Ngorongoro Crater 2011

    • Entrance to Ngorongoro
    • Wildebeest, Ngorongoro Crater
    • Maasai herdboy
    • Resident Maasai in Ngorongoro Conservancy
    • Cheetah model on the catwalk
    • Ngorongoro crowds
    • Ngorongoro Wildebeest
    • We're not spooked!
    • Brey Crowned Cranes in perfect symmetry
    • Watch your back!
  • The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, is located in a monumental fracture of the earth’s crust – the East African Great Rift Valley. The area is filled with volcanoes, mountains, plains, lakes and forests. The crater floor is a drop of 600 m and covers an area of 260 sq km with a diameter of 19 km. This magnificent natural amphitheatre is one of the wonders of the natural world.

    The crater floor is dotted with watering holes and holds almost 30 000 wild animals. The resident population includes lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and many species of plains animals such as wildebeest, zebra, reedbuck, Thompson’s gazelle and many more. Once at Ngorongoro, it takes roughly an hour to descend to the crater floor from the rim. Each vehicle is only allowed to spend six hours a day in the crater, so be prepared to see quite a few vehicles on your game drive.

    There is a $50 entrance fee a person a day for both the Ngorongoro and Serengeti. To take your own foreign registered vehicle into the parks costs $40 a day. The vehicle fee to descend into the crater is $200.

    Since these costs add up very quickly, it is best to stay outside Ngorongoro, which is four hours by road from Arusha and two hours from Lake Manyara. We headed for Kudu Camp, a convenient and pleasant campsite located near Karatu village with its lively market, just a short drive from the entrance to Ngorongoro. Facilities are excellent and there is security. We paid $10 p/p.

    Apart from the wildlife spectacle, our lasting impressions are the thick mist that envelops the landscape as you descend into the crater, and as you leave, the incongruous sight of colourful Maasai, their livestock and wildlife coexisting within the conservation area.