. It is one of the best places to spot all 5 of Africa’s famous mammals – lions, rhinos, leopards, elephants and what to see in Ngorongoro Crater buffaloes. Other animals found within the crater include hippos, jackals, reedbuck, waterbuck, wildebeest, warthogs, hartebeests, servals, zebras, cheetahs and crocodiles. In total, over 26,000 big mammals and 500 species of birds call the crater home. The main activities within/around the Ngorongoro crater are game drives, photographic Safaris, picnics, nature walks, birding, visiting the Maasai villages, hot air ballooning, a tour of Olduvai Gorge, visiting the Empakaai Crater, hiking to the summit of the Gol Mountains and Oldoinyo Lengai

Activities

Game viewing

Photography and filming

Picnicking

Maasai cultural visit

Nature and Crater View Walks

Bird watching

Hot Air Ballooning

Hiking to the summit of the Gol Mountains

Visit Olduvai Gorge

Visit the Empakaai Crater

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