After breakfast we packed our things together and drove from our camp at Tarangire National Park to Ngorongoro Crater.
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Via the road B144 we went to the entrance of the national park 40 kilometers away. Over the crater edge, which is located at 2,300 meters, we drove into the nature reserve and unloaded our belongings at our camp for the next night. From our campsite you could also see how the clouds hung over the Krtaerrand. From the edge of the crater one had a great view of the huge crater,which with a diameter between 17 and 21 kilometers is the largest extinguished crater on earth. Its formation is due to the collapse of a volcanic mountain. Since 1979, the crater has been on the UNESCOWorld Heritage List.
Since 1951, Ngorongoro Crater has been part of the Serengeti National Park. About 25,000 large mammals populate the crater, including the highest density of predators in Africa. The number of zebras, buffaloes, wildebeests, elenantilopen as well as Grant and Thomson gazelles is particularly large. They are hunted by lions, spotted hyenas and leopards. In addition, there are elephants and, unusually in this area, hippos in the crater. There are still between ten and 15 specimens of the endangered black rhinos, whose population in the 1960s was still more than a hundred animals. The large animal migrations in the Serengeti also lead through the Ngorongoro crater [Source: Wikipedia].
Our game drive through the Ngorongor Crater
Afterwards we went down a bumpy access road into the crater at 1,700 meters. On the way you can see Massai with her herds again and again. During our five-hour game ride in the crater, we encountered wildebeest, antelopes, zebras, hyenas, warthogs and jackals. Interesting ly not only a little wind pants in the middle of the crater. A highlight was an elephant, which stood only a few meters from us in a small stream and relaxed the juicy green grass torn off and munched.
Lake Magadi in the center of the crater
In the center of the crater is the shimmering white Lake Magadi, whose alkaline water is due to deposits of volcanic ash. In it and at its tributaries there are especially many waterfowl, including pink flamingos. It’s always good to look out for the other safari cars. When you see a lot of people in one spot, you know there has to be something great to see here. And indeed – on the edge of the lake ran one of the rare rhinos. It was a long way away and difficult to photograph even with a 200mm lens, but since there are very few rhinos left in the crater, we were glad to have seen at least one 🙂
The Hippo Pool
Also great was the Hippo Pool, in which several hippos romped in the cool wet. The enormous water buffaloes, which belong to the Big 5, can also be seen here relatively frequently.
Our camp for the night
Around 6 p.m. we were back at the Simba campground. Before dinner we unpacked our belongings. Suddenly our guide called for us to get out of our tent very quickly. And then there he stood: a big elephant on the edge of our camp – 5 meters from the toilets. Madness. In the evening we ate together again.
The night at 2300 meters above sea level in the tent was very cold – after all, it was only 5 degrees outside. Around 4 o’clock at night we heard noises next to our tent – our guide told us the next morning that a few buffaloes had grazed on the campground.