wildlife watching ngorongoro crater

Wildlife Watching in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

This is one of the greatest safari adventures you can experience. Ngorongoro Crater is the main attraction of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and is a large, unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera. Although thought of as “a natural enclosure” for a very wide variety of wildlife, up to 20% or more of the wildebeest and half the zebra populations vacate the Crater in the wet season. However, a side effect of this enclosure is that the population of Ngorongoro lions is significantly inbred, with many genetic problems passed from generation to generation.

Animal populations in the crater include most of the species found in East Africa, but there are no impalas, topis, oribis, giraffes, or crocodiles. The crater floor is mostly open grassland with two small wooded areas dominated by Fever Trees. The Munge Stream drains Olmoti Crater to the north, and is the main water source draining into the seasonal salt lake in the center of the crater. This lake is known by two names: Makat as the Maasai called it, meaning salt; and Magadi. The other major water source in the crater is the Ngoitokitok Spring, near the eastern crater wall. There is a picnic site here open to tourists and a huge swamp fed by the spring, and the area is inhabited by hippopotamus, elephants, lions, and many others. Aside from herds of zebra, gazelle, and wildebeest, the crater is home to rhinoceros, lions, leopards, elephants, and buffalos. The crater plays host to almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa, with an estimated 25 000 animals within the crater. Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.

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