The Ngorongoro conservation area was established in the year 1959 and later become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The crater is one of the biggest caldera in the world and has been described as one of the most spectacular game hunts in Africa. The crater has a diameter of 14.5km and a depth of 2000ft – 2500ft. The crater covers an area of 264 km2.

The crater highlands on the side facing the easterly trade winds receives 800-1200 mm of rain a year and is covered largely in montane forest, while the less-steep west wall receives only 400-600 mm; this side is grassland and bush land dotted with Euphorbia trees. The crater floor is mostly open grassland with two small wooded areas dominated by Acacia xanthophloea. The major source of water for the park is Ngoitokitok Spring, Munge Stream and Lerai Stream.

The best vantage point is the flat-topped Engitati Hill in the north-eastern corner of the park. Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the south-western corner, is the main feature of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here. The Lerai Forest a fever tree forest located in the south is a good place in the park to see animals such as elephants, waterbuck and flitting sunbirds. Swamps, thorn scrub and grassland fill the rest of the park and provide the bulk of wildlife viewing.

The park is one of the most densely crowded wildlife areas in the world and is home to an estimated 30,000 animals. There are no giraffe, topi or impala in the park – they probably find it to difficult to negotiate the crater rim cliffs and there is also insufficient grazing for large herds of antelope, inside the park. However the park teems with wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, aggressive pack hunting hyenas and resident lion prides. Supported by a year round supply of water and fodder, the park supports a vast variety of animals, which include impressive herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, giant elephants and a small population of black rhino. Another big draw to this picturesque park is it dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot.

The Ngorongoro Crater is only open from 06h00 to 16h00 and only 6 hour safari permits are issued which allows for only a single 6 hour morning game drive or 6 hour afternoon game drive to the park. There are two picnic and toilet spots – the one in the Lerai Forest and at the other at the Ngoitokitok Springs located in the south-eastern section of the park.