Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles, its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors. It borders the Serengeti National Park to the north and west. A few hours drive to the east takes you to the town of Arusha which nestles at the foot of Mount Meru, within view of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Arusha is known as the gateway to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Northern Parks. Called the eighth wonder of the world and stretching across some 8,300 sq km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai.
The crater is home to the “big five" of rhinoceros, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. The crater plays host to almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa, and there are an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater.
A population of about 25,000 large animals, largely ungulates along with the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, lives in the crater. These include black rhinoceros, and hippopotamus which are very uncommon in the area.
There are also many other ungulates: wildebeest, zebra, eland, Grant's and Thomson's gazelles The crater has the densest known population of lion numbering On the crater rim are leopard, elephant, mountain reedbuck and buffalo.
In summer enormous numbers of Serengeti migrants pass through the plains of the reserve, including 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,000 zebra and 470,000 gazelles. Waterbuck mainly occur mainly near Lerai Forest; servals occur widely in the crater and on the plains to the west.
Common in the reserve are lion, hartebeest, spotted hyena and jackal. Cheetah, though common in the reserve, are scarce in the crater itself. Wild dog has recently disappeared from the crater and may have declined elsewhere in the Conservation Area as well.
Accommodations available at Ngorongoro National Park: