Ngorongoro Crater (Ngorongoro Conservation Area)

You just have to see and experience this world wonder with your own eyes! Its crater is five times more sensational than it looks on screen. For lack of a befitting description, it is a 30km diameter rock bowl which is about 600m deep, and endowed with volcanic soil. This has facilitated the growth of nutrient filled grass thereby attracting just about every African animal. It is as lush as it was when Africa had just been colonized, with a lake full of pink flamingos. As the sun rises, beautiful clouds hang over the crater making it look as beautiful as a million dollar painting.

It has few trees, just wide open spaces and yes, it is possible to see one end of the crater to another.

Humans have been at this huge treasure trove for 3.5 million years and for good reason, it’s beauty is just what you need to tickle your senses. It’s view from the crater rim is awe-inspiring to the dot. You will see a rain-forest on the top and a Savannah-like plantation below with the lake full of flamingos,

In short, the drive through Ngorongoro it is nothing short of incredible. As you enter the crater at daybreak, a surreal feeling sweeps over you. You will see buffaloes calving, leopards camouflaging in tall grass, elephants grazing everywhere,  The lions look well fed thanks to the diversity of prey to feast on. As the sun get hot, they look lazy and spend more time napping to avoid overheating their bodies. The rhinos and their babies tend to stay distant from the trails. To get clear views of them, carry with a binoculars. Otherwise, all the other animals can be enjoyed as they draw close to the safari car. You will lose count of the number of zebras orderly cross tracks rights in-front of your car. In the natural pools, hippos are visible.

Ngorongoro’s advantage over Masai Mara is that its pretty relaxed and peaceful. On the other hand, Masai Mara is too touristy and packed with cars. It doesn’t really matter whether you visit in the long rains. Once you enter the base of the Crater, the sun starts to shine and the clouds clear up enabling you have bright view for miles.

A visit to this destination gives you a first hand experience of both paradise and a desert. Why? While the eastern side of the park is much greener and filled with flowers due to the heavy rain it receives. The west is dry and fairly dusty, just like a desert. In the south, you will come across a larger forest area within a large lake. The result of these astonishing contrasts is a beauty than no amount of money can buy.

You can crown your tour of Ngorongoro with a visit to a local Masai village to learn more about their traditional life.