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  Click on thumbnail images below for larger views

  Click on thumbnail images below for larger views

Ngorongoro: Lion Ngorongoro: Lion pride at home Ngorongoro: Lion 'looking things over' Ngorongoro: Kori Bustard
Ngorongoro: Vervet Monkey Ngorongoro: Male Lion with kill Ngorongoro: Female Lions provided the kill Ngorongoro: Black Rhino
Ngorongoro: Black Rhino mother & calf Ngorongoro: Rhino calf ('Noel') and mom Ngorongoro: Black Kite swooping in  

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is a large, unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera and is the main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The crater, which formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two to three million years ago, is 610 m (2,000 ft) deep and its floor covers 260 km² (100 mi²).

Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from fifteen to nineteen thousand feet (4500 to 5800 meters) high.

Although thought of as a natural enclosure for a very wide variety of wildlife, up to 20% or more of the wildebeest and half the zebra populations vacate the Crater in the wet season.

A side effect of this enclosure is that the population of Ngorongoro lions is significantly inbred, with many genetic problems passed from generation to generation.

This is due to the small number of new bloodlines that enter the local gene pool, since very few migrating male lions enter the crater from the outside.

Animal populations in the crater include most of the species found in East Africa, but there are no impala, topi, oribi, giraffe, or crocodile.