Ngorongoro Conservation Area

NCA was established in 1959 by the NCA Ordinance No 413 of 1959 as a multiple land use area, designated to promote the conservation of natural resources, safeguard the interests of NCA indigenous residents and promote tourism. Hire a car to Ngorongoro. NCA is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa where the conservation of natural resources is integrated with human development. The main feature of the NCA includes the Ngorongoro Crater, The Serengeti Plains that support about 2.0 million migratory wildlife species of the Serengeti Mara-ecosystem (TAWIRI, 2003) and the catchment forest; the Northern Highland Forest Reserve (NHFR) known as ‘Entim Olturot’ in Maa language. Other important features found in the NCA are the archaeological and palaeontological site located at Oldupai Gorge and the early human footprints that were discovered at Alaitole in the Ngarusi area.

Craters and Wildlife

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), measuring 8,300 square kilometres, is also the only place on earth where mankind and wild animals co-exist in harmony. The NCA became a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1971 and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. Originally part of the Serengeti National Park when the latter was established by the British in 1951, in 1959 the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) was formed, separating NCA from Serengeti. Land within the area is multi-use, providing protection status for wildlife while also permitting human habitation. Its uniqueness lays in the fact that the NCA is where man, livestock and wild animals live in peace: Maasai cattle can sometimes be seen grazing alongside zebras on Ngorongoro’s grassland.

Flora and Fauna

Ngorongoro is home to lush green, rain-watered vegetation, as well as desert plants. The area has uncultivated lowland vegetation, arid and semi-arid plant communities, abundant short grass used for grazing, and highland forests. Scrub heath, grasslands, high open moorland, and the remains of dense evergreen forests cover the steep slopes of the crater, while highland trees including Peacock Flower, Yellow-Wood, Kousso, and Sweet Olive can also be found.

The legendary annual wildebeest and zebra migration also passes through Ngorongoro, when the 1.7 million ungulates move south into the area in December then move out heading north in June. The migrants passing through the plains of the reserve include 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,000 zebra, and 470,000 gazelles.

Accommodations in Ngorongoro

The area has some of the best hotels and lodges in Tanzania, such as the classic Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, built in 1939, and now operated by the And Beyond group of South Africa, along with the Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge, built in 1942, the Ndutu Lodge, built in 1946, and the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, dating back to 1971. Newer establishments include the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, built in the mid- 1990s. The six facilities, all located along the crater rim, have a total bed capacity of 560. The NCAA also has 16 campsite areas. Three more firms, the Whitesands, Kibo Safaris, and Coastal travels intend to establish other facilities within NCA; the new entries will boost the area bed capacity to 1,000.

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