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Meet Some Of The 30,000 Large Wild Animals Living In A Giant Tanzanian Crater


ngorongoro crater

If you're hoping to see Africa's "big five" on safari, there's no better destination than Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the massive caldera, formed nearly three million years ago following a volcanic collapse, and was amazed by the quantity and diversity of animals I saw in a single afternoon.

The 100-square-mile crater, part of the larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area, is home to some 30,000 animals, including around two dozen black rhino, which are extremely endangered. It also has the densest known lion population, and thousands of flamingo gather there during the rainy season.

Disclosure: Our trip to Tanzania, including travel and lodging expenses, was sponsored by the Tanzania Tourist Board, Africa Adventure Company, Singita Grumeti Group, Coastal Aviation, Qatar Airways, Tanzania National Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and Wildlife Division.

I flew directly over the crater on the flight to Manyara Airstrip, where visitors to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area start their trips. The walls of the crater are around 1,600 feet high.

Source: Africa's Top Wildlife Countries by Mark W. Nolting

Our guide Ephrata of the Africa Adventure Company picked us up at the airstrip. From here, it's an hour-and-a-half drive the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

U.S. residents must pay $50 to enter the conservation area. The crater covers 100 square miles, but the park is much larger, encompassing some 3,200 square miles of plains, forests, and lakes.

Source: Africa's Top Wildlife Countries by Mark W. Nolting

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