EXPERIENCE SURROUNDING ATTRACTIONS IN NGORONGORO
1. Lake MagadiThere are so many memorable places to visit on nature vacation in Tanzania. Within the Ngorongoro Crater itself, Lake Magadi, shallow, azure blue, fiercely alkaline from sodium carbonate, is fringed by hundreds of long-legged pink flamingos. Most are lesser flamingos, distinguished by their dark red bills, which eat blue-green spirulina algae. But there are also many greater flamingos with black-tipped pink bills, slightly bent to facilitate sifting shellfish from the rich bottom mud.
The lake shrinks noticeably in the dry season, leaving thick, crystalline salt pans used as licks by jackals, hyena and other animals to supplement their diet. Outside the Ngorongoro Crater (view map), but still within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, are many other regions well worth visiting on your AfricanMecca expedition tour of Tanzania.
2. Lerai Fever Tree ForestThe Lerai Fever Tree Forest, which consists of tall, slim yellow barked acacias forming an airy, lace-canopied wonderland of glades, is much frequented by elephant, rhino, eland, bushbuck, hyrax, and hundreds of birds. These foliage are the preferred food of the rare, black rhinoceros, but the old forest is regenerating slowly, because of damage by elephants, which tear off whole branches rather than merely grazing.
However, seedlings are spreading through the Gorigor Swamps, home to hippopotamus and wading birds, and favored drinking place of thousands of ungulates during the dry season. A younger Fever Tree forest is now forming new groves at the base of the Ngoitokitok Springs, home ground of the famous Tokitok pride of lions, film and television personalities in their own right.
3. Olduvai Gorge and LaetoliLake Ndutu and Lake Masek are also on the migratory route in the Rift Valley, not far from Olduvai Gorge, where the ancestors of mankind began the journey towards civilization, with the fabrication of the earliest tools and the building of the first human settlements. At Laetoli, hominid footprints of our genetic ancestors and their relatives, have been found in sedimentary rock of 3.7 million years old.
No Tanzanian safari would be complete without a guided tour of the excavations and modest paleoanthropological museum at Olduvai where you can also see evolutionary fossils. But we are their descendants, and in making our mother tour of Africa, we are returning to our ancestral home.
4. Shifting SandsAsh from Ol Dionyo has formed Shifting Sands - a black dune of moving sand hundred meters in length, and nine meters high, which ingeniously moves slowly across the plains at a rate of 15 meters every year.
5. Olmoti Crater and Empakaai CraterYour Ngorongoro safari with AfricanMecca holds endless riveting possibilities. You can take gentle, guided walks to two other nearby craters. Olmoti Crater is a shallow, grassy hollow, very quiet and lovely, where Maasai pasture their cattle alongside eland, bushbuck, reedbuck and an occasional buffalo. From the south wall of the caldera, the Munge stream forms a delightful waterfall, plunging several hundred meters into the Ngorongoro crater to feed Lake Magadi. Empakaai Crater is half-filled by an unusually deep soda lake.
From the rim, you can look across an exhilarating panorama of volcanic craters and depressions towards Ol Doinyo Legai, the Great African Rift Valley, and even, in super clear weather, snows on the distant Uhuru peak of Kilimanjaro. You can walk for many kilometers around the lushly forested green bowl, frequented by blue monkeys, brilliantly colored sunbirds and red-crested turaco.
6. Gol MountainsTo the northeastern zone, the primeval Gol Mountains provide a surreal wilderness environment of stark, pink cliffs, enclosing the Angata Kiti pass, a bottleneck for the annual Great Migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra, searching for mineral rich grasses as they return to their ancestral breeding grounds in southern Serengeti and the Ndutu wilderness.
7. Nasera RockRising 80 meters from the foot of the Gol Mountains, monolithic Nasera Rock is home to mountaineering klipspringers, baboons and varied birds. It is also the location of a Stone Age human shelter, excavated by the Leakeys.
8. Salei Plains and Ol Karien GorgeOl Karien Gorge is a sheer rock-sided ravine at the end of the vast, bare Salei Plains. It is a Mecca for twitchers, because ruppel’s griffon vulture breeds there in March and April, coinciding with the passage of the Great Migration to provide plentiful food.
9. Oldeani MountainTo the southwest of Ngorongoro crater, bamboo-clad Oldeani Mountain feeds the stream that supports the Lerai Forest, whilst seasonal Lake Eyasi is a lodestone for archaeological and cultural safaris in East Africa. Paleolithic sites include Mumba cave and nearby Nasera Rock.
10. Hadzabe TribeLake Eyasi, close to Ngorongoro is still home to the Hadzabe Bushmen of East Africa who subsist entirely from the wild, communicating by clicks and whistles. Mbulu and Datoga pastoral and farming tribes, who were ousted centuries ago from lands now occupied by the Maasai, have now settled there.
11. Ol Doinyo Lengai & Lake NatronFurther north-east near the border of Kenya, Ol Doinyo Lengai casts its conical shadow across the plains from the edge of the Great African Rift Valley escarpment. Known to Maasai as “The Mountain of God”, it is still active, last erupting in 2007. Intrepid adventurers may climb its lava-encrusted slopes to stare down into its main crater and be perilously rewarded with sulfur fumes and occasional spurts of lava from smaller surrounding cones. It was featured in the Lara Croft film, “Tomb Raiders II”, but has been more seriously researched and popularized by Chris Hug-Fleck and Evelyne Pradel.
Lake Natron, far below, is fed by hot, mineral springs so heavily saturated with volcanic ash from Ol Doinyo Lengai that it provides a toxic, protective moat for Africa’s largest concentration of breeding lesser and greater flamingos. The lake itself shines like a jewel, sometimes green and blue with, sometimes blooming red with cyanobacteria and algae which provide their food.
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CRATER GEOLOGY & WILDLIFE
The Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s supreme impressive geological features. It is actually a caldera, which was formed centuries ago when a massive volcano imploded and collapsed in on itself.
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WHERE TO STAY IN NGORONGORO
There is a varied choice of accommodation for bush tours in Ngorongoro, depending on your taste. Each is unique, but experiences are determined by an inimitable system of AfricanMecca Safari Tiers.
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SAFARI & TOUR IN NGORONGORO
Ngorongoro Crater safari experiences revolve simultaneously around unforgettable wildlife viewing opportunities within a vast and varied ecosystem, rich with historical and cultural associations.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT NGORONGORO
Seasonal climate fluctuations, migration and breeding patterns influence your choice of the best time to visit the Ngorongoro. All seasons have their advantages; however, it depends on your special interests.
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GUIDE ON NGORONGORO
Sited in the Great Rift Valley in northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the wondrous Ngorongoro Crater, home to the densest concentration of wild animals in Africa.
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MAASAI TRIBE OF NGORONGORO
The iconic Maasai of the Ngorongoro and Serengeti wilderness have been herding their cattle for thousands of years. A proud, nomadic warrior race who count their wealth in cattle and children.
What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWS
Jambo Raza, The safari trip in Tanzania was terrific - Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Our guide, Rodgers is a gem - smart, funny, knowledgeable and always interested in us and our journey. Great guy. We would all recommend your group to our friends.
Robert J Hartman, Esq - Minnesota, United States
AfricanMecca's professionalism and care understands that what distinguishes Africa is its authenticity, the land, people and wildlife who do not share our world of fashion and fanfare that distinguish so many travel companies today.
Cyril Christo & Marie Wilkinson, Conservation Photographers, Authors & Wildlife Documentary Producers - USA
I can't thank AfricanMecca Safaris and everybody that I met as part of my African Safari enough for the most incredible and unforgettable vacation of my life. The lodge at Ngorongoro Crater and Kirawira Camp in the Serengeti were magnificent.
Dr Edda Gomez-Panzani - California, United States
I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
The AfricanMecca Safari experience was great. All the connections were spot on and the lodges and camps were great - 1st class. The safaris were great with the time spent in Ngorongoro totally outstanding. We just totally loved it, a great experience.
Bruce and Susie Ironside - New Zealand
We took our decision on an extended and complex safari through AfricanMecca Safaris. They did a flawless job across the board. We traveled through Zanzibar (fantastic) Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti without a hitch.
Chris Traub - CEO, Strategic Executive Search (SES) Group - New York, United States
AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
Noorin & Jason Nelson - Maryland, United States
Raza - I have to congratulate you. We had an absolutely wonderful trip - lifetime for me. All of your personnel in Africa were pleasant, positive. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge were incredibly beautiful and luxurious and Kusini Camp – Serengeti.
Mike and Ann Rosenblum - Illinois, United States
EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR NGORONGORO IN NORTHERN TANZANIA
When visiting Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, we recommend combining it with your Northern Tanzania safari to Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Serengeti (wildebeest migration). End your trip with a Swahili cultural tour and beach holiday in Zanzibar.
You may optionally extend out to offbeat parks in Southern and Western Tanzania such as Nyerere (Selous), Ruaha or Katavi ending with a chimpanzee trekking safari at Gombe or Mahale by the relaxing Lake Tanganyika.
NGORONGORO CRATER SAFARI & TOUR PLANNING DETAILS
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NGORONGORO CAMPS & LODGES
The Highlands NgorongoroNgorongoro Highlands
Ngorongoro Crater LodgeNgorongoro Crater
Gibb’s FarmNgorongoro Highlands
The Manor At NgorongoroNgorongoro Highlands
Ngorongoro Serena LodgeNgorongoro Crater
Lemala NgorongoroNgorongoro Crater
Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury LodgeNgorongoro Highlands
Ngorongoro Farm HouseNgorongoro Highlands
Plantation LodgeNgorongoro Highlands
Ngorongoro Sopa LodgeNgorongoro Crater
Kitela LodgeNgorongoro Highlands
Tloma LodgeNgorongoro Highlands
Entamanu NgorongoroNgorongoro Crater
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