Amazing Facts About Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro crater is one of Africa’s natural wonders. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and sees visitors from all across the world. Being the world’s largest volcanic caldera is only part of the amazing story of Ngorongoro.
Let’s discover some interesting facts about this amazing place.
Ngorongoro crater was formed over 2 million years ago after a volcano erupted casting its ash for miles around then collapsed. The eruption made the surrounding plains of the Serengeti rich with minerals that support grasslands and in turn great numbers of hoofed animals.
The crater area is around 260 square kilometers and the crater walls rise some 610 meters. During the time that the volcano was active, it is believed to have been as tall as Mount Kilimanjaro at between 4500 and 5800 meters.
The Ngorongoro conservation area manages the Ngorongoro National Park. The number of people living near and around the caldera is around 40,000 individuals. Within the crater walls, there are a huge number of animals well over 30,000 which is amazing considering the small size. The lions here are also huge and most have an iconic black mane. Other predators here include hyena, jackals, cheetah, and leopards.
While giraffes can be found on the plains around the crater there aren’t any inside the crater itself. If you ask why this is so, it is thought to be because they cannot manage the steep walk down into the crater.
The Ngorongoro crater is listed as one of the seven natural wonders and is a UNESCO world heritage site together with two more craters in the region known as Elpakai and Olmoti. The earliest human fossils were found in Ngorongoro crater.
For tourists and visitors who want to enjoy the natural wonder that is the Ngorongoro crater, a permit is required. The management of the park, however, limits the number of visitors who come here each year. Every year the crater sees some 450,000 tourists.
Some famous names that have visited Ngorongoro include the likes of Bill Clinton, Prince William as well as the queen of Denmark.
Out of Africa, a movie that gained international acclaim and received an Oscar was filmed partly in the Ngorongoro crater. In fact, it’s easy to notice the crater walls as one of the actors, Dennis heads off to the airstrip where he then flies to the Maasai Mara.
Every so often the crater has been nicknamed the Garden of Eden due to its huge number of animals and a year-round water supply that allows the animals to thrive here. In fact, they do not need to migrate and they spend their entire lives in the crater.