Lion Steps Safaris

Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority

The only place in the World where people live in harmony with wildlife

Welcome to Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority

The jewel in Ngorongoro’s crown is a deep, volcanic crater, the largest un flooded and unbroken caldera in the world. About 20kms across, 600 meters deep and 300 sq kms in area, the Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtaking natural wonder.

 

Climate

Ngorongoro CA has a mild, temperate climate. The area experiences two Wet seasons. From October to November are the ‘short’ rains, followed by the ‘long rains’ from March to May. Rainfall is usually experienced in the form of short showers.

Getting there

Most visitors approach the Ngorongoro Conservation Area from the town of Arusha, about 180 kilometres away. The road from Arusha to Ngorongoro Conservation Area is good and is paved; it enters the Conservation Area through the Loduare Gate near the town of Karatu.

Another common entry point is from the west, from Serengeti National Park, on a gravel road through Naabi Hill Gate. It is also possible to get to Ngorongoro Conservation Area by flying a charter plane. There is an airstrip on the crater rim, close to the headquarters of Ngorongoro Conservation Area.Other local airlines have scheduled flights from Arusha, and other major destinations in the country to Serengeti next door, which makes easy connection to Ngorongoro.

Game-viewing safaris around Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and particularly entry into Ngorongoro Crater, are restricted to four-wheel-drive vehicles (4WD) only.

Attractions

Because of its enclosed nature, the crater has formed its own ecosystem consisting of swamps, acacia forests, Best things to do in Ngorongoro Cratersavanna grasslands, small streams and lakes. These features form an amazing wildlife haven and because of that, the crater is often referred to as the garden of Eden. The Crater everything the animals need to survive and throughout the year.

Wildlife

The Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area attracts thousands of tourists to Tanzania each year. It is one of the best places to spot all 5 of Africa’s famous mammals – lions, rhinos, leopards, elephants and What to see in Ngorongoro Craterbuffaloes. Other animals found within the crater include hippos, jackals, reedbuck, waterbuck, wildebeest, warthogs, hartebeests, servals, zebras, cheetahs and crocodiles. In total, over 26,000 big mammals and 500 species of birds call the crater home.

rhino in ngorongoro

Endangered Rhino in Ngorongoro NCAA

elephants in ngorongoro ncaa

Elephants in the crater

Ngorongoro Crater Giant Eland

Elands

hartebeests-ngorongoro-ncaa

Hartebeests

zebras and wildebeests

zebras and wildebeests

Lions in Ngorongoro NCAA

Lions in Ngorongoro NCAA

Ngorongoro-leopards

Leopard and her cub

cheetah mother and her cubs

Cheetah

Hyena in ngorongoro ncaa

Hyena in ngorongoro ncaa

ngorongoro crater rim wildlife

Wildlife

Bird Life

Ngorongaoro is an a great home for a variety of bird species and an excellent birding area in Tanzania, the crater is a resident to over 500 birds species which stay both in highlands and crater of the Ngorongoro conservation area. Among the birds in Ngorongoro crater annual migrant birds which migrate to the crater from Europe and Asia in the period of September to April, these birds include Lesser Kestrel, the European swallow, European bee eater, the Northern Wheatear, European roller, Pallid Harrier, Caspian Lapwing and the Montagus Harrier.

Ostriches in Ngorongoro

Ostriches

Guinea fowl

Guinea fowl

Ngorongoro-crater-birds

Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse

Ducks, Geese, Swans in Ngorongoro

Ducks, Geese, Swans

Flamingoes

Flamingos

Grey-rumped Swallow – Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Bird Life

The Maasai herdsmen

The Maasai herdsmen are allowed to graze at the rim of the crater or inside during periods of drought. This implies that it is possible to go on an amazing safari that includes and encounter with the local Maasai people.

The Maasai herdsmen in ngorongoro

The Maasai herdsmen

Activities

The Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area attracts thousands of tourists to Tanzania each year. It is one of the best places to spot all 5 of Africa’s famous mammals – lions, rhinos, leopards, elephants and What to see in Ngorongoro Craterbuffaloes. Other animals found within the crater include hippos, jackals, reedbuck, waterbuck, wildebeest, warthogs, hartebeests, servals, zebras, cheetahs and crocodiles. In total, over 26,000 big mammals and 500 species of birds call the crater home. The main activities within/around the Ngorongoro crater are game drives, photographic Safaris, picnics, nature walks, birding, visiting the Maasai villages, hot air ballooning, a tour of Olduvai Gorge, visiting the Empakaai Crater, hiking to the summit of the Gol Mountains and Oldoinyo Lengai. There is also visiting the Olmoti Crater, the Lerai Fever Tree Forest and Lake Magadi

Game Drives and wildlife viewing

Game drives are without doubt the best way to view wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater. Game drives are done with a standard tour van and are organized in two shifts – morning and afternoon. By 4:30 pm, all tour vans must be out of the crater. You need at least three days to explore each and every part of the crater. On every safari, expect to see all the big 5 mammals, birds, lakes, lush forests and savanna vegetation to marvel at.

ngorongoro-crater-safari
game-drives-in-ngorongoro

Game Drives and wildlife viewing

Ngorongoro-crater-wildlife-viewing

Photographic Safari

If you have already taken a game drive at the Ngorongoro crater before and liked what you saw, you can organize another safari with the sole purpose of taking amazing wildlife photos. A photographic safari should not only be about the animals but also birds, lakes and savanna vegetation. There are Maasai tribesmen living close to the crater who may be open to being part of your photography expedition.

Photographic Safari

Photographic Safari in Ngorongoro

Visiting the Maasai

The Maasai are one of Africa’s most intriguing tribes. Although they live outside the crater itself, they are allowed to graze their animals around the crater rim or bring them down the crater for water during the dry months of the year. While visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation area, an arrangement can be made for tourists to visit one of their homes or cultural centers to learn about their traditions and culture. It is more rewarding to visit villages/families that are less visited so that you have a more enriching experience instead of stage-managed tours. Visiting the Maasai people involves attending traditional dance performances, taking photos, buying souvenirs and meeting the elders.

Visiting the Maasai

Visiting the Maasai Ngorongoro crater

Visiting the Tanzania’s Last Bushmen

When the Maasai arrived in the Serengeti area about 300 years ago, they drive out the Hadzabe Tribe and other bushmen to remote areas of the park. Less than Attractions in Ngorongoro Conservation Area2000 of these Bushmen still live in the area. Unlike the Maasai who have embraced modern ways of living, these Bushmen remain primitive and still live off hunting and gathering. A tour of their remote habitats will allow you discover their culture and secret ways of living.

Visiting the Tanzania’s Last Bushmen

Visiting the Tanzania’s Last Bushmen Ngorongoro Safari

Enjoy Picnic Lunch

Have you ever thought about having a beautiful picnic lunch in the African wilderness with wildebeest grazing nearby? The Ngorongoro Crater will not disappoint.

Enjoy Picnic Lunch

Enjoy Picnic Lunch

Nature and Crater View Walks

After completing activities down the crater and getting back to your lodge for a shower, you might want to take a stroll along the edges or rim of the crater. The western edge of the crater offers great views of the woodlands, open grasslands and acacia forests. You can also watch as the Maasai take their cattle for grazing or back to the kraals.

Nature and Crater View Walks

Nature and Crater View Walks

Birdwatching

he Ngorongoro crater is one of the best places for birding in Tanzania. The species to look out for are the flamingos, Kori bustards and crowned cranes. From the crater rims, one can observe species like the African cytrill sights, forest buzzard, golden winged sunbirds and white eyes slaty.

Birdwatching

Birdwatching in Ngorongoro

Hot Air Ballooning

This is an expensive but very adventurous way to explore the vast crater and surrounding areas. Hot air ballooning is highly recommended especially during the migration – when the wildebeest are roaming or calving outside the crater and the nearby Serengeti. The great thing about hot air ballooning is that it allows tourists to appreciate and enjoy the beautiful scenery within the crater.

Hot Air Ballooning

Hot-Air-Balloon-in-Tarangire-National-park

Hiking to the summit of the Gol Mountains

The Gol Mountains are found within Serengeti National Park. The slopes are excellent for wildlife viewing and cultural encounters with the resident Maasai Herdsmen. At the base of the Gol Mountains is the famous Nasera Rock where tourists can spot a variety of birds and hundreds of baboons. The Leakey family excavated remains of humans who lived there during the stone age period. The Gol Mountains will capture your imagination if your dream is to explore the remote African wilderness. After exploring the Gol Mountains, you can also choose to conquer an active volcano known as Oldoinyo Lengai.

Hiking to the summit of the Gol Mountains

Gol Mountains

Visit Olduvai Gorge

The Olduvai Gorge is known as the “Cradle of Mankind”. It is where the oldest archaeological discoveries where made by Richard Leakey and his family. The Leakey’s discovered the remains of the very first hominids in Olduvai Gorge in the early 20th Century. They went on to make some groundbreaking discoveries with most of them older than 2 million years ago. The fossils include that of extinct animals that roamed the area and the more recent stone age man. You can register to be taken for a guided walk within the gorge. Do not forget to check out the hominid footprints in Laetoli. These footprints where discovered on a volcanic rock and are over 3 million years old. There is a small museum that was built for public viewing and contains excavated remains and artifacts for tourists to see.

Visit Olduvai Gorge

olduvai-george-tanzania

Visit the Empakaai Crater

This is the smaller sibling of the Ngorongoro Crater. The Empakaai Crater was also formed when a volcano collapsed into a 6-kilometer-wide caldera. It is a lesser known crater but with a lot to offer. Much of it is covered by a deep alkaline lake that is 85 meters deep. The lake changes color depending on the time of the day and attracts thousands of flamingos because of abundant algae. The rims of the crater are home to pink flamingos, blue monkeys, water bucks, bush bucks, buffaloes, elephants and hyenas. Beyond the crater are stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Ol Doniyo Lengai.

Visit the Empakaai Crater

Visit the Empakaai Crater

Olmoti Crater

Among the Maasai, Olmoti means cooking pot. The shallow crater is found within the Ngorongoro conservation area highlands and stands at 3080 meters above sea level. The grassy hollows of the crater are excellent for hiking and nature walks. It is where most of the Maasai herdsmen take their domestic animals for grazing alongside buffaloes, bushbucks, eland and reedbuck. You can crown your tour of the Crater by visiting a nearby waterfall (100 meter) that feeds into Lake Magadi.

Olmoti Crater

olmoti-crater-ngorongoro-highlands

Lake Magadi

If you are fascinated by beautiful scenery, nature and birds, then the shallow lake Magadi will not disappoint. This paradise attracts wading birds like pelicans and flamingos in the thousands. Lake Magadi is one of the best places for birding in Tanzania. Thousands of tourists visit Tanzania specifically to watch flamingos forage for green algae in the alkaline lake.

Lake Magadi

Ngorongoro-crater-weather

Lerai Fever Tree Forest

Lerai Fever Tree Forest

Lerai Fever Tree Forest
ABOUT US

You can experience the beauty of Tanzania all year round by taking an unforgettable trip. Options for activities include going on a safari, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and ending your journey on the paradise island of Zanzibar. Everything is possible on this trip.

We look forward to arranging your safari!

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