The area is located between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara. The area covers about 8.300 kms including Olduvai Gorge, Lake Ntutu and Masek and a series of volcanoes most of which are inactive. It is home to the famous volcanic Ngorongoro crater which is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The crater, 610 metres deep and 260 kms is a microcosm of East African scenery and game and is usually visited on the way back from the Serengeti to Arusha. Scenic grandeur and stunning views are the hallmark of this wonder of the world. Lake Natron is an alkaline lake known for the high population of flamingoes that gather here at the end of the rain season.
Species. Ngorongoro enjoys an incredible variety of animals and vegetation, from grasslands, swamps, forests, saltpans, lakes. There are 25,000 larger animals within the crater itself, mostly Zebra and wildebeest. However, this is undoubtedly the best place to see black rhino in Tanzania as well as prides of lion that include the magnificent black- maned males. There are lots of colourful flamingoes and a variety of other water birds around the soda lake on the crater floor. More than a 100 species of bird not found in the Serengeti have been found in the crater. Other game includes leopard, cheetah, hyena, elephants, warthog, impala, buffalo, hartebeest, eland, reedbuck, Thompson gazelles.
Activities. Most of the activity is within the crater which is popular for bird watching, photography, walking safaris, and game viewing. The head quarter is located at Park Village at Ngorongoro Crater, also an information centre. Trekking activities can be arranged to reach the volcanoes of the Crater Highlands from the Ngorongoro Crater (Oldoinyo Lengai, Lemagurut, Oldeani, Empakaai, Olmoti). Archeologists will be interested in Olduvai Gorge, a canyon about 50 km long and up to 90 m deep in the northwest of Ngorongoro. Here it is possible to see the famous discoveries made in 1959 of remains of early Man by Mary and Louis Leakey, who found the skull known as Australopithecus Boisei, 1.8 million years old. The best time to visit Ngorongoro is the dry season from June to August.