A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1979, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the world’s largest caldera and the birthplace of the wildebeest, as well as being an important prehistoric area for the study of human evolution. Part of the Serengeti ecosystem, it is also home to many plant and animal species, short grass plains, highland forests and savannah woodlands, as well as the Maasai people.
The Ngorongoro Crater
One of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders, the Ngorongoro crater is the world’s largest unbroken caldera. Formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano, it creates a protected environment teeming with wildlife, including elephants, rhinoceros, wildebeest, cheetahs and lions. The crater floor stretches almost 20km across, 600m deep and covers about 260 sq km. It is surrounded by a rim of mountains that rise over 600m above it, resulting in dramatic landscapes and spectacular photographic opportunities.
Ndutu Birth Place of the Wildebeest
Located within the Ngorongoro Conservation area, Ndutu is renowned as the birth place of the wildebeest. It is where the wildebeest linger to calve during their great migration, so that the mothers can feed on the rich grass of this volcanic area. This takes place once a year from January to March. Lake Ndutu is a soda lake surrounded by swamps and woodlands as well as the Serengeti short grass plains. A must for the viewing of the exciting natural phenomenon of the Wildebeest with their new calves, it is also a prime spot for viewing the big cats and predators.
Oldupai (Olduvai) Gorge
Known as the Cradle of Mankind, the Oldupai Gorge in the eastern Serengeti is an important archaeological site where early evidence of Palaeolithic man was discovered in the 1930s. Here it was that man’s ancestors first started to use stone tools and evolved into Homo sapiens. See the fossilized footprints that revealed when pre-humans first walked upright, and a host of discoveries vital to our understanding of our evolution, as you enjoy the beauty of this age-old landscape.