Tanzania Safari – Day 6 – Ngorongoro Highlands

October 20, 2017

SUNRISE OVER THE SERENGETI

With some of our group staying at a nearby campground I wondered about the logistics of us all meeting up to see the sunrise. Our tented camp was surrounded by hills that blocked any chance of seeing the horizon, so we would have to drive out some distance to have a decent view. As always, I needn’t have worried. Our guide had everyone picked up in plenty of time to watch the sun break through the clouds lying low on the horizon.

Sunrise Serengeti National Park
Sunrise over the Serengeti
SPOTTING A LEOPARD

Of the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant), we had seen three so far. After the sunrise and a late breakfast, we all boarded our vehicle and the first thing I guide said was “Today I am thinking about the leopard”.  About twenty minutes later we arrived at an area of tall grass boarded by a string of acacia trees. There amidst the hum of numerous safari vehicles in the tall grass we saw it – a leopard walking near the acacia. I couldn’t believe our luck! We watched the leopard for over twenty minutes before it disappeared from view. It is extremely rare to see a leopard and I count myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to watch one for such a long time.

Leopard Serengeti National Park
Leopard walking through the tall grass on the Serengeti
The leopard came to stop and looked right at us for a long time.
LEAVING THE SERENGETI FOR THE NGORONGORO HIGHLANDS

As we drove out of the Serengeti we passed kopje after kopje. Herds of antelope dotted the landscape.

Kopje Serengeti
A typical kopje in the Serengeti

Eventually the earth turned flat and the endless plains of the Serengeti spread out before us. The sky filled with fluffy clouds laid on the perfectly straight horizon for as far as the eye could see. I stood up, clutching the open roof, wind blowing my hair back, absorbed by infinity as we drove across the plains.

Endless Plains Serengeti
Big Sky and Endless Plains
The endless plains of the Serengeti
NGORONGORO WILDLIFE LODGE

After hours of driving and dropping off the rest of our group at their campsite, we finally arrive at our accommodation for the night – the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. The lodge overlooks the Ngorongoro Crater and our room had a truly amazing view!

The view from our room at the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

Outside of the main hall there is a lovely balcony with some chairs and a telescope. We got a quick drink from the bar and took a few moments to enjoy the view and the cool air blowing in from the crater. We then headed in side for a buffet dinner. The food was very good but choices were limited.

Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
The main hall at the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

 

The lodge turns off its generator at 10:00 PM and after days in the Serengeti I desperately wanted to take a proper shower! We finished dinner early and hurried back to our room so that I wouldn’t have to shower in the dark. Turns out we had no need to rush. Our lights finally went out just before we went to sleep at midnight.

6 Comments
    1. I can’t get over the beauty of the desert. What was the average temperature while you were there? Did you get any rain? What was on the menu at the buffet?

      1. Average temperature during the day was 25-30C (75-85F), but at night it was much cooler. We were very cold on the Ngorongoro Crater rim. We were lucky and didn’t get any rain.
        The buffet was a mix of salads and curries.

    1. What an exciting day! Your commentary was great! Loved the pictures!

    1. You spotted a leopard! How nice. I’m interested in visiting in the future and loved reading about your adventure!

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