Depart immediately after breakfast for an incredible experience, today you will take Game drive inside the world's largest crater!
In fact, you will head to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, whose crater was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.This is the best known and most frequented area of the entire Ngorongoro Conservation Area, but also the most scenic part with a concentration of animals unparalleled in the entire African continent. If that were not enough, let us also mention that it is the only place in Tanzania where you can easily spot the Big 5.
It is actually a large, non-flooded caldera that was formed by the collapse about 3 million years ago of a volcano originally estimated to be 4500 to 5800 meters high. The crater is 2200 meters above sea level and has a diameter that measures 19km in width and 16km in length and is 610 meters deep, while the base area measures 265km; the walls are intact and covered with dense forest and reach an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level.
This is the caldera with intact walls and the largest non-flooded bottom in the world and is a splendor from a geological point of view.
Within it, as a result of the microclimate that has been created and the isolation from the rest of the area, there is a unique ecosystem; animals live here as if it were a small Eden on earth, partly because the soil is very rich in mineral salts that make the grasses that grow there very nutritious.
Heavy rains contribute to the formation of small ponds, marshes, streams and help replenish the waters of Lake Magadi present in the crater. Rain and fog, which form as a result of the temperature difference between the crater floor, rim, and surrounding plateaus, are responsible for the unique microclimate on the slopes and within the caldera itself.
A dense forest grows on the inner and outer slopes of the crater and exists thanks to the moisture-laden fog that has created the ideal climate; fog that also forms thanks to the evapotranspiration of the forest trees.
Savannah, on the other hand, occupies the innermost part of the crater, here small swamps, groves of yellow acacia, grasslands of low and high grasses, and semi-desert clearings alternate; there is also Lake Magadi, which, with its shallow and salty waters, is home to various animals, including colonies of greater and lesser pink flamingos that live on the edges of the salt lakes.
Inside the crater is an impressive concentration of fauna, one of the highest on the entire African continent; in fact, an estimated 25. 000 large animals, including numerous herbivores such as large herds of wildebeest and zebra, buffalo, Thomson's gazelles, Grant's gazelles, topi antelopes, baboons, hippos, and black rhinos; this is the only place in Tanzania where it is possible to spot them, thanks to the small size and bare landscape of the crater base. In truth, black rhinos also live within the Serengeti National Park but it is very difficult to spot them because, in addition to the vastness of the park, they are in a protected area where they cannot roam freely.
There is, of course, no shortage of predators such as: lions, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, caparison jackals, golden jackals, caracals, otocions and African catbirds.
The lion population is very large and registers the highest density in Africa, it is not difficult to spot them thanks to the open spaces of the crater floor one is facilitated by the fact that these felines are accustomed to the presence of off-road vehicles to the point that they use them to hide during hunting and ambush prey or to shelter from the scorching sun of the middle hours of the day.
Elephants and leopards are also present, but they prefer to stay in the forest growing on the slopes or in the Lerai Forest, numerous bird species, about 400.
Missing from the roll call are giraffes and impalas, the cause probably being the absence or scarcity of bushes, a favorite habitat and food for these animals.
Inside the crater it is possible to stay a maximum of 6 hours.
After the game drive we will drive to Arusha where you will spend last night (lodge not included) or straight to the Airport for your evening flight.