Tanzania Safari – Day 7 – Ngorongoro Crater

October 24, 2017

DESCENDING INTO THE NGORONGORO CRATER

Breakfast officially started at 6:30 AM, but we were to have an early start and had requested our meal at 6:00 AM. We were out the door and on our way to pick up the rest of our group a half an hour later. Today was our last day on safari and our second to last day in Tanzania. We were going to descend the 2,000 feet deep caldera to the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater. The road down is one-way, very steep, and requires a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Descending into the crater, it was immediately obvious that we were heading into another unique environment. After a few turns, the crater opened up before us and it was truly awe-inspiring. Perfectly straight dirt roads traversed the crater for as far as the eye could see. Lakes surrounded by lush marsh dotted the landscape.  Animals, looking like small dots, could be seen roaming across the valley.

Ngorongoro Crater
Safari vehicle convoy on the road into the Ngorongoro Crater.

We came to an unexpected halt close to the crater floor. A small pride of lions, who had been heading up the side of the road, had stopped to relax right next to us! So far on our safari, we had seen a lot of female or very young male lions. This was our first opportunity to see a male lion!

Lion Ngorongoro Crater
Lion on the side of the road on the way down into the Ngorongoro Crater.
THE NGORONGORO CRATER FLOOR

What shocked me most about the Ngorongoro Crater was the sheer number of animals in close proximity. In the Serengeti we could drive for a considerable amount of time and not see any animals. In The Ngorongoro Crater, everywhere we look there was another group of animals.

Wildebeest Ngorongoro Crater
Herd of wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Crater
Ostrich Ngorongoro Crater
Ostrich Ngorongoro Crater
Hyena Ngorongoro Crater
Hyena Ngorongoro Crater
Mother and baby zebras in the Ngorongoro Crater

About one hour into our time in the Ngorongoro Crater, our guide turned off the main road and headed toward the crater wall.  After a few minutes we started up a road leading to the top of a small hill. Now, earlier on I had talked to our guide about wanting to see the elusive black rhino.  There are only 26 rhinos in the park and they are known for staying far away from humans. Apparently, our guide had a tip that a rhino could be seen from the top of the hill. His tip was accurate! There in the distance I could see a black rhino! Sadly, it was too far away for me to be able to take a picture.

Ngorongoro Crater Hills
Rolling hills in the Ngorongoro Crater

Descending the hill, we entered a more lush part of the crater.

Zebra Ngorongoro Crater
Zebra Ngorongoro Crater
Warthog Ngorongoro Crater
Warthog Ngorongoro Crater

Continuing through this part of the crater floor, we eventually reached one of the lakes.

Ngorongoro Crater Lake
Ngorongoro Crater Lake
Elephant Ngorongoro Crater
Elephant on the road out of the Ngorongoro Crater
THE ROAD BACK TO MOSHI

After lunch, we headed up and out of the Ngorongoro Crater and started the incredibly long drive back to Moshi.

Road to Moshi
Common site on the road back to Moshi

After hours of driving, we stopped in Arusha for a quick break. There was a street vendor in the car park barbecuing goat and other meats. Never being one to pay any attention to warnings about street food (some of the best food is street food), I decided to get a few skewers of goat. It was absolutely delicious!

BBQ Arusha Tanzania
This street vendor had some of the best barbecue I have ever eaten!

 

18 Comments
    1. Looks like a fun time Mary. This is one of my dream trips, after all those nature shows I watched about the Ngorongoro Crater as a kid. Thanks for the fun share.

      Ryan

    1. What can I say, Missy? Your trip is awinspiring. The beauty of the country side, the animals, and all of God’s beautiful creation at your feet. You have taken me on an adventure of a life time. Reminds me of the hiking we did in Arizona, you knew where to go for inspiration.
      Street vendors can be the best, the ones we had in the Philippines served mystery meat and it was delicious.

    1. The pictures that you captured are absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed reading about your trip to Tanzania. This definitely inspired me to visit one day as well!

    1. What a coincidence. I just watched a vlog on this just yesterday. It has been a dream of mine going to Africa. Now I want to visit this place!

    1. Ohh what a great experience seeing the wilds animals upclose like that! So awesome! Afrika is on my list!

    1. Lovely pictures. This surely is a must visit as you put it. It also kinda reminded me of Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. Similar awesomeness!

      1. I have never been to Jordan, but it is on my list. I’m glad you enjoyed my post!

    1. i just loved the little peep you gave us of the wildlife ( the zebras and that lion were my favourites)! and the trip sounded so fun!

    1. wow, you must have had a thrilling day. I went for a tiger safari recently and spotted 6 tigers and several lions. Absolutely thrilling!

    1. The Ngorogoro Crater is one of the most amazing places in the world – I have been living in Tanzania for three years and visited twice. Thanks for sharing your experience and your photos are great!

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