Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania
Although it’s not technically a part of Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is worth a visit if you’re in the area. Flanking the eastern edge of the Serengeti, the site houses the Ngorongoro Crater – the world’s sixth-largest intact volcanic caldera – and Olduvai Gorge.
This UNESCO World Heritage site, which sprawls across more than 32,000 square miles, is also where more than 25,000 animals and thousands of Masai pastoralists reside.
Though you’ll want to make time for all of Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s geological and archeological sites, you should consider paying the extra $200 per vehicle fee to visit Ngorongoro Crater, a suggestion of recent travelers. Once a giant volcano that exploded and collapsed on itself 3 million years ago, Ngorongoro Crater measures 2,000 feet deep and covers 100-plus square miles.
Animals are regularly seen here, but to increase your chances of spotting creatures, including endangered species like the black rhino and the African wild dog, visitors recommend exploring the crater early in the morning.
Other attractions in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area include the Olduvai Museum, Oldonyo Lengai (the area’s only active volcano), Olmoti and Empakai craters, The Shifting Sands (a black dune near Oldonyo Lengai) and Olkarien Gorge.