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The Ngorongoro Crater is an extinct volcano with 600 metre high walls and the crater itself covers an area of over 300 sq km. The crater accounts for only a tenth of the total Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In the crater game viewing is by vehicle but in the Conservation Area highlands some walking is allowed.

Ngorongoro Crater is a vast beautiful area and there are breathtaking views from the rim of the crater. There are huge amounts of game on the Ngorongoro Crater floor including elephant, buffalo, black rhino and a large lion population. In fact Ngorongoro Crater has the highest density of game and predators in Africa and is home to almost every species of plains mammal with the exception of impala, topi and giraffe. The Ngorongoro Crater floor is covered by grassland, swamps, lakes and woodland, and the birdlife includes flamingos, although these are seasonal and are affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor. [cont]

It would be wrong of us, however, not to point out that the experience of visiting this area can range from the mind-blowing to the dire. The factors leading to the former are described above, but it is also true to say that it is isn't really a wilderness area any more, the sheer density of the viewing traffic, and the degree to which the game has become habituated to this, leading to this situation. Careful planning is needed to get the best out of a visit here.