Your first view will take your breath away. The Ngorongoro crater
is a huge caldera formed after the collapse of volcano, 250 square
kilometers in total. The crater is 600 meters deep and its spectacular
setting and abundance of wildlife combine to make it one of the
wonders of the natural world. Inside the crater there are over
20,000 large animals including some of Tanzania's last remaining
black rhino. Animals are free to leave or enter the crater but
most of them stay because of the plentiful water and food available
on the crater floor throughout the year.
Other mammals include wildebeest, zebra, spotted hyena, hunting
dogs, gazelles, hyena, jackals and primates like mice and grasshoppers.
Open grassland covers most of the crater floor and feeds the herbivores.
The crater has abundant yellow barked acacia trees in the Lerai
forest making it a home to elephants, baboon, bushbucks, waterbucks
and velvet monkeys. There are a number of wetlands too. The Lakes
attract numerous flamingos, pelicans, blacksmith plovers, African
cuckoos, Red-eyed doves and other water birds. More than 300 species
of bird have been recorded. The wetland is also home to large
numbers of hippos and smaller creatures such as frogs and snakes.