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also on this website: Kilimanjaro  Mount Meru  Arusha NP  Lake Manyara NP  Ngorongoro Crater


Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Natural Wonder in a Day Trip



The Ngorongoro Crater is part of the Conservation Area which has 8000 square meters in total. It is not a National Park because the Tanzanian government wants to break new ground here. The coexistance of humans, that is the native Massai tribe, and the wild animals is to be assured. The Ngorongoro Crater is the caldera of a collapsed volcano, with a diameter of 23K and a depth of 600 meters. More than 20.000 animals live in the crater. They can enter and leave the crater freely. but most of them stay here all time because there is no lack of water or food.


Together with the neighboured Serengeti National Park the Ngorongoro Conservation Area forms the largest concentration of wild animals all over the world. About 1.5 million wildbeests, 250.000 zebras and many thousands of gazelles are at home here. There are also 42.000 Massai shepherds with their flocks of cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys.

Visitors can enter the crater only by taking a jeep driven by licensed guides and the cars can only be left at marked picknick places. Outside the main crater guided walkes are offered to more and smaller craters, through georges and to the top of the mountain Oldonyo Lengai (2.878m).

(below: click on photo to enlarge)

  The second most common animal is the zebra (behind the wildbeest).

Equus quagga

shoulder height up to 150 cm
body length up to 220 cm
weigth up to 360 kg
age up to 20 years, in captivity 30

Zebras feed on grass and herbs. They live in small groups of up to 20 animals. As they don't fight for areas, sometimes they gather in bigger herds.

The coat is different with every zebra.

  At Lake Magadi, a salt lake, flamingos gather.

Phoeniconaias minor
More than 3 million flamingos live in East Africa. Using their buckled beak they filter plankton out of the water.


White Stork
Ciconia ciconia

Very well known in Northern Europe is the white stork. Why doesn't he stay in Africa all year?

He has many competitors in Africa who fed on the same sources as he does. And in Europe summer days are longer, so that he has more time to search for food.


African Buffalo
Syncerus caffer

body length up to 300 cm
shoulder height up to 150 cm
weight up to 900 kg
horn length up to 100 cm
age up to 16 Jahre

Buffaloes fight agressively against predatores. The rangers demonstrate high respect for them. A buffalo can run with speed of up to 50K/h.


  Thompson Gazelle
Gazella thomsomi

  The rhino keeps its distance.
  Blacksmith Plover
Vanellus armatus

Phacochoerus aethiopicus

shoulder heigt up to 75 cm
body length up to 130 cm
weight up to 85 kg
age up to 12 years

Black-backed Jackal
Canis mesomelas

shoulder heigt up to 50 cm
body length up to 105 cm
weight up to 15 kg

The jackal is an omnivore. It hunts young gazelles, hares and other rodents. It also likes vegetarian food, like berries and tubers. If there is the opportunity it would also take the rest of a lion's meal.


  Rufous Tailed Weaver
Histurgops ruficauda

Endemic bird in Tanzania.

(thanks to Brigitte)
  Superb Starling
Lamprotornis superbus
  Picknick Site
  Ibisses and little egrets
  Hippos stay in the water during day time.
  Black-crowned Crane
Balearica pavonina
  Lerai Forest, within the crater.
  Relaxing in the afternoon.
  What kind of clicks do disturb me?
  A meeting in Lerai Forest.

German grave.

Michael Grzimek, 1934-1959
"He gave all he possessed including his life for the wild animals of Africa."

Prof. Bernhard Grzimek, 1909-1987
"A lifetime of caring for wild animals and their place on our planet. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."


Literature  (Amazon UK - commissions are donated without any cuttings)



Ngorongoro Conservation Area  official tourism site
African Dream Safaris 
Paul Gross  very nice private page

also on this website: Kilimanjaro  Mount Meru  Arusha NP  Lake Manyara NP  Ngorongoro Crater


top                 2005  Uli Sauer, Witten

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