Ngorongoro’s First Visitor

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East African Literature Bureau
Many readers of this series will, it is hoped, buy these booklets in the course of their visits to Ngorongoro, but for those who like to read about a place before they go there, or who are interested in the area but unable to visit it, the following general notes should prove of interest. Ngorongoro is a volcanic crater, or more properly caldera, situated in the Arusha Region of Tanzania, approximately 35°, 30’, East and 3°, 15’, South, being 112 miles West of Arusha and 290 miles by road from Nairobi. The average height of the rim is about 7,600 feet and of the floor 5,600 feet, giving a depth of 2,000 feet, with a diameter ranging between 10 and 12 miles, and a floor area of 102 square miles. This makes it one of the biggest caldera in the world, others of similar magnitude being Lago di Bolsera in Italy (101/4 miles in diameter) and Mono Lake in California (15 miles in diameter). It is surrounded by most scenic volcanic highlands, with six peaks rising to more than 10,000 feet. Apart from its scenic and geological interest, Ngorongoro’s chief claim to fame lies in the number and variety of wildlife which it contains, which by the open nature of the country can be seen at all times of the year. Most conspicuous of these are the wildebeest whose numbers vary between 10,000 and 14,000 according to the time of the year. There are also large numbers of eland, zebra and gazelle—Grant’s and Thompson’s—as also hartebeeste, waterbuck, bushbuck, reedbuck and the like. These animals attract the usual predators, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild-dog, hyaena and jackal. One of the conspicuous features of the Crater is the rhinoceros population which varies, according to the time of year, from half-a-dozen to nearly forty. They, like the other game, can be viewed close-up from vehicles, which are permitted to descend into the Crater for a small fee. Elephant, buffalo and hippo are also present, although giraffe are conspicuously absent.
Available in Print form, East Africana Collection, Dr Wilbert Chagula Library, ( LAW PAM DT447.N48B3)
Ngorongoro conservation area, Tanzania, Visitors, Foreign
Baumann, O,Organ, G. E., Fosbrooke, Henry A. (1963) Ngorongoro’s First Visitor