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Oldonyo Lengai Ngorongoro Crater and Beyond

Ngorongoro Crater is a huge draw for many tourists that embark on a Tanzanian Safari. It is an amazing place to visit. Numbers of tourists have increased with every passing year and because of this restrictions are being introduced, from January 2006, in order to preserve this remarkable destination. Tanzania, is a outstanding place to visit and although many people come to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater there are many other places that remain undiscovered and can be visited for a safari experience that only Tanzania can deliver.This short commentary points to a few areas of interest to the adventurous. This article is concerned only with one small area just a little way beyond the Ngorongoro Crater.

Oldonyo Lengai: This is the only active volcano in the area and tends to erupt every twenty years. It is just out side the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is possible to go on a walking safari with Maasai Warriors and an armed ranger; the walking safari ending at this volcano. Many attempt to climb this mountain but the climb is steep and on loose scree; to be physically fit and have a real desire to climb is essential to conquer this small mountain. The costs of a guide to climb Oldonya Lengai costs US$50 per group of six climbers. It is best to pay on arrival for your climb as many people are just too tired to climb after a week of walking across the African bush.

Olmoti and Embakaai Craters: Although smaller than Ngorongoro Crater these two crater are as beautiful as they are remote. It is possible to explore this area on foot and it is essential you take your armed ranger with you as you explore. The rim of Olmoti is relatively shallow; water flows across the crater floor to the south where it pour through a cleft and forms a small but spectacular waterfall. Embakaai Crater has a very deep soda lake which covers almost half the crater floor. Flamingoes and Cape teal inhabit the shores of this lake and wildlife can often be seen on the crater floor.

Gol Mountain: these isolated and ecologically fragile mountains have pink granite cliffs and they are divided by a grassy pass (Angata Kiti). This area is barren and dusty; however the soil is very fertile and with just a little rain the grass grows. This grass attracts huge herds of animals during the migration.

Northern Highland Forest Reserve: the usual route to the Ngorongoro Crater passes through this forest. It is mountain forest and not rain forest; it is the main source of water for the people and wildlife of the area as well as the farmland in the south. The forest is home to elephant, buffalo, birds and also to the elusive leopard.There is a remarkable black dune, composed of volcanic ash it is about 100 meters wide and crescent shaped. It is blown steadily by strong winds and moves across the plains at a rate of 100 meters every six years.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area has much to offer the visitor. A walking safari with Maasai warriors and an armed ranger is a unique way to experience Africa. It is a way not only to see animals but to meet the Maasai peoples and learn about the culture. You will also see, feel and smell Africa which is not possible from the air-conditioned 4 x 4 safari vehicles that drive along the marked safari roads in the national parks.


For a more comprehensive guide Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Ngorongoro Crater connect Ian through or Philemon Using responsible tourism to change lives.

By: Ian Williamson


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