Thursday, June 3, 2021

Ngorongoro Crater - Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. It is 2,000 feet deep, its floor is at an elevation of 5,900 feet and covers 100 square miles. The inside is 10 to 12 miles in diameter. There is a seasonal salt lake in the middle of the crater, called Magadi, and the Lerai Forest at the south end. There is a spring near the eastern crater wall which feeds a swamp and a picnic site nearby open to tourists which we ate at. The first European did not set foot in the crater until 1892. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is much larger than the crater. 

We left the Serengeti Serena Lodge in the morning and drove to the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge near the crater rim, where we spent two nights. The distance was 96 miles and took about three hours, although we also added in a visit to a Maasai tribe and our vehicle made a short visit to the Olduvai Gorge, which took additional time. 
The Ngorongoro Serena Lodge near the rim with the crater and Magadi Lake behind it. 

The crater and Magadi Lake.
We did a morning game drive on the floor of the crater, at lunch at the picnic site near Gorigor Swamp, and then did a game drive on the way out of the crater. 
Safari vehicles lined up on the crater floor, probably looking at lions. 

Stopped for lunch near the Gorigor Swamp. 

A tree with hanging weaver nests as we drove up out of the crater.

Hippos resting at the Gorigor Swamp.

The Gorigor Swamp and the crater rim. 
The following photos were taken in the crater:
Coke's hartebeest

We finally saw western white-bearded wildebeest, tons and tons of them. 

Two facing-off.

A head to head, similar to what bighorn sheep do. 

These guys are a beautiful ugly. 

Like a couple of surly teenagers walking across a city street. 

These two male lions had every safari vehicle in the crater jockeying in position to see them. 

It was fun to see them, but we spent a long time doing it, time that could have been spent elsewhere in the crater. 

Cape buffalo

We didn't get close to any elephants in the crater, but we saw this monster from a distance. 

There are no giraffes inside the crater, but we saw this one on the outside of the crater as we were driving up to the rim. It was below the road, so we got a nice face to face view of its head. 

A vervet monkey in the Lerai Forest. 

We saw some huge eastern warthogs and this one was particularly ugly. 

A beautiful Serengeti (golden) jackal. 

We got by far our best views of spotted jackals. Our sister safari vehicle was concerned that this one was going to hop into their vehicle. 

Parents and baby hyenas taking a nap by a pond. 

Napping baby hyenas.

Grant's zebras

Kori bustard

Spur-winged goose

Wildebeest in the foreground and flamingos on Lake Magadi in the background. 

Closer views of the flamingos.

Masai ostriches

Black kite while we were eating lunch near Gorigor Swamp. 

Gray crowned crane

Sacred ibis

Blacksmith plover

Crowned plover

Hildebrandt's starling

Speke's weaver at Gorigor Swamp. 

1 comment:

  1. I think the wildebeests and warthogs are in a competition to see who is the ugliest. The warthogs probably win.