Things to do in Ngorongoro National Park
When it comes to naming frequented places of attraction in Tanzania, the moniker Ngorongoro carves a special place of its own. Its uniqueness comes from the way its pronounced: To utter the word correctly, place your tongue at your palate and make a humming NNN sound followed by a GGG and an OOO. Thus “ NNNGGOOORRROONGOOROOO!”
What makes Ngorongoro National Park special is the world famous Ngorongoro crater within the conservancy. This perfectly formed caldera was created when a volcano collapsed almost 90 square miles in diameter, and is home to 25,000 large mammals that include elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, zebras, lions, jackals, and eland, to name just a few.
It takes about 5 hours to drive from Arusha to Ngorongoro crater, a distance of 194 km. And 3 hours to drive from Serengeti to Ngorongoro a distance of 176 km.
It is also home to a variety of exciting bird species and plant life. The birds include flamingos, ostriches, secretary bird and many more.
The great wildebeest migration takes place at Ntutu, which is located in the Ngorongoro conservation area.
Here are things to do in the park.
1. Visit Lake Magadi
If you’re of a lover of birds, then a visit the shallow lake Magadi that lies within the park. Enjoy watching thousands of flamingos that forage for food in its azure blue alkaline waters. The birds are distinguishable by their dark red bills, which consume green algae.
2. Visit Lerai Tree Forest
Watch the rare black rhinos as they graze in the Lerai forest. The forest consists of slim and tall yellow-barked acacias that are frequented by elephants, bushbuck, hyrax and thousands of birds.
3. Olduvai Gorge
No safari in Tanzania can be complete without a visit to the Olduvai Gorge. The Olduvai Gorge Museum comprises a guided tour of excavations dating back to early man and evolutionary fossils. The museum rocks dating back 3.7 million years display hominid footprints of humankind ancestors and their relatives.
4. Olmoti Crater
You may also want to visit the Olmoti crater, which is a shallow, very quiet grassy hollow where the Maasai herd their livestock alongside reedbuck, eland and bushbuck, and one or two buffaloes. From the south of the caldera, a small stream forms a waterfall that falls several hundred meters into the crater to feed lake Magadi.
5. Nasera rock
Towering 80 meters from the base of the Gol mountains, the famed Nasera Rock is home to baboons, several bird species that include the klipspringers. It holds a shelter for Stone Age human inhabitants excavated by the famous Leakeys.