NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA-(REPORT SUMMARY) ON

 

MANAGERS CAPACITIES BUILDING WORKSHOP-KENYA-14/10-12/12/2005.

Presented by

Edward Sindato Ngobei.

 

 

  1. INTRODUCTION: Ngorongoro was the part of the Serengeti national park until 1959 when the park was separated into two different protected areas with different conservation status.

This area was purposely established to;

(1) Conserve and develop the areas natural resources,

(2) Promote tourism which is the source of incomes for the area's development,

(3) Conserve and promote the life and interests of the Maasai who are inhabitant of the area.

This is a pioneer experiment which attempted to reconcile the interests of wildlife, Maasai pastoralists and conservation in a natural traditional setting.

 

B. GEOGRAPHICAL LOCACTION: It is in the Arusha Region of the northern Tanzania, south-east of the Serengeti National Park.2 30'-3 30'S.34 50'-35 55'E.

C. NATURAL VALUE: The world famous Ngorongoro conservation area, which is called the eighth wonder of the world, is one of the worlds greatest natural spectacles. It stretches across some 8,300 sq km, comprises of landscape wildlife, people and archaeological sites. The volcanoes craters (Ngorongoro, Olmoti, Empaakai), the Salei grassland plains, lakes, swamps, Northern highland forest reserve provide different habitat to abundance wildlife and people.

D. CULTURAL VALUE; The NCA has the palaentological and archaeological sites over a wide range. The Oldupai gorge, laetoli foot prints, Nasera rock, Ndutu site revealed a large human history. The variety and richness of the fossils remains, including those of Australopithecus boisei, Homo habilis and bones of many extinct animals. To the north east there is Oldoinyo Lengai which is the active volcanic Mountain which is occasionally visited by the Maasai people for sacrifices and special prayers. The tourists are advised to treat it with respect, because it has the religious significant

All this discoveries made Ngorongoro and Tanzania the vocal point and major area in the world for research and discoveries on the human history.

E. MANAGEMENT: Ngorongoro conservation area was legally established under theNgorongoro conservation ordinance cap.413 of 1959.It is administered by Ngorongoro conservation area authority under the supervision of the ministry of Tourism and Natural Resoures.To carry out its tasks and duties effectively the organization formed the following departments:

1.      Department of conservational and management of natural resources and law enforcement.

2.      Tourism department

3.      Works and transport department

4.      Finance and planning department

5.      Community development department

6.      Personnel and administration department

7.      Ecological monitoring department.

Following the above organisation structure the involvement of the local communities is highly considered,

1.      Good neighbourhood

2.      Conservation education

3.      Benefit sharing.

These are all done with the collaboration between the Ngorongoro pastoralists council and the community development department. Since the problems were identified, the authority has been setting more funds aside for appropriate solutions that face the communities that live in and those bordering the NCA.This way helped to improve the relations between the NCAA and the local community who were previous ignored if not forgotten. The tribes that reside this area are the Maasai who take the 90% of the total population,Datoga and Hadzabe.Through the exist general management and corporate plan, the Ngorongoro conservation area authority can identify the requirements for long term conservation of the area by;

1. Assessing land pressure in and adjacent to the conservation area.

2. Determining the development needs of the resident pastoralists;

3. Reviewing and evaluating management options.

The NCAA produces more than 40, 000 tree seedling annually in attempt to reduce pressure on natural forest for wood fuel.

F: VISITORS FACILITIES: Ngorongoro conservation area is the most visited wildlife area in the northern tourists circuit. The visitors get the general information about the area at the Lodoare visitors centre, Arusha information centre and at the Oldupai gorge site. However the lectures can be delivered on request basis at the lodges and campsites etc. There are four luxury hotels perched on the rim of the crater which offer accommodation and meals to the tourist at the international standard level. There is also another lodge around the L.Ndutu of the same standard.

The conservation authority runs a number of campsite in different parts of the NCA, some being special,(booking done in advance),stopover, (used by walking safaris groups) and one public campsite on the crater rim, close to the park head quarters. They are located and designed to ensure comfort ability, isolation from the modern life style and meet the

Clients expectation and feel the real flavour of the nature.

G: ANIMAL LIFE; Ngorongoro conservation area is the part of the Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Maasai Mara, ecosystem that support the lives of about 1.7 million great migratory herds which occur annually. These vast migrations invade the Ngorongoro plains of Salei, Lemuta, Oldupai and Ndutu during the month of January and February on their preparation for calving.

The strong territorial carnivorous are always behind them to control the population and maintain the natural balance. The rich volcanic soils of the plains and the rain water give the animals the humble time to mate and deliver babies.

The crater of Ngorongoro which is the largest inactive, unbroken, unflooded and intact caldera in the world is the home to more than 20,000 large mammals. Because of the good pastures and the permanent water supply in the crater, the animals remain there all year around. The lakes, swamps, and rivers provide different habitat to different life forms that encountered in this self contained ecosystem this includes birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The Northern Highland Forest Reserve which is the water catchments is the refugee area for many animals species from the large mammals to the micro organisms during the severe drought. The Ngorongoro crater holds the remaining population of the endangered black rhino. The enormous effort and measures were taken by the conservation authority with the help from the Frankfurt Zoological Society; to rescue their lives. Their population is slowly building up again as the results of poaching controls. This unique wildlife area has the highest density of population of predators than anywhere 1lse on earth. It has more than 100 lions, over 400 hyenas, leopards cheetahs, jackals and many others, just within an area of 100 sq.miles!

 

H.VEGETATION: A variable climate and diverse landforms and altitudes have resulted in several distinct habitats. Scrub heath and the remains of the dense montane forest of Oldeani, Loolmalasin, Olmoti, and Lemakarot cover the steep slopes. The crater floor and the Saalei plains and Lemuta are mainly grassy plains with alternating fresh and salty lake sand swamps and two patches of acacia wooland, Lerai and Ngoitokitok and Soit Naudo.The northern highland forest reserves and Layanai are dominated by, Nuxia congesta, Albizia gummifera, Cassipourea malosana, Croton macrostachyus, Croton megalocarpus etc.The area includes undulating plains covered in grass, which become almost desert during period of severe drought.

I; MANAGEMENT CONSTRAINTS: Together with the above success the conservation area authority sees the following as challenge on their daily operation;

  1. Tourism pressures which caused the congestion of vehicles in the crater. This causes the land degradation by trampling and off road driving, littering and animals habituation.
  2. Human population increase which was brought about by illegal farming and immigration.
  3. Encroachment and over utilization of the northern highland forest reserve, mainly logging and timbers by the neighbouring people from Karatu.
  4. Invasive weed in the crater.

The conservation authority is very much aware of the above constraints and the preliminary measures have been taken while waiting for the best management solution.

J: CONCLUSION; Ngorongoro as the world wonder an cradle of life, will exist and remain as the worlds source of human history for today and the coming generation. Because of its cultural and natural value recognition, it was declared by UNESCO as the World heritage site in 1979 and Biosphere Reserve in 1981.I personally agree that Ngorongoro is the property of the international outstanding value. And because of its natural and cultural significant it deserves to be re nominated as the mixed world heritage site.