When one mentions Tanzania tours, two main attractions come in mind that are Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro crater. The crater is the worlds largest inactive unfilled and unbroken volcanic caldera.
Because of its natural significance and unique ecosystem, the Ngorongoro crater was given a status of a world Heritage site. There are many wildlife aspects that make Ngorongoro pretty outstanding and among the most desired attractions while on Tanzania tours. Lets look at some of these and why you must add the Crater visit on your itinerary.
1. The Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is a natural wonder that leaves many astonished mainly because of its vast size. It covers a land area of 8292 square Kilometers, 600 meters deep with a floor of about 260 square kilometers.
Ngorongoro crater has other relief features like other smaller volcanoes, lakes, rivers enabling flourishing of various vegetation types. There is a humid forest in the southern part and crater floor, swamp vegetation that are homes to diverse wildlife.
While here you experience true stunning natural beauty and impressive scenic views. There is no doubt that people on Tanzania tours visiting Ngorongoro leave wishing they had booked for more days.
2. Big cats
Tourists consider a tour in East Africa successful with sightings of big cats and here Ngorongoro crater has you covered. East African savanna big cats that inhabit the crater include cheetahs, Lions and African leopards though leopards are rarely seen.
Other major predators include spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals, golden jackals and serval cats that occur widely in the crater. These are seen on game drives in open plains of the Crater offering safari moments many seek on Tanzania tours.
3. Savanna Big Mammals
Ngorongoro crater is a home to East Africa’s big mammals including elephants, Hippos, buffaloes, zebras, wildebeests, elands gazelles and others. The most special specie is a black rhino and can be best seen here.
Because of poaching the rhino population in East African reduced greatly but the Ngorongoro crater has black rhinos. In other places in Tanzania its very rare to spot black rhinos as it is in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Birding safaris have over the years been rising and tourists especially birders book Tanzania tours to explore the bird life. With birding, Ngorongoro crater still stands out as it has over 500 recorded bird species.
The crater has lake Magadi home to flocks of flamingos that usually gather at the lake shores to feed. In the open savanna’s, notable birds that can be seen include ostriches, grey crowned cranes, secretary birds and many others.
There are also many migratory birds that flock the crater from around November to April. This is actually the best time for Birding safaris as you get to see a variety of birds. Many migratory bird species from North Africa and Europe are present and the native birds are usually in full plumage.
Weather and When to Visit
The general weather of Ngorongoro is great however it gets cold in the night especially in places of high altitude. Safaris in Ngorongoro can be enjoyed any time of the year though for best viewing the dry season is better. The dry season runs from June to October a time at which animals gather around waterholes where they are easily spotted.