Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE -

Tan­za­nia’s Ngoron­goro Crater and sur­round­ing high­lands form one of Africa’s most beau­ti­ful re­gions. Vol­canic craters form back­drops to some of the most fer­tile and rich­est graz­ing grounds in Africa. Ngoron­goro, the world’s largest in­tact vol­canic caldera, is home to the high­est den­sity of big game in Africa. Ngoron­goro forms the cen­ter­piece of the Ngoron­goro Con­ser­va­tion Area, a UNESCO World Her­itage Site 180km west of Arusha in the Crater High­lands area of Tan­za­nia. Formed when a large vol­cano ex­ploded and col­lapsed on it­self two to three mil­lion years ago, the crater is 610m deep with a floor cov­er­ing al­most 260sq km, and is home to a huge di­ver­sity of an­i­mals. A healthy pop­u­la­tion of black rhino and some of the largest tusker ele­phants left in Africa to­day are prize sights, but the crater is also home to pop­u­la­tions of lion, leop­ard and hyena, along with healthy herds of wilde­beest, buf­falo and ze­bra. Other wildlife here in­cludes ser­val cat, chee­tah, jackal, Grant’s and Thomp­son’s gazelle, flamingo and bat-eared foxes, as well as about 400 species of bird. The wildlife stays in the crater all year so there is not a bad time to visit. How­ever, given that the crater floor does get busy with ve­hi­cles, it can be more pleas­ant to visit dur­ing low sea­son, when higher wa­ter lev­els in Lake Ma­gadi (in the cen­tre of the crater) also re­sult in higher con­cen­tra­tions of flamin­gos. More in­for­ma­tion at sanc­tu­aryre­

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