September 3 – All alone in Ngorongoro Crater

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

It’s September 3rd from the Ngorongoro Crater.  We awoke this morning at 5:00am , we arranged for the staff at the lodge here to knock on our doors and give us a wake up call at 5:00am Julie and Alex enjoying a snackWe took tea and coffee in the lobby early and Paul had arranged with the warden yesterday evening to have the gate open very early for us.  At 6:15am we drove through the gate and again descending down into the Ngorongoro Crater.                    

I’ve always done this; Berg Adventures has done this for years and years now at Ngorongoro.  I can’t believe no one else does it but once again we had the entire crater to ourselves for nearly 2 hours this morning.  We drove down past the classic flat top Acacia trees that are so representative of Africa .  We saw around one of the first turns around a sharp part of the road a huge buffalo, a little later we saw 4 lions and a jackal in the very early morning light.

CheetahA bit further Paul stopped quickly, he was watching another group of lions and he stopped quickly when we realized there were 3 cheetahs right by the road.  When we stopped to view the cheetahs a little closer we realized that actually there was an entire pride of lions, we counted 19 that were active in the early morning.  In fact they were stalking a lone buffalo on the other side of the road.  So we sat fascinated for a long time as these lions got closer and closer to the old buffalo that did not see them.  We were pretty certain they would in fact take the buffalo down, but at the last minute the buffalo realized what was going on and rejoined the rest of the herd.  So the lions moved on for the rest of the day’s activity.  By that time the cheetahs had moved on as well, so we moved along.

Lone BuffaloWe had a picnic breakfast in a forest in the bottom of Ngorongoro and enjoyed stretching our legs a little bit.  Soon after breakfast we had fun watching two male elephants sparing or fighting with one another, clicking their tusks together and then their older brother came along and broke it up for awhile but then seemed to be teaching one of the other males a lesson and he started fighting as well.

We had a beautiful morning in the crater; I can tell you more sights that we saw, a lot of activity as we drove on.  Soon by 10:00am the place was full of other land cruisers and land rovers from other safari lodges but we still enjoyed it for a very complete 6 hour game drive down into the crater today.

Jim relaxingWe came back up now for lunch at the rim and this afternoon we are going to Tarangire.  I’m looking across Ngorongoro crater right now, it’s cloudy and it’s quite cool, very mountain-like air.  We are going to load up after a while and drive down to Tarangire National Park where it is going to be really hot and it is going to be yet another vibrant African landscape for us to explore as the sun sets this evening.

Previous | Index | Next


Click here for our Kilimanjaro FAQ