The Tree of Life
The Ngorongoro Crater is a caldera, not a crater. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s true.
Either way, there used to be a huge volcano here, until it exploded and caved in the earth. ‘Ngorongoro’ was so called because it’s the noise that the bells around the Maasai’s cattle make walking up and down the hills, and I also heard that it is the Maasai word for something like “hole in the earth”. The Maasai use the outside of the crater and the hills around it for their livestock to graze. Inside, Ngorongoro is only 264 sq.km. (whereas the Serengeti is almost 15,000). It’s relatively small, but it is the most densely populated area for the Big Five in Africa. Fertile land and lots of other animals to eat😃 The edge of the crater is 2,000 feet higher in elevation than the center.
You can’t see them, except for maybe a faint pinkish color, but this is the very shallow lake that has thousands of flamingoes hanging out on it! We couldn’t get any closer unfortunately, but it was cool to see nonetheless.
#4 of 5 Big Five: Cape (African) Buffalo
These were impressive to see in person, and very formidable… easy to see why they’re part of the Big Five. I love their crown of horns… all that beastliness, and the horns make them look noble at the same time💜.
I needed to add this soundclip about impala mating because: 1.) to display Marko’s lovely accent 2.) what he’s describing is interesting.
Giraffes aren’t in the crater because it’s too steep for them to climb into (I think)… so the only ones we saw were on the crater rim, creating a majestic skyline…
Our campsite WAS ON THE CRATER RIM. When we arrived, these wonderful, ugly storks were standing watch…
And it also had a wonderful tree that reminded me of The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom in Disney World (which, I would later come to find, that tree is modeled after a baobab tree in The Lion King😄! – this is some type of fig tree).
Most amazing tree.
Love Love Love.
#5 of 5 Big Five: Rhino (too far away for a pic, but we saw him!)
Alas, my safari ended. But it was a magical four days that I’ll never forget.
Next up: Beach :: Zanzibar