Game Drive in Ngorongoro Crater

Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Thursday, July 8, 2010

After leaving the Serengeti we drive back up to the crater rim where we are staying the night. This time we're warned about buffalo, elephants and wild pigs. Not only do we have to remove our food from the tent, we also need to take out toothpaste, deoderant and anything else with a strong smell.

We get out of the truck and are standing on the grass where our tents are to be set up when all of the sudden a few people cry out and start jumping around smacking their feet. I look down and my feet are covered with big red ants... fantastic. We quickly decide that this is not the best location to set up shop, so shift closer to the other truck in our group who aren't flailing around looking ridiculous. The rest of the evening was umeventful other than the fact it was FREEZING cold. Thankfully we had a campfire going. During the night I was awoken by a bushpig sniffing the tent near my head but a couple smacks through the tent sent him on his way.

Up before the sun to head into the crater. It's actually a "caldera" - formed when a volcano collapses in on itself - and is the largest unbroken, unflooded one in the world, covering over 250 sq km. The walls are quite steep so everything except elephants and portions of the wildebeest and zebra population remains inside permanently.

Soon after getting in we come across two cheetahs hanging out much closer than the one we saw the day before. Not long after that we watch another male lion eating away at a wildebeest, once again just off the road. Every now and then he'd stop and watch the hyena in the distance. We saw a few more lions later on and the only other highlight was an elephant who was apparently quite excited to see us.

Back at camp in Arusha it was the last night with the group for a few of us so we had a final party then said our goodbyes the next morning. All in all the overland trip was simply awesome... better than I thought it'd be. The people were fantastic, the animals we saw were amazing, and I never once felt like living out of a truck/tent for 4 weeks was too long. I've now booked in for another 4 weeks with the same company, this time going from Cairo to Istanbul through Jordan and Syria. Anyway, it was certainly tough to say goodbye to everyone but cool to now meet up with Mike, who I've known since we moved to NZ 20 years ago.
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