Olkarien Gorge

Northern Circuit

Olkarien Gorge

Conservation Areas 8 km Length Northern Circuit, Arusha

The Olkarien Gorge is a massive granite monolith on the outskirts of the Gol Mountains in Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania. It is a deep, extremely narrow, east-west trending canyon that slices through the quartzite rocks on the east side of the Gol Mountains, which is a perfect example of a fault-bounded mountain range.

The gorge is 8 km (5 miles) in length. The walls are vertical and, in some areas, they even overhang the gorge. The origin of the gorge goes back to the time when the Gol Mountains were being formed. As faulting continuously lowered the land to the east, an existing stream slowly cut down through the higher elevation rocks to the west to keep pace with the lowering land surface. 

Wildebeest roam the plains surrounding the rock, baboons climb its sides, and a diverse array of bird life can be observed from here. It is an important nesting site for hundreds of Rüppell's griffon vultures, which breed in March and April when the plains are plentiful of food.   

During the dry season, the Olkarien Gorge serves as an important water catchment area for both people and wildlife. It also serves as a home to a plethora of migratory wild animals during the great migration. Hundreds of vultures can be spotted soaring, circling, and gliding down to their nests as you walk through the Gorge.

What to See

Ruppell’s griffon vultures, Wildebeest, baboons

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