Difference between revisions of "Ngorongoro Conservation Area"
Revision as of 19:08, 16 May 2013
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a park in the Northwest Tanzania. It contains an old volcano that has collapsed and formed a crater (caldera). The steep sides of the crater have become a natural enclosure for a wide variety of wildlife.
Considered to be "the cradle of civilization".
Flora and fauna
Fauna: Lions are in the highest density in the world in the crater, so there is a good chance of seeing them. There are herds of wildebeest, zebra, and a lot of buffalo and Grants' gazelles too. This is one of the best places in East Africa to see a Black Rhino. Hippos and flamingos are seen in Lake Magadi. Hyenas are a common predator, and cheetahs are frequently seen. Leopards are in the conservation area but rarely seen, along with wild dogs.
Most people come to Ngorongoro from Arusha on organized safaris. It is, however, cheaper to organize a safari from Karatu, a town 10km from the gates. Here you can organize a safari with an independent driver. If using an independent driver, the profit will go to an individual Tanzanian instead of a larger safari company, however these vehicles are less reliable and are known to have parts fall off while driving around the crater. That can add or detract from your experience, depending on what you're looking for.
For foreigners: $50 per person/day. $200 per car/day. (not a car full of people, just the car.)
For Tanzanians it's 15,000/= per day. Most of the locals believe that the bulk of the park fees go into pockets.
Do not even try to drive around here by yourself. Without knowledge of the terrain and proper skill, you will get stuck. Best to hire a company, especially one that will package a tour for you across multiple areas (e.g. Serengeti, Tarangire, Manyara).
RA Safaris, [www.rasfaris.com]. Outstanding company to book your safari with. Fully licensed, and locally owned/operated as opposed to many others that are foreign-owned. They have different packages of example safaris listed on their website, but will especially work (very responsive by email) to customize a package for you given your preference and arrival schedule. For a lodge safari (outstanding 3star lodges/hotels, not skimping it at all), price is ~$200/person/day that is inclusive of everything except for alcoholic drinks and tip for your driver (airport pickup, hotels, all meals, water, park fees). As you shop around, you'll find that this price that RA Safaris offers is benchmark among other companies. Their driver/guides (1 person - keeps costs down) are very experienced, extremely skilled (in reliable Toyota Land Cruisers, we never once got stuck and even helped town one other car out), and fully knowledgeable of the terrain for where animals tend to reside. They provide an outstanding experience that you will not soon forget. Salehe in particular is one very skilled and very knowledgable driver/guide who has amazing eyesight at being able to pick out animals from afar while driving.