Zebras and pink flamingos gather on the shore of Lake Magadi, a saline lake in the center of the Ngorongoro caldera. Flamingos filter-feed on plankton in the lake through their bills, and carotenoids from this food source give them their pink color.

tected, it is one of the last intact land areas in the world which harbors large and spectacular animal migrations.

Over 1 million wildebeest, 72,000 zebras and 350,000 Thompson and Grant’s gazelles seasonally pass through its fertile grasslands to the west. Within the caldera is a resident population (some endangered) of 25,000 large animals, including cape buffalo, hippopotami, black rhinoceros, cheetah, leopard and the largest lion population in the world. To the northwest is Oldupai Gorge, (renamed from the original Olduvai) where Louis and Mary Leakey discovered early hominid finds and the earliest traces of human footprints.

To the northeast just outside the park boundary is the still active volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai, which last erupted in 2007. It is unique among active volcanos in that it is the only one that produces lava that is rich in carbonates rather than the silicates comprising other igneous deposits.

Botanists employed at Ngorongoro have long been leaders in the conservation of African native species. At Ngorongoro Dismas closely monitors the area north of the main crater, called the Highlands, which comprises 60 percent of the park. Two additional craters dominate the landscape of this area, Olmati and Empakaai. Dismas works to protect the Highland’s ecosystems, monitoring vegetation decline, invasive species, and human and animal degradation. He collects and catalogs NCA plant species for its central herbarium.


Dismas instructs students at Oldonyo Sambu Secondary School in the planting and care of seedlings..

Because of his work in interfacing with the villages surrounding the periphery of the conservation area, he also has experience in teaching conservation and helping communities implement projects with both economic and environmental goals. He is engaged in outreach to these localities as shown in the accompanying photos. The NCA operates a central nursery at Karatu that produces 50,000 seedlings a year. By distributing these seedlings Dismas is helping villages to plant species that preserve local environments and supply domestic needs for fuelwood, medicines, food and shade. This boosts local economies and reduces impingement on Ngorongoro protected forested areas.


Ngorongoro Conservation Authority Nursery supervisor Naman H. Naman (rt) supplies tree seedlings to Dismas (lt) who works with surrounding communities in reforestation initiatives.

Cyril Chuwa Attends Mweka College

As a young boy Cyril learned about plants and traveled with his father, Sebastian Chuwa, to establish outreach programs for the ABCP in areas suitable for growing mpingo, visiting institutions and individuals who might be enlisted in replanting efforts. As a result of this early influence, Cyril is now intent on carrying forward work begun by his late father.

To this end in 2016 Cyril Chuwa began studies at the College of African Wildlife Management at Mweka, north of Moshi, the institution attended by Sebastian. At the end of his studies he will have fulfilled requirements for a certification in Wildlife Management. Coursework at Mweka includes the

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ABCP Website maintained by James E. Harris, 2000.
Last revised 20 Sept 2017.