It’s been called “Africa’s Eden,” and many consider it to be one of the natural wonders of the modern world. The moment you step foot on the floor of the famous Ngorongoro Crater, you’ll understand why.
Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact volcanic caldera (a volcano which has collapsed) in the world. Just 10 miles in diameter (but sinking 2,000 feet below the crater’s rim), the crater forms a completely self-contained ecosystem, something which has allowed plant and wildlife populations to thrive.
That alone would make Ngorongoro a must-see for any East African traveler, but it’s much more than a geological wonder:
- The crater holds over 30,000 mammals in just 102 square miles. This means it has the densest mammal populations in the world.
- Among the many species regularly spotted on the crater floor are all of the ‘Big Five’: lion, African buffalo, leopard, elephant, and endangered black rhino. The crater floor is one of the last places on earth that a traveler can spot all of these species in just one day.
- Besides the ‘Big Five,’ visitors to the crater might spot wildebeest, hippos, warthogs, giraffes, zebras, and near the ponds on the crater floor, hundreds of brilliantly pink flamingos, among other species.
- The crater’s rim reaches an elevation of 7,500 feet. This means the area around the crater is cooler, and unlike the plains that cover much of Northern Tanzania, the ecosystem is lush and forested all year round.
The Crater and the surrounding Ngorongoro Highlands are a truly unique safari experience, offering travelers a chance to see an ecosystem, and an abundance of wildlife, that is unrivaled in Africa.