Ngorongoro Conservation Area
United Republic of Tanzania
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|A large permanent concentration of wild animals can be found in the huge and
perfect crater of Ngorongoro. Nearby, the crater of Empakaai, filled by a deep
lake, and the active volcano of Oldonyo Lenga can be seen. Excavations carried
out in the Olduvai gorge, not far from there, have resulted in the discovery of
one of our more distant ancestors, Homo habilis. Laitoli Site, which also lies
within the area, is one of the main localities of early hominid footprints,
dating back 3.6 million years.
A population of about 25,000 large animals, largely ungulates (meaning roughly "hoofed " or "hoofed animal") along with the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, lives in the crater. These include black rhinoceros, which have declined from about 108 in 1964-66 to between 11-14 in 1995, and hippopotamus which are very uncommon in the area.
There are also many other ungulates: Wildebeest (7,000 estimated in 1994), zebra (4,000), eland, Grantís and Thomsonís gazelles (3,000). The crater has the densest known population of lion numbering 62 in 2001. On the crater rim are leopard, elephant, numbering 42 in 1987 but only 29 in 1992, mountain reedbuck and buffalo (4,000 in 1994).
In summer enormous numbers of Serengeti migrants pass through the plains of the reserve, including 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,000 zebra and 470,000 gazelles. Waterbuck mainly occur near Lerai Forest; servals occur widely in the crater and on the plains to the west. Common in the reserve are lion, hartebeest, spotted hyena and jackal. Cheetah, though common in the reserve, are scarce in the crater itself. Wild dog has recently disappeared from the crater and may have declined elsewhere in the Conservation Area as well.
Justifiably called the eighth wonder of the world and stretching across some 8,300 sq km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa.
The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai. Ngorongoro Crater is rightfully described as one of the world's greatest natural spectacles. Its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors. It borders the Serengeti National Park to the north and west. A few hours drive to the east takes you to the town of Arusha which nestles at the foot of Mount Meru, within view of Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha is known as the gateway to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Northern Parks.
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Note about Tanzania
Before World War I the area of Tanganyika formed part of German East Africa. It was mandated to Britain after World War I, and in 1946 became a trust territory under the United Nations. In 1935, stamps of the mandate were replaced by those used jointly by Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika.
On Dec 9, 1961, Tanganyika became independent, and on Dec 9, 1962, it became a republic. On April 26, 1964, it joined Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, later renamed Tanzania. In October 1965 the name was changed to United Republic of Tanzania.
It is thus possible to find (older) stamps inscribed Kenya, or Uganda, or Tanganyika, or United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, all correctly related to present-day Tanzania.
Other World Heritage Sites in Tanzania (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Tanzania Section, for further information about the individual properties.
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Revised 21 aug 2006