August 21, 2007
Former President Bill Clinton Visits Tanzania’s World Famous Ngorongoro Crater
Former President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, spent six days in Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa. He was there to announce a critically needed subsidy to improve malaria treatment in the country.
On his last day in Tanzania, President Clinton became one of 360,000 visitors annually to explore the World Famous Ngorongoro Crater. Often called 'Africa's Eden' and the '8th Natural Wonder of the World,' this collapsed volcano (a "caldera") is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This is a natural sanctuary for thousands of birds, insects and animals such as lions, zebra, black rhino and wildebeest, all free to wander.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) was established in 1959 to protect an area covering 8300 square kilometers. Only indigenous tribes such as the Masaai are allowed to live on this land. Olduvai Gorge ("The Cradle of Mankind"), Lake Ndutu and Masek are also within its borders. Lush highlands surround the Crater, falling away to tawny plains and alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley. A descent down the rim passes rain forest and thick vegetation, and the flora opens to grassy plains throughout the crater floor.
Hon. Prof. Jumanne Maghembe, Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism, stated, "We are pleased that Former President Clinton was able to see for himself the success resulting from what started as a pioneering experiment in multiple land use where pastoralism, conservation and tourism co-exist in a carefully managed harmony."
Bernard Murunya, Acting Chief Conservator, NCAA, who accompanied President Clinton, said, "The Former President spent seven hours game viewing and experiencing first hand the majesty of the area. He was extremely impressed with our efforts to protect what is a unique ecosystem, one of the few such places in the world."
Besides vehicle safaris, hiking treks through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are becoming increasingly popular touring options.
For more information on Tanzania visit www.tanzaniatouristboard.com in the US, contact Tanzania Tourist Board (212) 447-0027; email [email protected] for information about the Ngorongoro Crater, visit http://www.ngorongoro-crater-africa.org/.