Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera left in the world and shelters a pristine & untouched wilderness. This 3-million-year-old geographical masterpiece is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife, including Africa’s Big Five.
Black rhinos, lions, leopards, buffalo, antelopes, elephants, zebras, wildebeests, flamingos, cheetahs, jackals, impalas, bushbucks, African wild dogs, elands, hartebeests, waterbucks, kudu, hippos, hyenas, and many different bird species.
8,300 sq. km. (5,160 sq. mi.)
4 hours from Arusha
The Ngorongoro Crater’s ancient walls form the perfect habitat for countless animal species. Lush, untouched greenery grows within. This caldera, nicknamed The Garden of Eden, is the only caldera supporting wildlife (including Africa’s Big Five: lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, and elephants) and the 6th largest caldera in the world. You may also meet the semi-nomadic Maasai people throughout the area, who peacefully coexist with native wildlife. This ancient crater is a natural paradise, harboring nearly all of East Africa's iconic species. In addition to first-rate game viewing, the crater offers close proximity to Olduvai Gorge, the "Cradle of Humanity," where many pre-human fossil remains have been discovered.
Your guide will lead you through the thick vegetation of the lush mountainous forests that surround the crater, revealing glimpses of Tanzania’s most active volcano. You may hear the sounds of flamingos as they congregate upon the lakeshores below. Herds of zebra and gazelle graze on the delicate foliage as ostriches forage for roots and seeds. At Ngorongoro Crater, you feel like a part of nature. Enjoy the diverse views of tawny plains and woodlands wedged inside an ancient volcanic caldera, and know that you are witnessing a setting older than humanity.
Established in 1959, Ngorongoro Crater is Tanzania's second oldest national protected area, hosting 115 different mammal species, over 500 bird species, and the native Maasai people who call the region home. The Ngorongoro Crater was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1979 and listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1980. Many refer to this caldera as the "Eighth Wonder of the World."
3 million years of volcanic activity have formed the topography of the caldera as we see it today.
Take a trek through the Highlands to experience the sights and sounds of the ancient caldera's ecosystem.
From the crater's rim, you'll have an incredible view of Oldonio Lengai, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley. Exploring the caldera's edge is a perfect excursion for the adventurous trekkers looking for an immersive natural experience in the heart of Maasai land.
Located in the North of Tanzania, nestled between Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, lies one of the most important historical places on Earth. Mary Leakey, a famous archaeologist, is credited with most of the discoveries at Olduvai Gorge. Here, Leakey unearthed the earliest signs of human technology — this paleoanthropological site held the earliest known remains of ancient, tool-wielding humans. Archaeological knowledge gained from the Olduvai Gorge has changed our understanding of human origin forever. A nearby museum contains additional evidence and explanations for history buffs and archaeology enthusiasts.
A visit to a Maasai village is a popular destination for nearly every safari you’ll take through Tanzania. The Maasai People, a tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists, call the Great Rift Valley region of Northern Tanzania and Southern Kenya home. Admire their hand-crafted artwork, observe ceremonial dance performances, and learn about this tribe's traditional way of life.