Ngorongoro Crater Highlands | Activities in Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro Crater Highlands
Ngorongor Crater has the rich wildlife and a large natural diversity. The area is not a national park but a conversation area since the local Maasai tribes live here in traditional houses, villages and bomas with their cattle. Further the archeological sites on this area show that this place has been inhabited since the pre-historical times.
Safari for the adventurous trekkers
Ngorongoro highlands is the safari for the adventurous trekkers looking for that once in a lifetime experience in the heart of Massai land. You will be walking pass the Massai villages and houses, learning more about the Massai traditions, culture and how they live. The scenery of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands is full of different wildlife species, woodlands, grassland full with bushes and water springs.
Thousands upon thousands of flamingos
Thousands upon thousands of flamingos in Lake Natron is guaranteed to astonish even the experienced safari fanatic. Grazing Buffaloes, Impala and Thompson’s Gazelle in Embakai crater, the many different species of birds and the ever present views of the mountains, valleys, crater and river gorges will blow your mind so bring your largest memory card for your camera.
Trekking through the Crater Highlands is not as strenuous as climbing Kilimanjaro or Mt Meru, a lot of uphill and downhill walking but no dramatic altitude changes so it should be pleasant. You will walk all the way to the Massai people’s holy mountain Ol Donyo Lengai, “The Mountain of God”. You shouldn’t worry about your luggage since you will carry only a light daypack, the rest of your luggage will carried by porters and donkeys.
The safari ends with a night ascent to the active volcano Ol Donyo Lengai, a holy mountain for the Massai people, for a fantastic sunrise view of distant Kilimanjaro from the top. On the safari you will mostly be walking but some of the distances you will be driving. This is because the distance is to great to cover in just five days. Your car will stay with you the whole time for security reasons. If you or someone else in your group becomes sick it is crucial that we are able to drive you to a hospital as quickly as possible.
Ngorongoro Crater was formed millions of years ago through a volcanic activity. This volcanic activity formed 7 volcanic craters in northern Tanzania, the Great Rift Valley and many soda lakes. Among the volcanoes on this area you can seee Mount Lolmalasin (3,290 m), Mount Oldeani (3,217 m) and Mount Makarot (3,133 m covers a bigger area than the Ngorongor Crater which has a richer wildlife but the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands has a larger natural diversity.
The area is not a national park but a conversation area since the local Maasai tribes live here in traditional houses, villages and bomas with their cattle. Further the archeological sites on this area show that this place has been inhabited since the pre-historical times. Dr. Lois and Mary Leakey discovered the skulls of “Handy Man” (Homo Habilis) and “Nutcracker Man” (Australopithecus Boisei) in this area.
Game Drive in Ngorongoro
Game drives descend into the Ngorongoro Crater through a lush highland forest, with magnificent birdlife to be spotted among the different tree species. Once on the grassy crater floor, you may discover a large variety of grazing herbivores, as well as the predators that are attracted by this abundant supply of prey. Depending on the time of year, you may see huge flocks of pink flamingo around the shores of the shallow Lake Magadi, while the surrounding swamp is inhabited by hippo. Safari vehicles are closed, with glass windows and a pop-up roof. Off-road driving is not permitted.
Where to Stay in Ngorongoro
The accommodation by the Ngorongoro Crater varies hugely, but all have their own quirks and luxurious assets. There are those lodges which are based on the Crater rim and all boast spectacular views of the crater itself, however the choices here are limited and are normally located in the higher price bracket. Although if you can afford the prices, then the lavishness of the lodges are certainly worth it. If you're happy to sacrifice the views from the lodge, then away from the rim, the camp prices tend to become cheaper with the warm and charming Plantation Lodge in the Ngorongoro is our best pick.
When to go to Ngorongoro
With Ngorongoro's wildlife remaining in the steep-walled crater all year round, the question of when to go on a Ngorongoro safari is less about optimising your game viewing experience and more about how many other people you want to share the crater with. High visitor numbers can be expected during the dry July to September peak season and again during the December to February calving season that follows the November rains. The main April to May rainy season is often considered the best time to visit the Ngorongoro Crater as there are far fewer visitors and the crater is wonderfully lush and green.
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