Friday, 1 July 2016

Day 16: The Crater

We woke excitedly at 6.30am, all ready for our expedition in to the Ngorongoro crater. We left in the safari vehicles at first light, and headed up up up into the clouds. We climbed up to the top of the ridge, through verdant atmospheric forest, and then had our first glimpse of the incredible steep caldera and grassland bowl of Ngorongoro. 

Everyone was so excited as we popped up the roof and grabbed our binoculars, eager for the first wildlife sighting. 
We were swiftly rewarded with cute warthogs and elegant Thompson gazelles. 

Next came wildebeest, hyena, crane crown birds, flamingo and zebra. It was all wonderful, but everyone was secretly hoping to see lion. 

So our wily drivers sped off, following tips over the radio, and clouds of dust from other jeeps. Soon we came across a miraculous sight; a pair of mating lions! 

They repeated this 'ritual' every 15minutes and we stayed to watch for an hour, as it was so engrossing! We saw other male lions too, strolling along the road and resting in the shade. 

Before lunch we also spotted a rare black rhino; majestic and awesome, we tracked its path for half an hour. 

At one point we had the full spectrum of African Safari animals within view; buffalo, elephant, hyena, zebra, wildebeest and the rhino. 

One of the volunteers remarked that this was the best day of her life! 

We ate lunch by the hippo pool, then wove our way back out of the crater and up to the fantastic viewpoints at the top of the ridge. 

We celebrated with a drink and some reflections on the trip at Serena Lodge overlooking Lake Manyara, then headed back to our hotel for a hearty supper and a final game. 

Now it's time for thanking everyone for their work, kindness and company. We are all packing and getting ready to say fond farewells at the airport tomorrow. It's been a brilliant trip with a lovely group of people.

No comments:

Post a Comment