Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater, caldera in the Great Rift Valley, Arusha region, N Tanzania. It is one of the world's largest unbroken volcanic calderas, created in an eruption some 3 million years ago. The caldera's floor, c.100 sq mi (260 sq km), lies 2,000 ft (610 m) below the rim, which rises to 7,900 ft (2,408 m). Comprised mainly of open grassland, the caldera inhabited by lions, elephants, black rhinoceroses, leopards, cheetahs, and other wildlife, and thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles pass through on annual migrations. Masai graze herds in the crater, and flamingos, pelicans, and other waterbirds are found in shallow Lake Magadi, a soda lake. The surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area, c.3,200 sq mi (8,300 sq km), which also includes the Olduvai Gorge, is a major tourist attraction. It is bordered by Serengeti National Park on the west.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: African Physical Geography