The Ngorongoro crater is among the world’s great natural wonders. It was formed millions of years ago when a now-extinct volcano erupted and collapsed back upon itself, forming an enormous crater. Today, it is home to an astonishing concentration of wildlife. Because the crater is so large, it contains several different mini-ecosystems, woodland, plains, lake, river, swamp, and forest, each of which is preferred by different species. The plains are home to larger grazing animals like antelope, buffalo, wildebeest and zebra, as well their predators, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. In and around the forests and woodlands you can find monkeys, bushbuck, waterbuck elephant and, if you’re lucky, the rare black rhino and African hunting dog. In fact the crater is among the very few places that gives you a chance to see the Big Five of game (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard) within fairly close proximity.
That’s not all, though. You can also see warthog, hippo, eland, jackal; the only major species that are not seen here are topi, giraffe and impala, but there are still over 120 specials of mammal in the caldera. The bird life also offers rewarding sightings, with storks, secretary birds, kori bustards, crowned cranes and ostriches.