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Ngorongoro Crater formed when a massive volcano collapsed in upon itself, leaving the largest intact caldera (crater) in the world. Inside the 12 mile diameter Crater, the concentration and diversity of wildlife is probably greater than anywhere else in Africa. Clients spending a day in the Crater (accessible only by 4-wheel-drive vehicles) enjoy tremendous wildlife viewing at close range. There are no accommodations in the Crater, but several outstanding lodges on the Crater rim offer spectacular overviews and are fine staging locations for game drives into the Crater. Campsites on the eastern slope of the Crater wall also allow superb access to the wildlife. We often place our luxury camps in these locations as bases for clients spending one or more days exploring the Crater floor.
With the Crater as its centerpiece, the surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a stunning multiple-use region almost as large as the Serengeti. Forested mountains, rugged highlands, smaller volcanic craters, and expansive plains feature spectacular vistas and game viewing, and almost no other tourists. Unlike the national parks, the conservation area is still home to Maasai people who maintain their traditional pastoral lifestyle in harmony with wildlife. Cool temperatures, opportunities to become acquainted with the Maasai, and fantastic hiking make this area ideal for our walking safaris.