Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located in Africa in the northern part of Tanzania, it is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa covering about 8,000 292 square kilometers where conservation of Natural Resources is integrated with human development as a multiple land-use area. Ngorongoro recites a World Heritage Site, it’s also a man in biosphere reserve recognized by UNESCO. Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the must-see travel destinations in Africa, here is where you find the famous Ngorongoro crater as one of the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera.
It is a large unbroken and flooded caldera that was formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed three million years ago. Ngorongoro crater sinks to a depth of 610 meters with a face area covering 260 square kilometers. Apart from the main caldera, Ngorongoro Conservation Area also has two other volcanic craters Olmoti and Empakaai. Ngorongoro crater is a sanctuary for thousands of wildlife species found within the Conservation Area, the crater of a sativa for enemy enthusiasts with approximately 25,000 large animals mostly living in the crater. It is the best place in Tanzania to see the big five
Formation | History of Ngorongoro Crater
Approximately three million years ago in the northern region of what today is Tanzania, the Ngorongoro volcano became inactive as its internal pressure diminished, so its immense central bulk caved in creating the largest volcanic crater on our planet. This fertile ground also received a higher rainfall than that of other neighboring regions soon giving rise to an array of flora. The conditions of this land whereby the crater slopes protected it from the outside world were perfect for new inhabitants;elephants, buffalo, flamingos, cranes and a whole host of other Wildlife species.
15 million years ago long before man walked upon his planet, the earth shook in the distant region of the African Rift, a gigantic 1 kilometer high fault crossed the north of what is now Tanzania, the magma emerged from the bowels of the earth scorching its surface and filling the landscape with fire and desolation. What was once a vast plain now became a ripple of mountains and abrupt valleys and volcanoes dominated the skyline. Some of these reached great heights such as the Kilimanjaro or the Ngorongoro though later on becoming inactive eventually sank into itself leaving only its lower slopes to hint at what was once its former glory.
The landscape has radically changed since then and today the Ngorongoro crater harbors numerous ecosystems, one of the most important of these is the Loray acacia forest which occupies the volcano’s south eastern internal slopes. The biological diversity within its interior makes the Ngorongoro crater unique and remarkable. The Wildlife Sanctuary next to the acacia forest, the wetlands, rivers and lakes remind us that at one time the bottom of the crater used to lie entirely below water, the permanence of these ecosystems even in the drying system has established a proliferation of species such as flamingos, pelicans or the immense hippopotamus.
Global climatic change has brought with it reduced rainfall in the region and evidence pointing at a drop in water table means that the conservation of this fragile ecosystem is in danger, the rainy season has arrived from November to May, the crater radically changes in appearance. The dry prairies turn from yellow to green from herds of new zebras, gazelles and buffalo come from the Serengeti in search of new pastures, the clouds shed their water soaking the ground and fills the rivers, wetlands and lakes. It is a period of abundance; during these months it is estimated that there are more than 25,000 large mammals in the crater attracting in turn one of the highest concentrations of predatory animals in Africa.
Wildlife in Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro crater is renowned as a premier site for game viewing, it is the greatest show on earth where an almost perfect balance of predator and prey gives rise to an incredible diversity of species ranging from wildebeest and zebras to crocodiles. It is also one of the best places in the world to view all of the big five including; Cape buffalo, elephants, lions, leopard and the rare black and white rhinos. The crater is also home to hundreds of species of birds including; ostriches, storks, pelicans and especially flamingos.
In the world of birds, hunters or the hunted also live side by side and the abdomen stalk has its airborne version of the lion to contend with the eagle, a rapacious who captures a young stalk once the prey has become overcome. On the ground the Eagle is vulnerable and may be seen and attacked by other predators, the Eagle will seek the protection of the trees and will even leave his catch behind if it is too difficult to take it. The monotony of the vast open plains of the Savannah is only broken by handful of Akashi’s used as watchtowers by leopards and birds of prey in the southeast of the crater. However the landscape is occupied by the Loray
Forest, the forest protective Akashi’s are home to enormous variety of fauna as well as offering refuge from predators, the forest also offers a permanent supply of food amongst the many wildlife species. Inhabiting the forest are the two species of primates to be found in Colorado; the baboons and velvet monkeys
Baboons in Ngorongoro
The Baboons in Ngorongoro cover the entire forest and do not usually climb the trees except in order to escape the enemies or to sleep; they are usually to be found in groups of between 30 and 100individuals which are governed by a complex social organization. The fights among the young are frequent and helped establish the pecking order amongst the males a mere demonstration of strength is usually enough to convince the weaker contender to admit defeat and such fights rarely lead to bloodshed. The young are watched over and protected by the whole group, such diligent vigilance stems from the fact that the female baboons are not fertile until the age of 4 and also because they feed their young for a long period of time. By spacing out the birth rate this puts a premium on keeping infant mortality to an absolute minimum
Velvet Monkeys in Ngorongoro
Velvet monkeys in Ngorongoro prefer the more openareas of the forest where they feed on fruit bulbs and roots as opposed to the baboons, the small monkey’s only possible form of defense is escape and they are attacked by both land predators and birds of prey who do not hesitate in robbing them of their food permanently on alert while they eat, their acute hearing enables them to locate a kite even before it’s visible. the powerful talons of these birds are a sufficiently convincing argument against fighting to keep the food the best thing is to leave them to it and to run for cover
Today the low-rise forests ecosystem is in jeopardy, climatic change has brought with it a shift in the water table and the acacias are dying of thirst, furthermore a formidable enemy that feeds on young leaves and bark has joined in the process of destruction, the African elephant
African elephant in Ngorongoro
The African elephant which is born at 100kilos can end up weighing as much as 6tonnes as an adult consuming some 300kilos of food a day in the dry season,70% of its dietary need is satisfied by trees an excessive demand upon the withering Laray forest. Only adult male elephants living in Ngorongoro roam the crater lacking sufficient vegetation to feed the large herds made up of females and their offspring. The elephants go to the nearby rivers and pools for their mud baths next to the hippopotamus that also enjoy the permanent year-long presence of waterhere, a rare luxury bath is open to all including the Buffalo
Cape buffalo in Ngorongoro
The extensive prairies within the base of the crater are home to another of Ngorongoro crater ‘s herbivores, the cape buffalo these herds comprised of as many as 2,000 heads, the males protect the herd, the buffalos poor hearing and eyesight mean it has to depend on its acute sense of smell to detect the presence of enemies. They raise the heads continuously in order to pick up the messages carried through the air to their nostrils despite the group’s painstaking vigilance, there are actually very fewpredators that offer them any serious threat, the cape buffalo is really a stretch on the limits of the Lions hunting abilities, its size and strength make it a very dangerous animal and no predator would choose to attack one if it had another smaller choice of prey in the rainy season.
Zebras in Ngorongoro
It is during the rainy season that the zebras give birth as is the case of alarge number of the crater’s herbivores abundant pasture land considerably increases the probability of successfully raising the young with shortages neither of food nor water. the young zebras quickly developed the necessary physical strength and speed for surviving in the Prairie. The great herds of news are also breeding and almost as soon as they are born the young will be able to follow their parents in the Prairie. The proliferation of the newly born transforms the crater into a paradise for predators. Some of which are themselves also in the process of rearing their young. A young jackals mother can rest assured that there is enough food for the entire litter
Lions live in Ngorongoro
As of 2019, three families of lions live in Ngorongoro crater, their interaction with lion populations on the outside is almost on-existent and inbreeding is frequent, genetic diversity has reduced by 40percent compared to that in the neighboring Serengeti and the reduction in the number of Cubs in each litter is beginning to seem indicative of an increasing weakness of the species.
Maasai People in Ngorongoro Conservation zone
The crater and which is impervious to the daily struggles between predators and prey is man some 10,000 years ago the so-called StoneBull people lived off these lands then came named Bablu and after them the detoga the Maasai who are the current inhabitants of the crater expelled the dirt ogen maintained numerous quarrels with these people even today they refer to them as the strong enemy
In 1956 the then National Park of Ngorongoro which fell within the Serengeti was the cause of polemic after agriculture and farming were banned within its limits. the Maasai inhabitants were not prepared to renounce their historic rights and the Tanzanian government eventually had to segregate in Ngorongoro from the National Park creating the so called conservation zone with its own special management
Today the Maasai can drive their cattle freely within the conservation zone, they are allowed to cultivate the land. One may well suspect that the Maasai’s domestic livestock would be in competition with the large herds of herbivores that inhabit the crater, however the crater has enough grazing ground to feed both without creating difficulties and therefore domestic livestock does not pose any threat to the conservation of the area. The abundance of life and water in Ngorongoro never fails to surprise visitors to the old volcano, the mountains that have so generously guarded the secret of this crater hiding it away and caring for its climate have made it a unique in Africa.
The flamingos, black rhinoceros and the elephants enjoy a year-round bonanza without equal in the rest of East Africa. The days when the Ngoro Ngoro volcano spewed its furious rivers of burning lava from the bowels of the earth are well gone and today the crater together with the Linga volcano
Olduvai Gorge is a world-famous archaeological vacation in Tanzania East Africa and it is widely regarded as the cradle of mankind. It is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world. Olduvai Gorge carries some of the oldest evidence of the remains of the earliest humans it is here where Mary and Louis Leakey unearthed the first well dated artifacts and fossils as the earliest humans including; the early stone tools, Homo erectus and the larger brained hominine that preceded the earliest modern humans. Recently Ngorongoro in partnership with the European union constructed one of the largest on-site museums in Africa, the museum showcases some of the site’s rarest prehistoric pieces making it easier for tourists and researchers visiting the site to see. the museum was purposely designed to resemble the Maasai culture of bombers and uphold the traditional Masai architectural style found in many communities resided it by Masai People