Few places in Tanzania are as beautiful or diverse as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This unique destination offers travelers a one-of-a-kind experience with unfettered access to the nature, wildlife and people that make this country an incredible destination. Its volcanic craters, vast savannah, thick forests and rugged bush cover some 8,300 square kilometers of protected land, making it the perfect place to spot high concentrations of African wildlife.
While the Olduvai Gorge and Maasai people make a visit to the Conservation Area memorable, it’s the Ngorongoro Crater that draws travelers to this natural wonder. Covering some 260 square kilometers, this sunken crater formed by a volcanic explosion is home to more than 25,000 animals. Black rhinos, thousands of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles graze on this fertile plain. The crater is also home to the densest population of lions in the world.
Travelers who visit the crater in December or June will also catch part of the legendary migration, when 1.7 million wildebeests, 260,000 zebras and 470,000 gazelles make the trip between the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is accessible by both land and air. Travelers can fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport at Moshi and take a charter flight, shuttle or taxi the 55 kilometers to Arusha. For those traveling overland, the road between Arusha and the Lodoare gate is about 160 kilometers and takes about two hours. Though this path is paved a 4x4 vehicle is necessary inside the Conservation Area. Gates open at 6 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. All visitors must be accompanied by a guide.