Africa Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater

Discoveries International

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The Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation District is a world heritage site, which includes an entire ecosystem within the crater walls containing extraordinary depth and beauty. Referred to by many as the 8th natural wonder of the world and the "Eden" of Africa, the crater floor covers over 100 square miles and is 2000 feet deep. The Ngorongoro Conservation District is a vast piece of real estate covering over 3200 square miles.

The Crater though perhaps the most famous part, is a miniscule percentage of the whole. Within Ngorongoro Crater, a pair of Cheetahs on the hunt, Ostrich, Cory Bustard, the largest fly bird in the world, Black Storks, Hippos, Elephants, Zebras, Warthogs, perhaps Africa's funniest looking animal and Lions. A world class show of the wild animal kingdom and its diversity. Maasai live in the Ngorongoro Conservation District. Proud, independent and semi nomadic the Maasai are very welcoming into their villages and bomas. There are however 2 faces to Africa, The beauty, animals and magnificent national parks on one hand, and a desperate population of orphaned children on the other.

One small effort, by a group of dedicated volunteers demonstrate what love, and kindness will do for a child at the Malaika Children's Home in Arusha where there are 10,000 children without parents or a roof over their heads. Along the edge of the Serengeti Plain, Fighting Giraffes on the way to Olduvai Gorge often called the "Cradle of Mankind" is one of the most important archeological digs that have added significant understanding of evolution and ancient man dating back 3 and half million years ago.

In 1931, Louis and Mary Leaky made their first expedition to the region and began exploration and ultimate discovery of one of the most important pre historic sites in the world. Mementos, pictures and the entire story are housed in a museum at the site, including one of their discoveries. A cast of fossilized footprints of hominids from over 3 million years before. Excavation and discovery continue in the 21st century though in considerable better conditions than times past. In the next episode of Discoveries Africa, more on the Southern Serengeti.

We'll rejoin a pride of lions to see if they are feasting on zebra or going wanting, as so often is the case here in the African bush. The East African country of Tanzania is located just south of the Equator. Over 587,000 square miles in area, home of the continents' tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro and more national parks and game preserves than any other wildlife destination in the world. Enlightened game management, strict regulation on hunting coupled with an excellent infrastructure for tourism and guided by professional guide, Stanford Milinga, makes Tanzania a world-class destination for game viewing photo safaris.

(Discoveries Africa Tanzania 5 DVD/Blu-ray collection includes 5% discount: Arusha and Lake Manyara National Parks, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Southern Serengeti and The Great Migration, Maasailand Epilogue)