Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most magical locations in Africa, if not the world. It has been described as an Eden in Africa. The crater is one of the many natural wonders that you will see if you are looking for adventures in Tanzania. The Ngorongoro Conservation area is located in the north west of Tanzania and lies within the bigger area of the Serengeti Ecosystem part of the Crater Highlands region.
The entire conservation area is as big as 8, 292 square kilo meters. Scientific research has shown that there were various Great Apes, or hominids that are described as precursors to mankind, living in this area since three mil years. All this is part of the awe inspiring appeal of the region.
It was Dr Oscar Baumann that was the first European to come upon the natural wonder. Anthropologists and archaeologists all over the world have been fascinated by the location. Mary and Louis Leaky were two famous anthropologists that set up excavation sites here in the 1950’s. The site was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1979.
The Ngorongoro Crater is simply the main attraction in the Ngorongoro Conservation area. The crater was formed due to volcanic explosion over two to three million years ago when an enormous volcano exploded and collapsed on itself. This is the biggest unbroken volcanic caldera in the world that is not filled with water.
The caldera is lived in by an assortment of animals. The entire crater has become a natural sanctuary for wildlife. The conditions in the crater are perfect for these wildlife species, with good rainfall and sunshine, and plenty of food. The walls of the crater are as high as two thousand feet. These limit movement, but are not what is responsible for the animals staying here. The favorable conditions make for a superb ecosystem, filled with lush greenery.
The caldera ecosystem is at present home to more than twenty five thousand large mammals. The Ngorongoro Crater floor has short grasses, which is eaten mainly by the plains game here such as hartebeest, eland, buffalo, gazelle, zebra, wildebeest and more. The swamplands here are filled with bushbuck, waterbuck, rhino and elephant.
With the presence of so many vulnerable grazing animals on the short grasses of the crater floor, the crater has many predators thriving as well. There is a healthy lion population, as well as leopards, jackals and hyenas.