Crater Highlands


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crater Highlands

 

volcanic highlands in East Africa, in northern Tanzania, in the area where the Eastern Rift ends. The Crater Highlands lie between Lake Natron in the northeast, Lake Manyara in the southeast, and Lake Eyasi in the southwest. The highlands were formed by eight extinct volcanic cones and calderas (craters caused by subsidence) rising above the general lava base. The highest point is Mount Loolmalassin (3,648 meters). The huge dimensions of the highland’s craters (calderas) lend the area its exceptional distinctiveness (“landscape of lunar cirques”). The largest caldera, Ngorongoro, measures 22 km across; its bottom is partly occupied by a lake. Savanna vegetation predominates. Within the Ngorongoro Crater is a preserve (national park) with a great variety of large mammals. Near the Crater Highlands, west of Ngorongoro, is the Olduvai Gorge, famous because of the remains of prehistoric man found there.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The Crater Highlands in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area were around 100 miles from our arrival point in Arusha, so after an early breakfast, we headed out across the landscape.
Starting in the foothills of 8,500ft Mount Longdio, a sacred Maasai mountain, she will cross the floor of the Great Rift Valley to the foothills of the stunning Crater Highlands. On the way, she will visit Kitumbeine, on whose higher slopes are hidden remote tribal settlements.
First comes the wonderful moment when, having climbed through the fertile maize fields and coffee plantations of the Mbulu people, you enter the national park gateway and plunge into the fathomless cloud forests of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands.