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Sited in the Great East African Rift Valley in northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the wondrous Ngorongoro Crater, home to the densest concentration of wild animals in Africa. Within 260 sq. kilometers (100 sq. miles) of varied micro-climates, over 30,000 mammals, half of them rangy wildebeests and well-rounded zebras, together with their many predators, lordly lions, swift cheetahs, stealthy leopards, opportunist jackals, and skulking hyenas, with a vast cast of smaller mammals and birds, form a compelling destination for wildlife safaris in Tanzania.
The caldera of a two million year old collapsed volcano forms an unbroken, 2000 feet (600 meters) high rim around a natural amphitheater within which the high drama of predator and prey is enacted on a grand canvas. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is also part of the Serengeti ecosystem but was separated from the Serengeti National Park in 1959, intending to enable the harmonious co-existence of man and his wildlife neighbors.
There is much variation in climate within Ngorongoro Conservation Area, mainly because of the altitude differences. There is a dry season from June to October and a wet season from November to May. The dry season holds its own beauty due to the fact that animals are concentrated along permanent water sources. The wet season is divided into the “short rain” (Nov-Dec) and the “long rains” (Feb- May). It is often cloudy on the highlands and in summer it rains almost every day. Game viewing and the scenery during rainy season is superb as most animals congregate on the short grass plains.
Temperatures in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area vary from 3c to 35c. Frost occurs on the highest mountain tops and temperatures are always lower along the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater than on its floor and sometimes the night time temperatures are usually cold and can approach freezing point in the dry season, so be prepared! The coldest months are from June to August.