The big 5 of Ngorongoro crater
The big 5 of Ngorongoro crater: The Ngorongoro crater is located in the northern part of Tanzania and is also referred to as the world’s largest inactive caldera.
The Ngorongoro crater was formed as a result of volcanic activity which led to the collapse of the volcano over 2 million years ago. A variety of wildlife species can be seen during safaris to this destination and they include the big 5 as well as other wildlife and bird species. The Big 5 of Ngorongoro Crater include the following;
A number of elephants can also be seen moving in their herds during a safari around the Ngorongoro crater. Elephants can be noticed among the grassy plains on the crater floor during a wildlife viewing experience at the destination.
The African elephants are herbivores and they also play an important role in the ecosystem by digging up dry water beds with their tusks which creates watering holes where wildlife species can drink up from.
Elephants’ dung which contains seeds of trees they eat also plays an important role in the growth of plants around the Ngorongoro conservation area. In the same way, the trees and shrubs which the elephants uproot as they feed also creates an open landscape around the destination which makes it easier to spot wildlife species during a safari around the Ngorongoro conservation area.
Lions are also part of the big 5 animals of the Ngorongoro conservation area in the northern part of Tanzania. A group of lions is referred to as a pride and during a safari around this destination; lions can be spotted as they move in their herds looking for their prey.
There are over 65 lions in Ngorongoro conservation area which can also be spotted around the crater floor. One of the unique features among lions is that the older the lion, the darker the mane and this is among the male lions.
Female lions do not have manes and hunting is also usually done by the female lions of the Ngorongoro conservation area. Lions are also carnivores and prey on wildlife species such as wildebeests, buffalos, zebras, antelopes among others.
Lions are referred to as “simba” in Swahili and are easily spotted during a safari around the Ngorongoro crater.
Leopards are nocturnal wildlife species and they are also known for their ability to camouflage which makes them the least seen among the big 5.
Another character of the leopards is that they are solitary and even when hunting. During a safari around the Ngorongoro conservation area, leopards can be seen sitted among the branches of the trees.
Leopards are excellent tree climbers and even after hunting their prey, they drag the kill and feed from up in the tree which in a way keeps away other predators like hyenas and lions from stealing their kill.
The fur of leopards is shaped like rosettes and another characteristic of leopards is that they are the smallest among other cats.
African buffalos of Ngorongoro conservation area are also part of the big 5 and they can be seen in big numbers during a wildlife viewing experience at this destination.
The buffalo is considered to be dangerous among the other big 5 and in the Ngorongoro conservation area, there are about 4000 buffalos. A group of buffalos is referred to as a herd and in appearance buffalos are similar to cattle.
During a safari around the crater, buffalos can be seen around the grassy plains of Ngorongoro and in the highlands as well as the forests of Ngorongoro conservation area. Another characteristic of buffalos is that they are herbivorous in nature and they feed on grass and herbs.
Black rhinos in Ngorongoro crater
Black rhinos are among the wildlife species which can be spotted during a safari to the Ngorongoro crater which is located in the northern part of Tanzania.
The ngorongoro crater is part of the ngorongoro conservation area which covers about 8,292 square kilometers and is made up of beautiful scenery, grassy plains and woodlands where a variety of wildlife species can be spotted.
The black rhinos are an endangered rhino species and are also part of the big 5 which are the most difficult wildlife species to hunt on foot. The big 5 which can be seen in ngorongoro also includes elephants, lions, buffalos and leopards.
Adult black rhinos which can be seen around the Ngorongoro conservation area are solitary in nature and are also considered territorial. Another unique feature among the black rhinos is that the males sleep longer than the females.
These rhino species also vary in color and can be black or grey. The black rhinos are native to southern and eastern Africa. Another species of rhinos is the white rhino which is distinguished from the black rhinos by their upper lips which is a notable difference between the 2 rhino species.
Other wildlife species in Ngorongoro crater except the Big 5 of Ngorongoro Crater
A number of wildlife species apart from the black rhinos can be seen during a safari around the Ngorongoro crater and these include antelopes, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, impalas, waterbucks, hyenas, warthogs and many others.
Ngorongoro conservation area is not only home to wildlife species but also home to the Maasai people. Maasai are known for their unique culture and way of life and during safaris around the Ngorongoro conservation area; tourists can encounter the Maasai people as they graze their livestock in the grassy plains.
Some of the activities which are carried out around the Ngorongoro conservation area include game drives, guided nature walks and bird watching. Tourists during their safaris also engage in visits to the local villages of the Maasai in neighboring towns like Karatu.
Wildlife viewing in the Ngorongoro crater can be carried out at different times of the year and the best time to engage in wildlife viewing is during the dry season from June to September.