The footprints are a byproduct of an ancient volcanic mudflow from the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai which is still active. The volcanic mudflow was hardened when the wet ash dried almost like concrete. The footprints have so far been created between 6,000 and 19,000 years ago and represent the distinct paths of at least 20 different individuals.
Since 2009, the Engare Sero research project team has been excavating and analyzing the Engare Sero footprints, led by Appalachian State University professor Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce and including Human Origins Program research scientist Briana Pobiner. According to their findings, the footprints were left by a group of mostly adult females traveling together.
The Ngorongoro Crater is home to much more than wildlife safaris, with important cultural and archaeology here too.
Away from the wildlife, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area has other areas of significance. Oldupai Gorge is one of Africa’s most important archaeological excavations where some of the world’s most humanoid remains were discovered.
When travelling to foreign destinations it is always respectful to dress modestly and we suggest the emphasis is on comfortable clothing.
It is often warm on the plains and at lower altitudes but cold in the hilly and mountainous areas; a rain jacket, fleece and good quality walking shoes/boots are essential.
The Ngorongoro Crater is rich in wildlife, with many species calling this vast area home.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera with a diameter of 16km and a crater wall over 600m high. It is a true Garden of Eden, an extraordinary natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s densest large mammal populations and predators. Over 400 spotted hyenas exist in the crater (especially on the eastern shore of Lake Magadi), along with lion’s, leopard (spotted on occasions in the swampy areas), and black-backed and golden jackals.
The lion population has varied during the years partly due to migration into and out of the crater but mainly because of the vulnerability of the compact population. Cheetah, although common in the Conservation Area, are scarce in the Crater possibly due to the high rate of competition from other predators.
Elephant (especially around the Gorigor Swamp area) and buffalo are regularly seen. There also exist residential populations and large concentrations of wildebeest (over 10,000 in number), Burchell’s zebra (approximately 5,000), and buffalo, Thomson’s and grant’s gazelle in the open grasslands of the crater floor. The Ngorongoro Crater is perhaps the best place in Africa to see the endangered black rhinoceros.