The crater and its wild, The jewel in Ngorongoro’s crown is a deep volcanic crater- the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world-19.2 Km in diameter ,610m deep and 304 sq Km in area.
The rich pasture and permanent water of the crater floor supports a large resident population of wildlife of up to 25,000-predominantly grazing- animals.
These include wildebeest, Zebra, gazelle, buffalo, erland, kongoni and the warthog. The swamps and the forest provide additional resources for hippos, elephants, waterbuck, reedbuck, and bushbuck, baboons, and vervet monkeys.
The step inner slopes provide a habitat for dikdik and the rare mountain reedbuck jackals thrive in the crater and bat – eared foxes live in the short grass areas.
Predatory animals- lion, leopard, chettah, serval cats- live of the abundant wildlife, and large packs of hyena roam the crater, making their kills and scavenging from others.
The crater is a dynamic and constantly changing ecosystem and the numbers and proportion of some animals has fluctuated considerably over the past 30 years.