Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Ngorongoro District, 180 km (110 mi) west of Arusha City in Arusha Region, within the Crater Highlands geological area of northern Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority administers the conservation area, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro District in Arusha Region. The western portion of the park abuts the Serengeti National Park, and the area comprising the two parks and Kenya’s Maasai Mara game reserve is home to Great Migration, a massive annual migration of millions of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, and other animals. The conservation area also contains Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, located in northern Tanzania, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Africa’s most remarkable natural areas.

Ngorongoro Crater:

The Ngorongoro Crater is the centerpiece of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world, spanning approximately 260 square kilometers (100 square miles). The crater’s floor is a wildlife haven, hosting a high concentration of wildlife, including elephants, lions, zebras, wildebeests, rhinos, hippos, and flamingos. Game drives within the crater offer excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Wildlife Viewing:

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is renowned for its incredible wildlife diversity. Besides the Ngorongoro Crater, the area includes the surrounding highlands, plains, forests, and lakes, all providing habitats for a wide range of animal species. Visitors can encounter the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros) as well as countless other animals and bird species.

Olduvai Gorge:

Situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Olduvai Gorge is an important archaeological site that has provided valuable insights into human evolution. It is often referred to as the “Cradle of Mankind” and has yielded numerous fossil remains and stone tools. Visitors can explore the museum and learn about the fascinating history and discoveries made in this significant area.

Cultural Interactions:

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is also home to the Maasai people, who have traditionally inhabited the region. Visitors have the opportunity to engage in cultural activities and interact with the Maasai community, gaining insight into their customs, traditions, and way of life. Cultural tourism programs offer the chance to visit Maasai villages, witness traditional dances, and purchase handicrafts.

Conservation and Research:

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is dedicated to the preservation of its unique ecosystems and wildlife. Conservation efforts focus on maintaining the delicate balance between human activities and wildlife conservation. The area also serves as a site for scientific research and environmental monitoring.

Hiking and Walking Safaris:

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers several hiking trails and walking safaris for those seeking a more active and immersive experience. Guided walks allow visitors to explore the highlands, forests, and grasslands, offering a different perspective on the area’s flora, fauna, and landscapes.

Campsites and Lodges:

There are various accommodation options available within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, including campsites and lodges. Visitors can choose to stay in tented camps or luxurious lodges, providing a comfortable base for exploring the area and enjoying the natural surroundings.


Ngorongoro Conservation Area is easily accessible and is often included as part of the popular northern Tanzania safari circuit, along with other renowned destinations such as Serengeti National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. It is located approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) west of Arusha.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers an extraordinary combination of breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, cultural experiences, and significant archaeological sites. Whether exploring the Ngorongoro Crater, learning about human evolution at Olduvai Gorge, or engaging with the Maasai community, visitors to Ngorongoro are immersed in the wonders of Tanzania’s natural and cultural heritage.