We drove back the same way (only one road going through) after some morning
4x4ing, but this time dropped the ~2000ft into the Ngorongoro Crater once on the
rim. The crater is a collapsed volcano that essentially contains it's own zoo on
the inside! On the way there we got to see plenty of birds and storks, as well
as buzzards ravishing a carcass and a herd of wildebeests charging across the
road. The animals are a lot more active in the cool temperatures of the morning.
In the distance was a herd of close to 30 giraffes nibbling away at the
Inside the crater we saw most of the same animals as before all close up again
and we got to see a few rhino's. The lake in the center of the crater almost
looked like the water was pink from all the flamingos in it. Had another episode
of "Tanzanian Auto Shop" when we got a flat with a rhino not too far
away. We had to stay in the truck and they pulled the flat wheel up onto a rock
to get more clearance then smashed it to pieces to make more room. Saw some more
mean lookin' cape buffalos and a HUGE lion with a big fuzzy mane right at the
side of the road. Then came the best part of the day, we were heading towards
the south side of the lake to the exit road when more elephants appeared. There
were three to start with then a monstrous one that made the trucks look like
golf carts! Max said he was around 45 years old; his tusks came out of his head,
almost all the way to the ground, then all the way back up! We sat and watched
him fill his trunk with water and grass for awhile, it was awesome.
We followed another 4x4 road up and out of the crater through the rain forest
and mud on the way back to Karatu camp. Once there a few of us took a quick walk
around town where we stuck out like sore thumbs. I was looking forward to
driving on pavement again the following day. Real nice sunrise over the main
road...nice colors in the sky, steam coming up everywhere, and silhouettes of
people slowly walking up the street. Just outside of Karatu on the way in and
out, there was a young boy who stood at the side of the road with a huge smile
Cape buffalo; Warthog
Thousands of plastic pink flamingos? Maybe!
Lunch was the same, but eaten in different spots!
Max and our fatty ride
More Cape Buffalos
The 45 year old elephant
Our buddies the stupid birds; Marangu Hotel
The sunset on the way to the airport leaving Tanzania......