Ngorongoro Conservation Area: Where Nature and History Unite
Welcome to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a remarkable destination in Tanzania that seamlessly blends breathtaking landscapes, incredible wildlife encounters, and rich cultural heritage. Set your sights on the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and embark on a journey of discovery unlike any other.
Location and Geography
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located in northern Tanzania, just west of the Serengeti National Park. It encompasses a vast area of approximately 8,292 square kilometres (3,202 square miles), with its centrepiece being the iconic Ngorongoro Crater—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Africa’s most impressive natural wonders.
How to Get There:
Travellers can reach the Ngorongoro Conservation Area by flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR). From there, a scenic drive or guided tour will take you to the entrance of the conservation area. It’s also possible to combine a visit to Ngorongoro with a safari in Serengeti National Park due to their proximity.
Best Time to Visit:
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a year-round destination, offering unique experiences depending on the seasons. The dry season, from June to October, is popular for wildlife viewing, as animals gather around the crater’s water sources. The wet season, from November to May, brings lush greenery, migratory birds, and the calving season for wildebeest and zebras.
Attractions and Activities:
Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences. From luxury lodges perched on the crater rim, providing breathtaking views, to tented camps that offer an authentic safari experience in the wilderness, there is something for everyone. Notable options include Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, and Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.
Local Culture and Etiquette:
The Maasai people have a significant presence in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Respect their cultural traditions and seek permission before taking photographs. Be mindful of their customs, dress modestly, and support local artisans by purchasing their handmade crafts.
Safety and Health:
Take necessary precautions while on safari, follow the instructions of your guides, and maintain a safe distance from wildlife. It is recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. Consult your healthcare provider for up-to-date information on required vaccinations and health precautions.
Local Cuisine and Dining Options:
Within the conservation area, lodges and camps offer a variety of delicious meals, blending international flavors with local ingredients.
Try traditional Tanzanian dishes like nyama choma (grilled meat), ugali (maize meal), and samaki wa kupaka (coconut fish curry) for an authentic culinary experience.
Additional Tips and Recommendations:
Embark on an extraordinary adventure in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where nature’s grandeur and human history converge. Witness the wildlife ande crater, encounter captivating wildlife, and immerse yourself in the vibrant Maasai culture. Prepare for a journey that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.