Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

Serengeti Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 18 › view all entries
Ngorongoro Crater
We had two 4x4 jeeps waiting to take us to the Serengeti National Park this morning which meant we had to have our tents down by 6:30am, scoff down some breakfast then load our gear onto the jeeps.  To get to the Serengeti we had to drive around the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.  This is the worlds largest caldera that has remained both unbroken unflooded.  It was formed after a volcano erupted and collapsed in on itself two million years ago to form an area of 250 square kilometres.  We stopped briefly to look down into what is often referred to as the 8th natural wonder of the world then continued our drive into the Serengeti.

Once in the Serengeti National Park we removed the roof of the jeep, allowing us to stand up on the seats.
Ngorongoro Crater
  It was a while before we saw anything but the wait was ended when we saw a cheetah lying only a few feet from the side of the road in a small patch of shade cast by a lone tree.  After watching endless wildlife programs it was amazing to see such a magnificent animal at close range with my own eyes.  Later in the day we saw a leopard, which is capable of lifting three times its own body weight, hauling a buffalo up a tree.  We stopped to marvel at this incredible display of strength for a while then continued on our way.

On the way to the campsite we saw a group of lionesses and her cubs feasting on a Zebra.  On closer inspection it was obvious that the Zebra was pregnant as we could see the head of a young zebra sticking out of the mothers hind, which had been ripped open by the lions.
Lizard
  It would seem that the lions killed the zebra whilst she was giving birth.  By the end of the day we had seen loads of giraffe, zebra and buffalo as well as hyenas and hippos.

At the camp we set up our tents then ate dinner, which was cooked for us.  As we were chatting after dinner we shone a torch light around the camp and saw the reflection of two sets of green eyes.  Our guide, Simba (which means lion in Swahili), told us that they were hyenas and would come into the camp at night to eat any food that had been left out.

The next day we went on a morning safari.  First we saw a cheetah that was eyeing up a group of gazelle, who, unfortunately for the cheetah, were all to aware of his presence.  At a river there were a whole heard of gazelle going for a drink.
Eagle
  On approaching the river from the other side they were drinking on we spotted a lioness hiding in the grass waiting to make a kill.  We sat patiently but we were all surprised when another lioness came out of nowhere in an attempt to catch her lunch.  She was unsuccessful but it was a great sceptical.

Tonight we camped above the crater at an elevation of 2300m so it was much cooler during the night.  After dinner we made a fire to sit around and spent the evening chatting to one another.

It was another early start the following morning and this time we were going for a safari through the Crater.  Although we didn't see any animals we had not already seen it was still a great drive.  The highlight was seeing a pack of 10 lions that walked right by the side of the jeeps, so close that I could have reached out the window to touch them had I wanted to.
Cheetah in the Serengeti
  Spending time in the Crater was not just about the animals though.  The scenery was amazing and it is hardly surprising it is often refered to as the 8th natural wonder of the world.

After spending hours driving through the crater we headed back to the Snake Park at Arush where I had a few drinks.  I also tried a shot called 'mamas revenge', which was a home brewed alcohol that tasted so awful that they had to disguise the taste with so much chilli that you could feel the burn all the way down your throat right into your stomach!
kbutera says:
Wow, great photos! I'm headed there next week and cant wait!
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012
tridantri says:
African Trails.
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011
monarch989 says:
Which company did you go with?
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater
Lizard
Lizard
Eagle
Eagle
Cheetah in the Serengeti
Cheetah in the Serengeti
Giraffe
Giraffe
Leopard with a kill
Leopard with a kill
Giraffe
Giraffe
Lioness feeding on a pregnant zebra
Lioness feeding on a pregnant zebra
Relaxing with a full stomach
Relaxing with a full stomach
Lion cub feeding on a zebra
Lion cub feeding on a zebra
Herd of Impala
Herd of Impala
Impala drinking
Impala drinking
Going for the kill...
Going for the kill...
missed.
missed.
Cheetah
Cheetah
Lion
Lion
Elephant
Elephant
Cheetah
Cheetah
Lion pride
Lion pride
Lion relaxing in the Ngorongoro Cr…
Lion relaxing in the Ngorongoro C…
Flamingos
Flamingos
Ostrich
Ostrich
Zebra
Zebra
Serengeti
photo by: Baosafari