It lies in the Biosphere Reserve of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area,which covers 8,300 square km(3204 square miles) in Northern Tanzania.This reserve was specifically planned to accomodate both the traditional Masai communities and tourists.The original volcano which may have been higher than Kilimanjaro,collapsed in on it’self and now form a perfect basin.The basin,measuring 18km(11miles)in diameter,lies 500meters(1640 feet)bellow the rim,which towers above it at about 2,200meters(7217 feet)above sea level.
Witness thousands of pink flamingoes preening and reflecting in the still waters – a fantastic sight. A blue-green algae flourishes in the alkaline waters and is the sole source of food for the thousands of flamingos that can be found here. The flamingos travel in and out of the Crater at night, and you may hear them honking like geese as they pass over. Many different animals can be found along the lakeshore including rhino, eland and lion. The lakeshore is also a good place to spot golden jackals which regularly hunt the flamingos.
The central plain offer a great game viewing site,Cheetahs can occasionally be seen but fall prey to lions and hyenas,which the nervous and fragile cheetah is no match for.You’ll probably see at least one pride of bloated lions lying on their backs,paws in the air,stuffed and totally damaging their noble image as the King of the Beast.
The magical Lerai Forest is a special refuge for many different species of animals. Look for sly leopards perched high in the tree boughs, hiding in the leaves and dappled light. Also, watch for massive bull elephants ambling through shady thickets. Lerai is a Maasai word referring to the tall yellow barked acacias. These beautiful trees are old, gnarled by years of growing back the bark stripped off by elephants. The forest is also a special bird habitat, providing food and nesting sites for hoopoes, cuckoos and weavers.
Stretch your safari legs and listen to the grunts of the local hippos at this scenic spot. Ngoitokitok is the name for the springs that bubble forth is such abundance that a small lake has formed before spreading into the nearby Gorigor Swamp. A small rock outcrop with a single fig tree adorns the lake edge and offers a wonderful photographic backdrop. The grassy strip around the lake is a popular resting area and a lovely spot for a bush picnic though beware of the large brown hawks that swoop down to snatch unattended food.
Gorigor Swamp is a refuge for elephants and hippos, as well as a profusion of water birds. The swamp is a vast area that is fed by Ngoitokitok Springs and runoff from the Crater walls. The area is a regular haunt for serval cats and also for lions and hyenas which use the thick cover to ambush other animals when they come to drink. The area to the northwest of the swamp is a favored by the Crater’s black rhino population and it is a particularly good location to get close up photographs of this critically endangered species
This scenic and meandering stream provides water and forage for a host of animals. The Munge stream cuts through the crater wall and wanders across the floor of the crater before emptying into Lake Magadi. Leopards are very secretive though the best place to see them is in the trees that line the stream. Further upstream where the stream flows through the Rumbe Hills, there are large herds of buffalo and flocks of crowned cranes. Beautiful fig trees mark the border of the stream offering scenic backdrops for photography.