ngorongoro crater

What you should know about the History of Ngorongoro Crater

There can be few people who have not heard, read or seen film or TV footage of this incredible 20-km-wide volcanic crater with its 600-metre walls packed with just about every species of wildlife to be found in East Africa. The views from the crater rim are incredible, and though the wildlife might not look too impressive from up there, when you get to the bottom you will very quickly change your mind.

It’s been compared to Noah’s Ark and the Garden of Eden and it does not come up to Noah’ Ark expectations these days, but you definitely see lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and many of the plains herbivores such as wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, zebras and reedbuck, as well as thousands of flamingos wading in the shallows of Lake Magadi- the soda lake on the floor of the crater.

Despite the steep wall of the crater, there’s considerable movement of animals in and out - mostly to Serengeti, since the land between the crater and Lake Manyara is intensively framed. Yet it remains a favoured spot for the wildlife because there are permanent water and pasture on the crater floor. You can visit Ngorongoro at any time of the year and Shizi Safaris will be delighted to prepare a trip for you.

Ngorongoro Crater History

Ngorongoro and the nearby craters and volcanoes are fairly recent editions to the landscape, geologically speaking. Though there has been a considerable amount of volcanic activity in the area for about 15 million years, Ngorongoro is thought to date back only 2 and 1/2 million years and may at one time have rivalled Mt Kilimanjaro in size. Its vents filled with solid rock, however, and the molten material was forced elsewhere.

As the lava subsided, circular fractures developed and the cone collapse inwards to form the caldera. Nevertheless, minor volcanic activity, continued as lava found cracks on the caldera floor and in the flanks of the mountain, creating the small cones and hillocks which you can see on the floor of the crater. Only in the 1930s was a road constructed through Ngorongoro and the lodge built on the rim, but even before WW 2 the crater had acquired International fame as a wildlife area.

In 1951 it was included in the newly created Serengeti National Park. It was hived off five years later due to the conflict between the park authorise and the local Maasai, who felt that being excluded from the Serengeti was bad enough but that to have their grain rights to Ngorongoro also withdrawn was going too far. As a result, it became a conservation area for the benefit of pastoralists and wildlife alike. In recognition of its importance and beauty, it was declared a World Heritage site in 1978.

Indeed Ngorongoro is the incredible and an awe-inspiring place for the best extraordinary wildlife view. Feel free to share your thought and experience from Ngorongoro conservation area and in case you will have any question or need more info about this amazing place in northern Tanzania then do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

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