Famous for its immense natural beauty, the focus of this stunning area is the gargantuan Ngorongoro Crater. Measuring about 16 miles in diameter, a visit to the once volcanic Crater is a feature of almost every single northern circuit safari and there's no surprise why. Breath-taking scenery and an abundance of mammals and birds is standard for this kaleidoscope of colour and life.
On a Ngorongoro Crater safari discover towering crater walls covered with dense forest and a crater floor boasting a diverse range of habitats, encompassing open grassland, an area of mature forest, wetlands and a permanent lake. There is a profusion of wildlife here and in a relatively short time you are bound to see lion, elephant, buffalo, black rhino, hippo, zebra, wildebeest, antelope and, occasionally, you can even find leopard.
The views from the rim are phenomenal and the crater is packed with animals all year around. There are a number of good lodges nearby, although those situated on the crater rim are most noteworthy: their vistas are generally considered spectacular. An excellent addition to a safari itinerary encompassing the Serengeti and other northern parks, the Crater can be incorporated at any time in the Northern Circuit, although we normally arrange for your visit towards the beginning of a safari.
Holidays to the Ngorongoro Crater's broader conservation area takes in more than just the crater itself and includes montane forest, flat grassy plains and volcanic peaks. Activities in the surrounds are slightly more diverse than traditional game drives, with mountain biking and some excellent walks on offer. A visit to the small town of Karatu and its coffee plantations can be very pleasant while the famous Olduvai Gorge, known as the 'cradle of mankind', is a must see, as this is where the Leakeys unearthed the secrets of man's early evolutionary heritage.
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