Ngorongoro is a conservation area located in the Southeast of Serengeti National Park and it is rated among the top destinations for a safari in Tanzania.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The magnificent crater is located 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highland area of Tanzania. The main feature of the NCA is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera, considered as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. Unlike most national parks in Tanzania, the local Maasai community was not evacuated from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and as such, during a safari, you may encounter herds of cattle being grazed around the crater.
As there are no public means into the NCA, the only way in is hiring a 4WD from Karatu or Mto wa Mbu. If self-driving, you are required to hire a guide at the gate and the only way in is with a 4-wheel drive.
When coming from Arusha, the main entrance gate is Lodoare. Ngorongoro shares Naab Hill gate with Serengeti National Park.
To get to the top of the crater, there is Lerai route for ascent only which you can drive to the southern end rim and Seneto route on the western end for descent only. Lemala route on the eastern end can be used for both ascent and descent.
The park opens at 6 am and closes at 4pm. All vehicles are required to leave Ngorongoro Conservation Area by 6pm
One of the most popular attractions is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest inactive caldera and famed as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. Similarly, One of the most important pre-historic sites is also situated in the region; the Olduvai Gorge. Additionally, wildebeest, lions, cheetahs, buffalo and a host of other exotic creatures roam the plains.
The Ngorongoro crater became a natural enclosure for a wide variety of wild animals. It is also presently one of the most likely areas in Africa to see the endangered Black Rhino and a recommended destination during a safari in Tanzania.