To get away from all the tourists. We left the Serengeti and drove back towards Karatu. On our way we drove down to the bottom of the Ngorongoro Crater. Hasami, out tour guide/driver told us that the crater was the place to spot the Rhino. It was the last animal for us to be seen of the big 5. We weren’t just keeping track of seeing those five animals, but I tried to write down every animal we saw over the five days on safari. It was amazing to flip through the wildlife pictures in the back of the lonely planet Tanzanian guide book and identify the ones we had seen.
At the large lake in the middle of the crater were hundreds of flamingos. We couldn’t get very close, but you could see pink stripes along the shoreline.
The female Ostrich.
A lone Wildebeest.
We did see rhinos and they were pretty close! We watched as the two rhinos walked closer and closer to the tour vehicles, trying to find a safe spot to cross the road. They were hesitant at times and would start walking parallel to the road, then turn, pick up speed and walk quickly towards the road until finally feeling comfortable to cross. Our tour guide mentioned how when he first started giving tours, he was watching the rhinos and one of the male rhinos wanted to cross right where his vehicle was located, so the rhino charged and hit his vehicle. He said the vehicle was destroyed after that & he has learned to leave some distance between the vehicles and the rhinos!
The most beautiful animal, according to Hasami, the Warthog…or was he joking with us?
We stopped for lunch by a lake, where hippos were bathing. Every morning at breakfast we packed our lunches. We were handed a white cardboard box and then filled it with whatever they had laid out for the day. It usually consisted of a fruit box drink, bread roll, meatball or chicken wing, piece of pineapple or watermelon, banana and a sweet roll or other dessert. Each of the items were individually wrapped in plastic wrap. You could take as much or as little as you would like. I ate a lot of fruit and bread rolls for lunch!
It is hard to see in this picture, but there were so many different animals congregated in this one area. Right in the middle of it all was a hyena.
Two hippos sunning themselves.