Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
Trip End Sep 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Serena Lodge

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Thursday, April 22, 2010

The eighth wonder of the world stretching across about 8,300 sq km lies the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Covering the northern part of Tanzania this incredibly landscape boast a blend of spectacular wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa. The volcanoes, grassland, waterfalls and mountain forests are home of an abundance of animal and also to the Masai People.  The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles and its magical setting and abundant wildlife attracts many enthralled visitors.  It borders the Serengeti National Park to the north and west, and is only a few hours from Arusha which is at the foot of Mount Meru.

No Europeans was known to set foot in the Crater until 1892 when two German brothers came to farm this land, they stayed until the outbreak of World War 1. By government agreement the Masai people are now the only humans allowed to live around and on the crater rim and farm on the land.  This entire area is now conservation area and home of the Masai people.  These historic nomads are always on the move in search of better pastures and more water.   During the rainy season the Masai are allowed to collect water from inside the crater, during the drier seasons they are not allowed to get drinking water from inside the crater, that should be left for the animals.  The Masai are also discouraged to hunt from within the crater.

The land inside the crater is about 265 sq km in size, and there are both fresh and salt water lakes inside.  There is a overwhelming strong smell of sulphur around the salt water lake, but you almost forget about the smell when you see the amount of animals and flamingos there graze along the shores.  I have never seen this many Zebra, Wildebeest, Eland, Buffalo, Impala’s and Gazelle’s together... oh and ostriches.  There are no giraffes inside the crater because there is no food for them, the trees are not high enough also the road into the crater is just too steep.  There is one road that takes you into the crater and one road that takes you out.  We spent all afternoon driving around inside before we made our way back out and onto the rim were we spend the night.  Our hotel was the Serena Lodge Hotel, very nice with amazing views into the crater.

Some other exciting animal spotting we had today were a female lion just chilling on her own, a Serval Wild Cat (a very rare sighting) just soaking up the sun before heading back into the shade, a pair of elephants and a Rhino with a baby.     
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Michelle on

WOW these are truly amazing pictures. Awesome photography Estelle! xx

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