Serengeti National Park (NP)Ngorongoro CraterLake Manyara NPTarangire NPArusha NP

Ngorongoro Crater is widely considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world. 12 miles wide, 2000 feet deep, and covering an area of 102 square miles, it is the largest intact volcanic crater on earth and home to a spectacular concentration of wildlife. The crater hosts an estimated 30,000 animals on its floor, including large herds of buffalo and wildebeest, eland, hartebeest, elephant, hippo, lions, and the endangered black rhino.

Scientists believe that millions of years ago, Ngorongoro was an active volcano with a cone that some speculate was as high as Mt. Kilimanjaro. The volcano eventually became extinct and its cone collapsed and sunk, forming an enormous crater. The surrounding area was then slowly enveloped by tropical vegetation and colonized by various species of animals.

Today, mountain forests, lush vegetation, and fresh springs surround the rim of the crater's towering walls, which top out at an elevation of 7500 feet. With its dazzling natural beauty and the serenity of its surroundings, Ngorongoro is frequently referred to as "Africa's Garden of Eden".

The Crater is just one part of the 8300 sq. kilometer area called the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). Also contained within the NCA's boundaries is the geologically important and historically controversial Olduvai Gorge, where Louis and Mary Leakey discovered numerous types of the fossil remains of early man.