This remarkable and world-famous geographic feature is technically a “caldera” – a collapsed volcano. The floor is an area of over 102 square miles includes a large soda lake and forms a perfectly preserved and self-contained habitat for a huge number and variety of animal species.
Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, and many other species can generally be seen here at any time of year.
Maasai tribesmen have traditional grazing rights here and they may be seen in their distinctive dress, tending their herds of cattle. The animals are not trapped in the crater, and there is some migratory movement in and out, but because of the protected nature of the habitat and the availability of grazing and water, much of the animal population remains resident year-round. This makes Ngorongoro ideal for game viewing. There are several points of pride of lion, and some of the last surviving rhino to be found in Tanzania.
The alkaline soda lake is home to huge flocks of flamingos, a remarkable and unforgettable sight. The whole crater has a quite unique almost magical atmosphere.
The lodges are situated around the crater rim, and the descent into the crater and tour are taken in 4 wheel drive vehicles since the entry and exit roads are steep and unsuitable for the minibus. Full-day tours include a picnic lunch in a scenic spot right in the crater itself.