8,290 sq km (approx. the size of Crete). Until 1959, most of the area (including the crater) was part of the Serengeti National Park.
In northern Tanzania, 180km west of Arusha bounded by Lake Eysai in the southwest and the Gol Mountains in the north. The Ngorongoro Crater is probably the most spectacular game haunt in Africa and it is also the world’s largest volcanic caldera. The Crater floor is 610m below the rim and 19.2km in diameter, it is mainly open grassy plains with alternating fresh and brackish-water lakes, swamps and a few patches of acacia woodland.
It is home to over 30,000 animals, almost half being wildebeest and zebra, and all of the ‘Big Five’ may be seen including the black rhino. Commonly encountered species include buffalo, elephant, hippo, hyena, jackal, lion, ostrich, warthog, bushbuck, eland, hartebeest, waterbuck and herds of Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle. Among the notable birds are Lammergeyer, Verreaux’s Eagle and Egyptian Vulture which make their homes in the high cliffs of the crater wall. Lesser and Greater Flamingos are frequent visitors and the beautiful Rosy-breasted Longclaw often appears after the rains.
Located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, off the main road between Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, is Olduvai Gorge - one of Tanzania’s eight World Heritage Sites. It was here that, in 1959, Dr Louis Leakey and his wife Mary discovered the skull of “nutcracker man” and a year later, the remains of Homo habilis or “handy man”, regarded as mankind’s first step on the ladder of human evolution.
• 185 km from Arusha (2 hour drive)
• 225 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport (35 min. fight)
• 20 minutes from the landing strip for domestic airlines
• 60 km from Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge (45 min. drive)
• 145 km from Seronera Wildlife Lodge (2 hour drive)
• 225 km from Lobo Wildlife Lodge (3 hour drive)
• Weather: Nov-June: hot, humid; July-Oct: cool, especially at night
• 160 beds including one Presidential and three Junior suites
• In-room facilities: 220/240V for shavers, safe, mini bar,
telephone, tea/coffee-making facilities, hair dryer
• All rooms face the crater bowl
• Colourful landscaped gardens
• Boutique, laundry, currency exchange
• Internet café, satellite TV lounge
• Full generator power back-up
• Activities include: game drives, ornithological safaris, photographic safaris and cultural visits
• Trips to Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli and crater rim walks to Lake Eyasi