UNESCO World Heritage
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Have you been?

First visited by us on December 5, 2019
TL;DR: The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the only place in Tanzania where animals and humans, the Maasai, live together. It's famous for the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic crater. It being the home of tens of thousands of different animals, it's called the Garden of Eden and was voted a Seven Natural Wonder of Africa. It could also be the cradle of mankind. The oldest existing evidence of walking humans was found here.

All about the

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Welcome to our collected information about the UNESCO World Heritage Site officially known as “Ngorongoro Conservation Area”! If you travel here and ask about it, the site is in Swahili known as Hifadhi ya Ngorongoro. We call it Ngorongoro Conservation Area or just Ngorongoro.
[ (ə)ŋˌɡɔːrəŋˈɡɔːroʊ ]

Cradle of Mankind & Garden of Eden

Our UNESCO
World Heritage Site
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Where is Ngorongoro

So far we have made three fantastic trips to this beautiful and diverse continent. The adventures have been to some very different places. Our first was to the North West, to Morocco. The next was to the island country, Cape Verde. Our latest adventure was truly an adventure, we spent about two weeks in Tanzania.
Africa
Tanzania
Arusha

How small big large HUGE v-a-s-t is it

809440
1 Hectare is 0.01 km² and 0.004 mi²

8,094.4

1 km² is 100 Hectare and 0.386 mi²

3,125.3

1 mi² is 259 Hectare and 2.589 km²

Why is Ngorongoro
a World Heritage Site

Ngorongoro Conservation Area and all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are amazing per definition. The term UNESCO uses is that they are of “Outstanding Universal Value“. All the 1121 sites on the list have been carefully qualified and selected among the many suggested each year. In fact, the list of nominated sites is currently 1734 sites long. We, the humankind, have though the United Nations together decided that we really should make an extra effort in saving, protecting and taking care of these wonderful sites. This because of their value to us, both now and perhaps even more for future generations. When qualifying to be included into this exclusive list there are 10 different categories that you can qualify in. You can qualify in more than one, most sites do. Ngorongoro Conservation Area qualified in 5 of them. It was selected to be included because of:

World Heritage Type

Cultural

Natural

Mixed

Read

This

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a very big and very diverse area. It’s the only one in Tanzania where both animals and humans, the Maasai tribe, live together. It’s famous for its volcanic calderas, especially the Ngorongoro Crater. It’s the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic crater. Being the home of tens of thousands of different animals at any time, it is called the Garden of Eden by many. It was even voted a Seven Natural Wonder of Africa. Possibly it’s also the cradle of mankind. This since the oldest existing evidence of upright walking humans was found here.

UNESCO's  5 Why

Cultural Reason #4
Natural Reason #7
Natural Reason #8
Natural Reason #9
Natural Reason #10
The Cradle of Mankind? Fossils found at Laetoli in the Olduvai Gorge shows that our forefathers lived there 2-3 million years ago.
The Ngorongoro Crater coupled with the massive amount of wildlife makes this one of the greatest natural wonders on earth.
The unique geology of the Ngorongoro, Olmoti and Empakaai volcanic craters date back more than 60 million years.
It has many different ecosystems and living areas and is one of the last places in the world with large animal migrations.
More than 25 000 large animals live here, many of them are rare and/or only exists here, some are also endangered.
Significant Stage in Human History
Natural Phenomena or Exceptional Beauty
Highlight Major Stage of Earth’s History
Significant Ecological & Biological Process
Significant Natural Habitat for Biodiversity

World Heritage Protection Status

Protected

Endangered

Lost

Timeline for the Ngorongoro World Heritage Site

3 million years ago

Creation

Ngorongoro was physically created.

1959

Established

Ngorongoro was established.
1977-07-01

Tentative

Tanzania nominated Ngorongoro Conservation Area to become a World Heritage Site.

1979-10-26

Inscribed

The application from Tanzania was approved and Ngorongoro Conservation Area officially became a World Heritage Site.

1984-11-02

Endangered!

Unfortunately, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the, luckily, few World Heritage Site where we, humanity, failed protecting it. In 19840607 it became part of the Endangered List. It’s a list no site ever wants to be on. Tanzania itself is the one responsible for making sure that the promise they made to the rest of humankind is being held.
1989-12-15

Saved!

Great news for humankind! The issues that put Ngorongoro Conservation Area on the Endangered list in 19840607 have been resolved. Don’t we love it when we have a happy ending!?
2010-08-03

Inscription Changed to "bis"

Things change. So did things for Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The site was expanded to also include the Oldupai or Olduvai Gorges. There is by some considered to be the seat of humanity. Bones of the earliest known humans have been found here. Because of this, it is considered one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world. Because of this there are some letters after the UNESCO Reference Number 39. After this update, Ngorongoro’s is bis.
2019-12-05

Visited by us!

Landmark event, obviously! Our first visit to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area World Heritage Site. This was our 105 site visited out of the 134  we have travelled to so far.

Useful external links

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Our Guides to Ngorongoro

Our Ngorongoro Photos

A zebra family with a baby zebra
A zebra family with a baby zebra
Caracal
Caracal
Jana hoping the lioness is not hungry
Jana hoping the lioness is not hungry
A zebra eating the green grass at the bottom of the cater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
A zebra eating the green grass at the bottom of the cater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Standing at the gate of the Serengeti National Park in the middle of the savanna
Standing at the gate of the Serengeti National Park in the middle of the savanna
The pink flamingos shining bright even on a gloomy day
The pink flamingos shining bright even on a gloomy day
An ostrich with zebras
An ostrich with zebras
Wildebeest (Gnu) Unicorn!
Wildebeest (Gnu) Unicorn!
The landscape of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is out of this world spectacular.
The landscape of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is out of this world spectacular.
Lion
Lion
An absolutely stunning view of the crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
An absolutely stunning view of the crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Jana watching the hippos bathe. There must have been dozens of them at least.
Jana watching the hippos bathe. There must have been dozens of them at least.
If you're worried about not spotting any animals on your safari, come to Ngorongoro, they are everywhere.
If you're worried about not spotting any animals on your safari, come to Ngorongoro, they are everywhere.
We were so lucky spotting several lions during our visit
We were so lucky spotting several lions during our visit
What a view
What a view
So many buffalos hanging out together
So many buffalos hanging out together
Hippos in the water
Hippos in the water
The famous migrating wildebeest
The famous migrating wildebeest
Zebras
Zebras
Spectacular view from on the ledge of the crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Spectacular view from on the ledge of the crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Stunning landscape everywhere you look
Stunning landscape everywhere you look
Lion
Lion