THE NGORONGORO LENGAI UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK
Ngorongoro Conservation Area together with three districts of Karatu, Monduli and Ngorongoro in Arusha Region have been endorsed by UNESCO in April 17, 2018 then became the first Geological paradise in Africa, south of Sahara. The geopark is known as Ngorongoro Lengai UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Ngorongoro Lengai UNESCO Global Geopark is confined to the North by lake Natron on Kenyan border and to the North-west is Serengeti National Park border.
The Geopark’s highest point is the Oldonyo Lengai (2,962m) a sacred mountain for Maasai community which is also the unique active volcano of calcarenite in the world. It covers an area of 11.895 sq km with a population of 230,506 people representing a huge human diversity of local ethnic groups made up of the Masai, Iraqw, Datoga, and Hadzabe communities.
The Geopark’s geological history begins 500 million years ago with granite sand gneiss seen in the North (Gol Mountains) and in the West around Lake Eyasi. The Geopark’s territory lies in the eastern arm or branch of the Great Africa Rift Valley which emerged in the Early Miocene, dating back to 20 millions years. The rifting is still active, continuing today.
The Geopark covers rocky hills, lengthy underground caves, lake basins, hominid discovery site and the active Oldonyo Lengai volcano. The main highlights are Ngorongoro crater, Olduvai Gorge, Olmoti crater, Laetoli footprints, Nasera rock and Olkarian Gorge. Oldonyo Lengai is an active volcano with a recent volcanic activity.
The Geopark support local residents earn a sustainable living from these geological features without interfering with their natural settings. The main economic activities in the Ngorongoro Lengai Geopark are pastoralism among by Maasai and Datoga, agriculture, tourism and small scale trading.
Establishment of Ngorongoro Lengai UNESCO Geopark is a recognition of NCAA’s efforts to manage, protect and develop outstanding geological sites and landscape.
Counted the second in Africa, the Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark has been planned for development as the new tourist attraction site in Northern Tanzania.
Located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCAA) and its geographical neighbourhood, the Lengai-Ngorongoro Geo-park is the new tourist product in Northern Tanzania set to promote Sustainable Tourism development for local communities neighbouring the Conservation Area.
Under the coordination of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), the Geopark which is second of its kind in Africa was open for tourists early in 2018, adding another tourist product in Northern Tanzania Tourist Circuit.