A UNESCO protected World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a pioneering experiment in multi-purpose land use where people (the Maasai), their livestock and wildlife coexist and share the same protected habitat.
Wild animals are protected as in the National Parks. The craters of Ngorongoro and Empakai are reserved exclusively for wildlife, while the rest of the Conservation Area is shared by wildlife, people and livestock. The Maasai, the main residents of Ngorongoro, are pastoralists who move widely with their herds of cattle, sheep, goat and donkeys in search of pasture and water.
The Ngorongoro Crater, which is the central attraction in the area, is the largest Caldera in the world that has its walls intact. The Ngorongoro Crater floor, a sheer drop of 610 metres below the crater rim, has an area of 265 sq. km, with a diameter of 19 km. The sight of the Ngorongoro Crater is simply stunning.
“There is nothing with which to compare. It is one of the wonders of the world.", once wrote Professor Bernard Grzimek. The crater floor is covered with plains animals, including wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, elands, rhino, and a large predator population of lions, hyena and jackal which can all be viewed at close quarters. Cheetah and leopard can also be seen here.