Ngorongoro crater, Tanzania

Garden of Eden. Crater landscape.

Originally part of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area was set aside in 1959 to conserve wildlife, safeguard the interests of indigenous pastorialists and promote tourism.  Ngorongoro crater is one of the most perfectly formed calderas on the planet.  It is located along the rift valley in the highlands of northern Tanzania about 3° south of the equator.  The caldera measures about 12 miles across, the bowl of 100 square miles is ringed by 1,640 foot walls.  Surrounded by forest highlands, the crater floor is  mostly grassland, with lakes, pools and marshes, with the Lerai fever tree forest spilling down from the Southwest slopes.

The crater creates a self-contained ecosystem, and little migration takes place during the fluctuating wet and dry seasons.  Wildibeast, zebras, gazelles, eland, black rhinos, buffalo, elephants, lions, hyaenas, leopards and cheetahs populate the varied habitats between highland forest and crater floor.

Cloud-shrouded rim of Ngorongoro crater in a morning view from Crater lodge.

More than 60,000 Maasai pastorialists live in the conservation area, tending herds of cattle, sheep and goats, and a few donkeys.  They are allowed to take their livestock to the crater floor during the dry season for salt and water.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was built in the 1930s in the highland forest along the rim of the crater with spectacular views across the crater.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Carla and Lisa having lunch overlooking the crater.
Happy Birthday Lisa!

5 responses to “Ngorongoro crater, Tanzania”

  1. Once more, fantastic! Lisa, what a marvelous way to celebrate your birthday.

  2. Marilyn Molloy Avatar
    Marilyn Molloy

    Amazing photos David. I loved the one of singing and dancing at a wedding. Also, the lodge you guys stayed in didn’t look too shabby! So very beautiful. Thanks to all for giving Lisa such a great birthday celebration. Love, Jim & Marilyn

  3. Wow!! Amazing!

    Strangely I am most impressed by the Turacos. I am just enthralled by these birds and know how difficult they are to catch on film!


    1. I am mesmerized by turacos, mostly their calls across the forest. To see one so close and so trusting was a gift.

  4. Heidi Kapacinskas Avatar
    Heidi Kapacinskas

    This lodge looks phenomenal! Your writing and photographs never get old, David. Thanks for continuing to brighten my days.

    Take care,
    Heidi 🙂

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