Ngorongoro Crater is in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The crater is a volcanic caldera, created when a volcano exploded and then collapsed, some two to three million years ago. Is about 610 m (2,000 ft) deep and about 20 km (12 miles) across. There are between 20,000 and 30,000 wild animals living in the crater.

The lake in the center of the crater is a salt lake, it doesn't have fresh water. I saw many of the large animals. There is a good population of African Bush Elephants (Loxodonta africana, german: Afrikanischer Elefant, french: Éléphant de savane d'Afrique) in the crater. I even did see a Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis, german: Spitzmaulnashorn, french: Rhinocéros noir), but it was very far away. There are no Giraffes in Ngorongoro.

The highlight of the crater tour was watching a Western White-bearded Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi, german: Streifengnu, french: Gnou bleu) give birth. The process took over ½ hour. It then took the newborn 7 minutes to get on its feet, and another 10 minutes to get to the milk.

Western White-bearded Wildebeest all calve within a period of about three weeks in February. There are on the order of 500,000 births in the Serengeti area in that time period. Synchronized calving helps to ensure survival of enough calves. The young calves are vulnerable to predators, but since there are so many of them at the same time, the predators can't get them all, so sufficient numbers can grow up.

Grant's Zebras (Equus quagga boehmi, german: Steppenzebra, french: Zèbre de Grant) too calve all at the same time; their time is in December. I saw many young zebras as well.

There is a large population of Cape Buffaloes (Syncerus caffer caffer, german: Kaffernbüffel, french: Buffle d'Afrique) in the crater. I watched a couple of males have a fight. The buffaloes are pretty fierce looking. It is disconcerting that they always intently stare at you. They can be pretty dangerous because they are quite aggressive.

There are Southern Grant's Gazelles (Nanger granti granti, german: Südliche Grant-Gazelle, french: Gazelle de Grant) and Thomson's Gazelles (Eudorcas thomsonii, german: Thomson-Gazelle, french: Gazelle de Thomson) in the crater, but no Impala. I did see some East African Eland (Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus, german: Elenantilope, french: Éland), the largest antelopes.

Of the predators I did see Southern Lions (Panthera leo melanochaita, german: Löwe, french: Lion) and Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta, german: Tüpfelhyäne, french: Hyène tachetée), but no Leopards or Cheetahs.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Large animals

Crocuta crocuta
Scene in Ngorongoro Crater with Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta, german: Tüpfelhyäne, french: Hyène tachetée), Western White-bearded Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi, german: Streifengnu, french: Gnou bleu), and East African Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps, german: Südafrika-Kronenkranich, french: Grue royale). (694k)
Syncerus caffer caffer
Mud wallows with Hyenas in the front and Cape Buffaloes (Syncerus caffer caffer, german: Kaffernbüffel, french: Buffle d'Afrique) in the back. (803k)
Phacochoerus africanus massaicus
Mud wallow with Hyena and an Eastern Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus, german: Warzenschwein, french: Phacochère). The Hyenas are very careful around warthogs. It seems that the warthogs are quite vicious and can injure or kill a hyena. (1191k)
Skull Cape Buffalo
Skull of a Cape Buffalo. (950k)
Nanger granti granti
Sparring Southern Grant's Gazelle males (Nanger granti granti, german: Südliche Grant-Gazelle, french: Gazelle de Grant). (859k)
Nanger granti granti
Southern Grant's Gazelle male (Nanger granti granti, german: Südliche Grant-Gazelle, french: Gazelle de Grant). (833k)
Eudorcas thomsonii
Thomson's Gazelle male (Eudorcas thomsonii, german: Thomson-Gazelle, french: Gazelle de Thomson). (912k)
Eudorcas thomsonii
Close-up of a Thomson's Gazelle male (Eudorcas thomsonii, german: Thomson-Gazelle, french: Gazelle de Thomson). (724k)
Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus
East African Eland (Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus, german: Elenantilope, french: Éland). (641k)
Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi
Western White-bearded Wildebeest herd (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi, german: Streifengnu, french: Gnou bleu) with many babies. (998k)
Wildebeest Herd Move Babies
Wildebeest herd on the move. The babies closely follow their mothers. (1076k)
Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi
Nursing Western White-bearded Wildebeest baby (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi, german: Streifengnu, french: Gnou bleu). (949k)
Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi
Close-up of a Western White-bearded Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi, german: Streifengnu, french: Gnou bleu). (1031k)
Close-up Wildebeest
Close-up of a Wildebeest. (907k)
Equus quagga boehmi
Grant's Zebras (Equus quagga boehmi, german: Steppenzebra, french: Zèbre de Grant). (1000k)
Grant's Zebra Baby
Grant's Zebra with a baby. (1070k)
Grant's Zebra Baby
Grant's Zebra baby. (1150k)
Equus quagga boehmi
Nursing Grant's Zebra baby (Equus quagga boehmi, german: Steppenzebra, french: Zèbre de Grant). (791k)
Close-up Grant's Zebra
Close-up of a Grant's Zebra. (959k)
Phacochoerus africanus massaicus
Eastern Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus, german: Warzenschwein, french: Phacochère) in a wallow. (998k)
Eastern Warthog Wallow
Eastern Warthog in a wallow. (975k)
Eastern Warthog Scratching Rock
Eastern Warthog scratching on a rock. (1343k)
Phacochoerus africanus massaicus
Close-up of an Eastern Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus, german: Warzenschwein, french: Phacochère). (866k)
Canis mesomelas schmidti
Eastern Black-backed Jackals (Canis mesomelas schmidti, german: Schabrackenschakal, french: Chacal à chabraque). (975k)
Canis mesomelas schmidti
Eastern Black-backed Jackals (Canis mesomelas schmidti, german: Schabrackenschakal, french: Chacal à chabraque). (1195k)
Chlorocebus pygerythrus hilgerti
Hilgert's Vervet Monkey mother with baby (Chlorocebus pygerythrus hilgerti, german: Südliche Grünmeerkatze). (527k)
Syncerus caffer caffer
Cape Buffaloes (Syncerus caffer caffer, german: Kaffernbüffel, french: Buffle d'Afrique), as usual, all staring at us. (985k)
Cape Buffaloes
Cape Buffaloes. (1077k)
Syncerus caffer caffer
Cape Buffaloes (Syncerus caffer caffer, german: Kaffernbüffel, french: Buffle d'Afrique). (834k)
Cape Buffaloes Mud Wallow
Cape Buffaloes in a mud wallow. (1088k)
Syncerus caffer caffer
Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer, german: Kaffernbüffel, french: Buffle d'Afrique), fresh out of a mud wallow, staring at us. (806k)
Fighting Cape Buffaloes
Fighting Cape Buffaloes. (900k)
Winning Buffalo Chasing Away
Winning Buffalo is chasing away the looser. (742k)
Crocuta crocuta
Group of Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta, german: Tüpfelhyäne, french: Hyène tachetée) in a mud wallow. (711k)
Crocuta crocuta
Group of Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta, german: Tüpfelhyäne, french: Hyène tachetée) in a mud wallow. (1050k)
Spotted Hyena Mud Wallow
Spotted Hyena in a mud wallow. (874k)
Crocuta crocuta
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta, german: Tüpfelhyäne, french: Hyène tachetée). (1064k)
Crocuta crocuta
Close-up of a Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta, german: Tüpfelhyäne, french: Hyène tachetée). (913k)
Close-up Spotted Hyena
Close-up of a Spotted Hyena. (787k)
Food Spotted Hyena Having
Is there food up there?? Spotted Hyena having a close-up look at me. (621k)
Feeding Spotted Hyena
Feeding Spotted Hyena. (1104k)
Panthera leo melanochaita
Southern Lion couple (Panthera leo melanochaita, german: Löwe, french: Lion). (714k)
Diceros bicornis
Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis, german: Spitzmaulnashorn, french: Rhinocéros noir) in the distance. I didn't get any closer to a Black Rhino. (575k)
Loxodonta africana
African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana, german: Afrikanischer Elefant, french: Éléphant de savane d'Afrique). (905k)

Birth of a Western White-bearded Wildebeest

Birth Had Started Few
The birth had started a few minutes before. You can see the legs. (828k)
Wildebeest Laying Standing Again
The Wildebeest was laying down and standing up again and again. (973k)
Resting Bit
Resting for a bit. (964k)
Getting Again More Legs
Getting up again, more of the legs visible. (887k)
Feeding Bit
Feeding a bit. (951k)
Kneeling Bit More Legs
Kneeling down for a bit. More of the legs is visible. (950k)
Newborn Baby
Here is the newborn baby. (1083k)
Baby Immediately Trying Feet
The baby immediately is trying to get on its feet. (1067k)
After 7 Minutes Wobbly
After 7 minutes it was on its wobbly feet. (1086k)
Trying Find Milk Still
Trying to find milk, still on the wrong end. (987k)
Took Baby 10 Minutes
It took the baby 10 minutes to find the milk and start feeding. You can still see the placenta on the mother. (1002k)

Miscellaneous

View Ngorongoro Crater
View of Ngorongoro Crater. (601k)
View Eastern Part Ngorongoro
View of the eastern part of Ngorongoro Crater. (423k)
View Western Part Ngorongoro
View of the western part of Ngorongoro Crater. (702k)
North Side Ngorongoro Crater
North side of Ngorongoro Crater. You can see the migration paths that the animals take in and out of the crater. (628k)
South Side Crater Clouds
South side of the crater. The clouds seemed to flow over the crater rim. (574k)
Danaus chrysippus dorippus
Dorippus Tiger butterfly (Danaus chrysippus dorippus, german: Kleiner Monarch, french: Petit monarque). (686k)
Monument Bernhard Grzimek Son
Monument to Bernhard Grzimek and his son Michael, who were instrumental in creating Serengeti National Park with their film "Serengeti darf nicht sterben" (Serengeti Shall Not Die). (1047k)

This page contains 62 pictures with 15 species

Tanzania
Main page for Tanzania

Page last updated on Mon Oct 26 12:57:03 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)


Tanzania - Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife on guenther-eichhorn.com


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Retired
Email Guenther Eichhorn

*Dr. Günther Eichhorn Travel Website
*Soaring website