Let me share some pictures with you from our day at the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
Now I had always heard of this magical place, a place that they call the Garden of Eden for animals. People have talked about this place in documentary movies such as “Madagascar”.
And this was one day that will resonate with me forever!
This old volcanic crater is now home to an abundance of African wildlife including the BIG 5! Of course I’m talking about the one and only Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
This volcano was supposedly larger than Mt Kilimanjaro. When it exploded and imploded in on itself around 3.5 million years ago. And that’s when all the animals moved in.
The Ngorongoro Crater expands over 8,292 km2 and has a huge lake in the middle. It’s pure paradise!
The road to the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
So let me continue my story as we left the Meserani Snake Park and headed towards the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
We left the park just before sunrise on our four hour drive to the crater. We stopped to watch this beautiful sunrise. Which was the start to a day I will never forget!
When we reached the entrance to the Ngorongoro crater for a quick rest stop and to get our permits into the park….
A Baboon Gang Car Raid happened!
While at the entrance gate make sure your car is locked. As while we were waiting for our tickets a gang of baboons came in for a raid. Trying to grab anything that wasn’t tied down off the cars.
I opened my car door for a split second and a hand came in grabbing a chip packet with the quickness. These cheeky monkeys sure are quick!
We then made our way to this beautiful look out at the edge of the crater. What a view 😍
As we drove along the edge of the crater it wasn’t long before we spotted the first of the big 5. This herd of buffalo blocking the road😊🐃
Continuing along the road we passed a Masai village.
Then finally made it to the entrance of the crater.
Once again the view was just breathtaking overlooking the crater.
We started our 610 meter descent into the crater. And it wasn’t long until we saw some wildebeest and more buffalo.
Along the way down a lone impala was hanging out having a scratch.
Once we reached the plateau of the crater a very old lone male elephant was there to greet us.
This old male elephant was hanging out by himself in the elephant grave yard. A place which has soft marsh leaves that he can digest easily as his teeth are old and brittle.
This is where he will spend his last days as he waits for the inevitable.
Now this is the second animal we saw of the big 5 😊 🐘
We start to drive along the road and not far away we spot a lion laying in the grass. This was the third animal of the big 5 we spotted in the crater! 😊 🦁
He hops up and starts to walk towards his brother who is not far away.
Then they both walk together to greet another brother, who is also relaxing in the grass.
They eventually start to walk towards us to cross the road. Which causes a traffic jam along the road!
When you’re inside a national park on a game drive, it’s illegal to go off road and there are heavy fines if you do.
The landscape is full of wildlife. Zebras are everywhere!
We passed some lioness relaxing near the lake. It was also so amazing to see so many flamingos in the water!
A Green-headed Agama Lizard was sunbaking on a rock.
A group of monkeys were all playing in the field.
Then we made our way to the edge of the crater which was full of trees. Not much can grow in the centre of the crater as the ground is mainly lava rock.
Now in this area is where my favourite animals live. The African elephants. It’s not long before we spot a herd amongst the trees.
One of the baby elephants even came right up to our car.
It was so amazing to see them so close and in the wild.
Back on the plains there were more wildebeest.
A marabou stalk was just hanging out by the road. These stalks are so huge!!.. And boring ha ha.
We passed a small lake which had some hippos laying about, along with a mum and her baby.
Then we spotted two rhinos off in the distance. I got super hyped cause this was the first time I had seen two rhinos together.
These amazing animals are going extinct so it was such a blessing to see them in the wild!
And this was our fourth sighting of the big 5 in the crater 😊 🦏
Now it was time for some lunch. And what better place to stop for lunch than the hippo pool!
This place is exactly what it’s called. It’s a lake with a toilet block next to it and there is about 20 hippos living in the lake.
We stopped here to get out and stretch our legs, and have some lunch.
At first I was nervous about getting out of the car with wild hippos under 10 meters away from me, but the driver assured me it was safe.
Hippos are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, as they kill the most people. But it’s normally early mornings or in the afternoon when they leave their water holes in search of food and someone blocks their way of the water. They ain’t playing that!
Now the tour guide told us to eat our lunch inside the car as there are Kites that hang around looking for the easy opportunity for a quick lunch.
Which one American tourist found out the hard way 😁
He was sitting under the tree when all of a sudden a Kite started to circle him above. Without him knowing as he was knuckle deep in his sandwich… The kite swooped down with the quickness trying to grab the sandwich out of his hand. Ha ha! The man was left with a bleeding hand but his sandwich grip was strong. He stuffed his fat face and said “oh yeah the guide warned us about this”.
We admired the hippos from the shore line then jumped back into the car to continue the safari.
As we left the hippo pools we came to another elephant grave yard at the other end of the crater. Where we saw this elephant skull laying in the grass.
An elephant was visiting the grave yard by himself.
We continued along the road and were stopped as a juvenile male lion stood his ground in the middle of the road. Causing another traffic jam ha ha.
He finally moved on and we followed him as he walked next to the road.
Up ahead we came across a Zebra crossing.
Then spotted a crowned crane hanging out with a Zebra.
These birds are so majestic, it looks like they are wearing a toupee ha ha.
We then started to make our ascent out of the crater. What a safari that was! The Ngorongoro Crater is so full of wildlife! This was a true African safari.
We saw so many animals in the crater. The only animal you won’t see inside is the giraffe. As the crater is too steep for them to get down into and there isn’t much food for them inside.
I was stoked to be able to see four of the BIG 5 here 🐃🐘🦁🦏!!!!
We just missed out on the leopard. But they do say that they see them around the rim of the crater. So if you ever visit the crater make sure you keep an eye out for them.
Our next stop is the mighty Serengeti!!!
So stay tuned for that blog ✌
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed our photos from the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Happy travels!!
We booked this tour with Africa Travel Co. These guys are great!!
For more East Africa blogs check these out 👇