Ngorongoro Crater Facts
- Ngorongoro Crater represents the largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera on earth. It sits in Tanzania, in Africa and also forms the remnants of a volcano that exploded violently between 2-3 million years ago.
- The volcano measures about 2,000 ft (610 m) deep, and its floor covers an area of 100 square mi (260 sq. km).
- But the crater floor sits at 5,900 ft (1,800 m) above sea level and the crater walls also serve as home to a combination of montane forests, grasslands, and bushlands.
- In addition, the floor of the crater primarily constitutes open grassland.
Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife
A rather large salt lake sits in the middle of the impressive Ngorongoro Crater. Many species live within the crater, including black rhinos, hippos, and wildebeests.
Additionally, large numbers of bird species including flamingo love to visit the lake. Some of these species, like the wildebeest, migrate out of the crater during the wet season. Yet others, like East African lions, also known as crater lions, reside there year round.
In fact, this beautiful site also serves as the permanent home of the largest known population of the East African lions.
In total, roughly 25,000 large animals call this remarkable site their home.
Ngorongoro Crater Preservation
The magnificent and breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater also serves as part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In fact, this entire marvel of geology is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Unfortunately, however, in the year 2000, a severe drought heavily damaged the plant life, and many of the herds of animals thinned greatly in numbers. Since then, they have thankfully steadily recovered.
Efforts to preserve the ecosystem within the crater also remain ongoing and include controlled burns of the grasslands.