The Cradle of Civilization

Trip Start Jul 01, 2013
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Trip End Jul 01, 2014


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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The next morning we awoke to very cool air which seemed to invigorate our group after being cooked in the african heat for the past 35 days. With excitement and morning warmup stretches we jumped in the land cruisers excited to see if our luck continues over today in Ngorongoro Crater. The drive in is stunning with the sunrising over the crater. We descend the crater walls on rough 4x4 roads, which were once Elephant trails. Once on the crater floor it is shocking to see the massive crater and have mountainous walls surrounding us. We are greeted almost immediately by a couple of Lions out for a walk right in front of the vehicles, with many wildebeest, Thomson and Grant Gazelles looking on nervously. We continue on where we see a rare cat our guide has not seen often, the Caracal cat. Sadly, he is walking into the rising sun and away from us, but still a cool sight. We work our way into one of only a few treed forests in the crater passing a hyena and funny warthog with a bird on his back. once in the trees we find a huge group of baboons just hanging around the fallen trees. We find more elephants in the trees as well before we make our way back to the plains of the crater. 
 
As we drive into the crater centre we hear a Swahilli message blasted over the CB radio. Godfrey quickly makes his way over to a large group of vehicles looking to the left. We see in the distance walking away from us a lion… but then we see what all the commotion is about. There are 2 very small cubs with her walking into the distance. Godfrey quickly whips the vehicle around and down a side road in an intercept path with the momma and cubs. We watch as she crosses the grassy depression and right in front of our vehicle. The little cubs were probably 3-4 weeks old and just out of the den. They are adorable and all covered in mud from the creek crossings along the way. We figure there is not much that can top this day and it is barely even started. We then stopped at the Flamingo lake with its pink horizon consisting of thousands of birds. We pass many regulars of the crater; hippos, wildebeest, zebra, massive elephants. Then we see something that shocked our guide, a Serval cat. Another nocturnal cat that is rarely seen during the day. Godfrey just looks back at us and says "You guys must be lucky wow! a Serval and a Caracal" This time we can get some better pics before it sneaks into the bushes. The last big thing we wanted to see was a male lion and thankfully we were able to spot one just before we left the crater. A large male and female were walking together towards the creek. This was a mating pair who were alone for obvious reasons. They slowly walked through the trucks towards the river, where Godfrey expertly positioned the vehicle so we could see them drinking together. 
Sadly our day is now coming to an end. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater were something out of a dream. We could not believe our luck and how many amazing creatures we witnessed. If anyone ever asks where to go in Africa, drop everything and go to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, truly amazing place. 
 

The group now exhausted from all the excitement snoozed on the way out of the park and all the way back to Arusha. 
Tomorrow will be a difficult day as we make our way to Nairobi and say goodbye to some strangers we first meet in Cape Town 40 days ago. We know consider all of them good friends which will make it a lot harder for sure. 

Sorry for the length between posts dodgy internet, 

Until next time, 

Much Love 

K2


 
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