Ngorongoro Conservation Area
How big: 8300km²
Best time to go: All year round
Where is it: In north-eastern Tanzania, near Arusha
Why visit?

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area or NCA is a conservation area situated 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of Ngorongoro District. It is 8,300 sq km.

The conservation area boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology.
The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai.
Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles; its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthral visitors. It borders the Serengeti National Park to the north and west.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, established in 1959, is a pioneering experiment in multiple land use. Here pastoralism, conservation and tourism co-exist in a carefully managed harmony. The centrepiece of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater which is a caldera.
The Crater floor is a natural sanctuary for thousands of animals and many species of insects and birds. Lush highlands surround the Crater, falling away to the tawny plains and alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley.

The four main archaelogical sites are:
•Oldupai Gorge (2 million to 17 000 years ago)
•Laetoli (3.6 to 2.8 million years ago)
•Ngorongoro Crater (various proto-historic sites)
•Nasera Rock (30 000 BC and more recent)
The main route through Karatu town to Loduare Gate is a tarmac road. The roads and tracks throughout the NCA are not sealed, however almost all are weather roads except for a very few secondary tracks.