Fascinating facts about Ngorongoro crater : The Sahara Desert and the Nile come to mind when you think about outstanding African locations. Perhaps the Okavango Delta, Serengeti, or even the pyramids come to mind. But what if we told you that the Ngorongoro Crater is among the most breathtaking sights in Africa.
The earliest evidence of humankind may be found at Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, which also provides the best chance of survival for over 25,000 animals today. Continue reading to find out more incredible facts about the Ngorongoro Crater and why you should visit this incredible location on your Tanzania safari.
- How the crater was created.
The initial thing you should know about the Ngorongoro Crater is that it’s not actually a crater. It’s actually a caldera, a depression created when a volcano erupts. A divot twelve miles wide and 2,000 feet deep was created in the summit of the mountain when this explosion occurred many million years ago as the mountain collapsed in on itself.
Naturally, water started to collect in this divot, and before long, a luxuriant vegetation was flourishing there. Predators followed the animals, people followed the predators, and animals followed the plants. This verdant, vibrant caldera was initially placed under protection in 1959 and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
- It’s the biggest of its kind.
The world’s largest intact caldera that isn’t entirely a lake is the Ngorongoro Crater. That previously mentioned accumulation of water frequently never ends, turning the caldera into a sizable lake at the summit of a mountain. The largest caldera that is currently known to exist is Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia, which is home to a lake.
Another common occurrence is the caldera collapsing into a sinkhole. Where all that rock and dust once was, an explosion of that force produces a vast gap that typically falls in on itself. A caldera like the Ngorongoro Crater can only emerge under extremely specific conditions.
- It’s brimming with life.
Living things abound in the Ngorongoro Crater, which is one of its many unique qualities. The hole in the shape of a bowl has gathered water and produced rich soil ideal for growing lovely, lush plants. Additionally, many of creatures have been brought in by the richness of natural resources.
- You can spot a black rhino.
Although thirty rhinos dispersed over a twelve-mile caldera may not seem like much, this is actually the best area to see a black rhino in the wild. These magnificent animals can weigh up to 3,000 pounds and have two long horns. One more characteristic that sets them apart from their white rhino cousins is a hooked upper lip. In the 20th century, hunting black rhinos almost drove them extinct.
- It sees a million wildebeest.
We do not exaggerate when we claim that you may witness a million wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Crater. Along with zebras and gazelles, almost 2 million of these creatures pass through the Ngorongoro Crater annually between December and March. If you need some scale, the wildebeest stampede that killed Mufasa and traumatized us all in the 1994 movie The Lion King contained about 9,000 wildebeest.
The Great Migration, a massive migration that passes through Serengeti National Park, includes these two million wildebeest. These herds migrate all year round, following the location of fresh forage. They move in a circle, with the Ngorongoro Crater passing through their path at the start of every year.
- Humanity started there.
There are more creatures that have made the Ngorongoro Crater their home. The region has historically attracted human visitors. As a matter of fact, researchers today speculate that it might be the cradle from whence our earliest ancestors as humans emerged.
The Oldupai Gorge is a steep gorge in the Great Rift Valley of the Ngorongoro Crater. Along this a ridge, scientists found human footprints dating back two million years. This is some of the oldest proof we have of early humans and places the Ngorongoro Crater in an important position in our species history.
- You can sleep on the rim.
You have the option to spend the night at the location that saw the origin of humanity and is home to hundreds of animals. You can spend the night at any of the lodges that line the Ngorongoro Crater’s rim.
Imagine returning to your lodge after a strenuous day of experiencing the caldera’s natural splendour, indulging in some authentic Tanzanian cuisine, and relaxing on the deck. As the sun sets over the Ngorongoro Crater’s ridge, you gaze up at the same stars that our ancestors once studied for clues about the future. You awaken in the morning to witness the sun rise over the caldera’s opposing rim, marking the beginning of a new day in one of Africa’s most breathtaking settings.