African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – Exploring the crater floor

African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – Exploring the crater floor

We survived the tricky driving down the side of the crater walls and found ourselves on a rather flat piece of the earth with wildebeest and zebra being the predominate species and some smaller goupings of gazelles. Some more interesting species of birds and a lion or two rounded out our tour of the crater floor.
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African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – Getting into the crater

A nice view to wake up to…

African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – Getting into the crater

Sunrise over the Ngorongoro Crater is an exciting time as the lower reaches of the crater slowly come to life and the sun’s glow lights up the rim like a big halo. Once we had watched the sunrise and had our breakfast, we readied ourselves for the rest of the day, packed our bags and got into the vans for the long and potentially treacherous steep descent along a narrow switch-back road. An exciting way to start a day.
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African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – A short walk outside

African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – A short walk outside

After a morning of safari in the Serengeti we traveled to our lodge for the evening on the rim of the Ngorogoro crater. I was hoping to stretch my legs a bit so went walking around the grounds of the lodge and was cautioned at least three times to be careful and be on the lookout for buffalo, elephants or Leopards. A bit tough to photograph birds with one eye on the viewfinder and one eye over the shoulder but I managed not to get mauled or eaten and got some interesting photos of birds that I generally haven’t been able to identify. The Marabou Stork was indeed ugly but I wanted a good shot of the neck pouch so persisted in following them along a steep embankment near the lodge.
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African Safari – Out into the Serengeti in search of LIONS

African Safari – Out into the Serengeti

The Serengeti is a vast nature preserve and one of the natural wonders of the world. It wasn’t long before we had left all of the world behind as we traveled a road that seemed to go on forever. The weather stayed behind us and the animals cooperated. A great way to finish a travel day on the way to our accommodation for the evening.

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African Safari – Oldupai Gorge to Serengeti National Park

African Safari – Oldupai Gorge to Serengeti National Park

As we left the Oldupai Gorge, our vehicles left a plume of dust behind at every corner. Looking off into the distance, it looked like we might be in for some rain. When on safari, a little rain is a good thing as it helps to keep the dust down and gets the grass growing. On the other hand, rain can make everything rather slippery, wet and messy. We had been blessed with perfect weather. so far. As we approached the Serengeti portion of our safari, we had our fingers crossed that the showers would be beneficial and not downpours.
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African Safari – Lake Manyara National Park – Background information

African Safari – Lake Manyara National Park – Background information

The entrance to the park is quite nice with an interpretive centre, a nice nature trail and modern washrooms.

Our directions were simple for the day “Show us the tree-climbing lions”. We saw monkeys, owls and baboons in trees but alas no lions in trees during our visit to the Lake Manyara area.

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African Safari – Arusha to Lake Manyara

African Safari – Arusha to Lake Manyara

As we were driving along the road from Arusha to the Lake Manyara National Park we would pass by some Maasai villages and many donkeys doing their thing as beasts of burden.
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African Safari – Masai Mara – Evening safari

African Safari – Masai Mara – Evening safari

This was our last evening safari on the Masai Mara and we were still hoping to locate that elusive Leopard or one of the rare Black Rhinos. We didn’t see either of those, but did manage to see a few more elephants and another lion or two and added another bird species to our ever-growing list.
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African Safari – The big sale

African Safari – The big sale

During our period of R&R, I wandered down the pathway from the lodge to the small, three hut model Maasai village nearby. I was interested in buying a small mask. Seven Maasai women were interested in selling me cloth, masks, bracelets, beads and all manner of handiwork. After much discussion and bartering, I left with their picture and a mask and they kept some of my money :-).
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African Safari – A restful afternoon at the lodge

African Safari – A restful afternoon at the lodge

After our early morning outing on the Masai Mara, we returned to the lodge for breakfast and a bit of R&R.
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