We had an extraordinary time in Zambia on our Safari Club "Big Cat Safari" ...absolutely magical. Thank you for your recommendations, they were spot on.
August 2010 Zambia
The Ngorongoro Crater is is a major drawcard for tourists coming on a Tanzania safari holiday and is an essential component of any Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit.
The game viewing on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater is sensational at any time of year and the chances of seeing rare black rhino and also big cats, especially lions, is as good as anywhere in Africa. Lion and Cheetah can often be spotted hunting by day and Flamingos are present in the Soda Lake on the crater floor.
The Ngorongoro Conservation area also includes Olduvai Gorge, and huge expanses of highland plains, scrub bush, and forests that cover approximately 8300 square kilometres. Only indigenous tribes such as the Masaai are allowed to live within the borders of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area .
Lake Ndutu and Masek, both alkaline soda lakes are home to rich game populations, as well as a series of peaks and volcanoes and make the Conservation Area a unique and beautiful landscape. The short grass plains and the adjacent Southern Serengeti are the location of the Great Migration between January and April as the herds arrive to calve and over half a million wildebeest calves are born over the space of a few short weeks.
This truly magical area is home to Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys discovered the hominoid remains of a 1.8 million year old skeleton of Australopithecus boisei, one of the distinct links of the human evolutionary chain. Fossil remains have shown that the area is one of the oldest sites of hominoid habitation in the world.
The Ngorongoro Crater and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are without a doubt some of the most beautiful parts of Tanzania, steeped in history and teeming with wildlife.
Accommodation options close to the Ngorongoro Crater are expensive and include some large commercial lodges on the rim and the top end Ngorongoro crater Lodge, many clients choose to stay in the many pleasant lodges and tented camps dotted around the Karatu Area.
In our opinion despite the crater floor being rather crowded with tourist vehicles, the spectacular setting and superb year round game viewing make a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater an essential part of any safari in Northern Tanzania. During the Great Migration it is also very important to include a stay in the Ndutu and Lake Masek areas as part of any safari itinerary, many seasonal camps set up here at this time, in addition to a number of permanent camps and lodges.