The story of the spine-tingling Ngorongoro Crater and the vast Serengeti
02/03/2009 - 04/03/2009 42 °C
So there we were, waiting on the LandCruisers coming to pick us up to head into the national parks of Tanzania when the heavens dumped the mother of all downpours on us. As soon as the Jeeps turned up I cried SHOTGUN!!! Amazing, front-row seats for the amphitheater of nature. Because of the ridiculous rain the driver can hardly see, further up the road the full-effect of the rains was realised, an old Peugeot 504 (I think?) had aqua-planed across the road wiping out a Masai guy herding his cows through the storm. I feel sick...
We head up to Karatu to camp and its a late one as everyone is excited about tomorrows game drive.
The next morning is a super early start as we head to the crater, everyone is a bit down-beat as its raining all the way up to the rim of the crater. As we look down into the crater it becomes clear that the crater is a different world to that of its surroundings, we can see bright-sunshine in the bowl of the crater and vast patches of pink, black and brown. As we decend we come across waves of different herding animals in vast numbers you cannot comprehend.
No-one was prepared for what we were about to see, a rare event witnessed by few... "Did it... No it couldn't have... It must be something else?" We then realise what we have just seen, Hyenas are scavengers right? If they are hungry enough they'll become predators, like this one which has just killed this young Wildebeest:
After recovering from that comes the badly beaten up Lioness:
We see soo much in such a short time. Then its lunchtime all of a sudden, Frank our driver tells us to eat in the 4x4, we agreed but didn't really no why until we see a guys lunch being stolen by a few dive-bombing Kites. Stupidly he pulled out more food and his Camera was then whipped out of his hands.
After lunch its a drive out of the Crater towards the Serengeti. On the way we see the amazing Ngorongoro Elephant which has huge tusks due to the rich phosphorus soil found in the crater:
As we reach the vast planes of the Serengeti the clouds look painted above the ever-reaching grasslands and its so hot the mountains in the distance look like they are levitating on the heat haze:
On the way to camp (Yes, Camp i.e. only canvas between you and some big Gnarly Teeth)
A great night was had by all by the camp fire, everyone jubilant about the days sights and what was to come. Heavy rain during the night may have masked the sounds of the many creature roaming the plains... and our camp as we found in the morning:
If we weren't luck enough we next spotted a Leopard in plain view in a tree. Leopards are usually very hard to spot (No Pun intended):
She then looked over the plane and decended from her vantage point... we couldn't see a thing in the long grass. Then her back went very staight and she went into stalking mode:
All of a sudden there was a high pitched Sqwak (for want of a better word ) and an adult Redbuck ( I think) came bounding at full-pace past, where the Leopard would have been in the long grass, covering the ground in at least 20foot leaps at a time. Everyone's heart sank at the realization that this was the Mother of infant that emerged limp in the Leopards jaws:
Obviously my words don't do any the sights or scenes justice, maybe this will: