We left our camp before dawn, as we wanted to be at the gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area before the park opened. The gate was on the top of the crater rim and it took us only about half an hour drive to get there. It was cold, very cold…
A World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders, the Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 metres deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometres. The crater floor is 1,800 metres above sea level.
The crater was named by the Maasai pastoralists after the sound produced by the cowbell, ngoro ngoro. Based on fossil evidence found at the nearby Olduvai Gorge, various hominid species and hunter-gatherers have occupied the area for 3 million years. No Europeans are known to have set foot in the Ngorongoro Crater until 1892. The last human inhabitants, the Maasai, have been relocated outside the crater when the British colonial government established Serengeti National Park in 1959.
Ngorongoro Crater – Olduvai Gorge
Early afternoon we left the Ngorongoro Crater and drove to our next destination, the famous Olduvai Gorge, to arrive at our next camp on time for sunset. We were just in time for a short hike to a viewpoint on top of a nearby Kopje to witness sunset, together with one of the Maasai staff.
Olduvai Tented Camp
The tents of the camp are laid out around a large Kopjes, in the middle of the plains of the South-Central Serengeti. On top of the Kopjes is a restaurant and 360 degrees viewing platform. The very friendly Maasai staff of the camp was awesome and really liked sharing about their culture and the surrounding area.