Safari Drives - Search of Big 5

Trip Start Sep 28, 2012
Trip End Aug 31, 2013

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What I did
Lake Manyara
Tarangire National Park

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After 6 days of Kili, it's time for a HOT SHOWER, maybe 2!! then off to some game parks for a Safari drive. The list of places we chose is as follows:

  • Lake Manyara
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Tarangire National Park

Having been to a couple safari runs in South Africa and not seeing too much, I was excited to see what East Africa had in store. Everyone I had spoken too was confident I would see plenty of wild life, including the BIG 5.

As we drive towards Lake Manyara, you get a nice glimpse of the Great Rift valley, pretty cool!

The Great Rift Valley is a large trough that runs through Kenya from north to south. It is part of the Gregory Rift, the eastern branch of the East African Rift, which starts in Tanzania to the south and continues northward into Ethiopia. In the past, it was seen as part of a "Great Rift Valley" that ran from Madagascar to Syria. Most of the valley falls within the Rift Valley Province.

Day 1 started off our drive at Lake Manyara. Lots of birds, monkeys, baboons and the usual wildlife (wild beast, zebra etc..) Nothing too exciting here and the weather didn't hold up so well for us either. Hippo pond was a complete wash rained so hard we couldn't see outside of the truck...ugh! on towards day 2.

Day 2 our journey towards one of the natural wonders of the world, Ngorongoro Crater. The jewel in Ngorongoro's crown is a deep, volcanic crater, the largest un flooded and unbroken caldera in the world. About 20kms across, 600 meters deep and 300 sq kms in area, the Crater is a breathtaking natural wonder. You have to add this to your things to see if you come to Africa!

The ride into the crater was something else, be prepared to be bounced around as the roads, if you can call them that are non existent...

This is where I've been told we would see some amazing wildlife all living and interacting together! I was not disappointed, at first we were again bombarded with a wicked rain storm putting a huge damper on our drive :( after lunch things started to brighten up and the rains diminished very quickly! It was very strange, all of a sudden animals were popping out of everywhere, we went from spotting a pregnant Hyena earlier in the day to a HUGE pride of lions,  over 12!! with an isolated male...packs of hyenas, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, elephants..basically the works except for Leopard. The day turned out to be pretty amazing.

Side note: At far end of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area stands the Olduvai Gorge archaeological site, widely regarded as the cradle of mankind and the most important
prehistoric site in the world. It is at Olduvai where remains of  Zinjanthropus, the world's first humans, were discovered by Dr Louis and Mary Leakey over 50 years ago. The earliest known specimens of the human genus, Homo-habilis, as well as early hominids such as Paranthropus boisei have also been found there.

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