Ngorongoro conservation area is called so because of its main feature called ‘’Ngorongoro crater’’. The Ngorongoro crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera which was formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself.
The Ngorongoro crater itself covers 260 square kilometers out of the total area with 610 meters deep. The all Ngorongoro conservation area is a protected area and a World Heritage Site located 180 km (110 mi) west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The conservation area is under the governance of; Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.
The conservation area is not a national park but one of the heavily visited areas in the country due to its brilliance in wildlife and the beautiful and spectacular landscape.
The most spectacular feature in the conservation area is its Ngorongoro crater with estimates of the height of the original volcano ranging from 4,500 meters to 5,800 meters and the elevation of the crater floor is 1,800 meters above the sea level.
The Ngorongoro crater was voted by the Seven Natural Wonders as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa in February 2013 due to its magnificence.
The establishment of luxury tourist hotels in the Conservation Area allows people to access the unparalleled beauty of one of the world’s most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries.
Besides the magnificent Ngorongoro crater, the conservation area is a best destination for wildlife lovers because it protects an abundance of animals which tourists will enjoy during their game viewing activity in the area.
Notable wildlife species in the area include; hippos, cape buffaloes, African lions, leopards, waterbucks, Thomson’s gazelles, Grant’s zebras, blue wildebeests, common elands among others.
The area is composed of many attractive features including lakes such as Lake Magadi where salt is extracted from. Visitors here will therefore have a huge opportunity to see how salt is extracted from this seasonal Lake Magadi and thus leaving the conservation area with a great experience.
The other major water source in the crater is the Ngoitokitok Spring which is situated near the eastern crater wall. There is a picnic site here open to tourists and a huge swamp fed by the spring, and the area is inhabited by hippopotamus, elephants, lions and many others.
Many other small springs can be found around the crater’s floor and these are important water supplies for the animals and local Maasai, especially during times of drought. There are also many other attractive things that a visitor will be able to view and enjoy on his or her visit.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) has a healthy resident population of most species of wildlife plus the Ndutu Lake area in the west of the NCA which also possesses a very large number of cheetahs and lions. Other common species are; jackals, spotted hyenas, hartebeest and the Servals which occur widely on the plains to the west of the Ngorongoro crater.
The great annual migration of Wildebeests and other wildlife species passes through the conservation area thus offering a great opportunity for visitors to view a large number of animals.
This great migration of wildlife involves in many animals such as; almost 2 millions of wildebeests, 250,000 zebras, 500,000 gazelles, 18,000 elands and 97,000 Topis moving north in June in search of fresh pastures and then return back in December .