Tanzania Wildlife Safari and Chimpanzee Trekking Dispatch
January 3, 2017 – The "Garden of Eden!!"
Dispatch by Nancy Souza
Another glorious day started early with a delightful breakfast set up between two fireplaces and a 7 am departure for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, named for the deep volcanic crater, which is the largest unbroken and unflooded crater in the world! It is a protected area and a world heritage site - and it was here at Ngorongoro Crater, also called the "garden of eden," that we would spend an awe-inspiring day 4 of our Tanzanian safari!
We made our way down the very deep and very lush Crater edge on a twisting dirt road but stopped initially at the overlook to get our first glimpse of the breathtaking natural wonder that was the crater floor - a fertile valley that is home to a smorgasbord of wildlife that seem to live cooperatively in this natural undisturbed habitat.
We weren't even inside the gate when we encountered a very large village of baboons playfully lounging in the warm road ahead of us. That was the start of our five hour drive across the wildlife rich basin where we encountered:
- Bat Eared Fox
- Savannah Buffalo
- Grey Crowned Crane (my favorite bird!)
- Olive Baboon
- Black Rhino
- Common Hippo
- Thompson Gazelle
- Western White-Bearded Wildebeest
- Lion Pride (five males and one female)
- Golden jackal
- White tailed jackal (rare)
Highlights included an entire lion pride coming right up to our jeeps as well as hyenas finishing their prey, and an amazing hippo "parade" that included a precious little baby hippo that ALLIE spotted!
We also loved the umbrella Acacia trees that provided a unique canopy across the crater rim.
We landed back at the beautiful Neptune Lodge for a late lunch and afternoon of rest and relaxation with time to reflect on yet another spectacular day!
Stay tuned as we depart early tomorrow morning for the much anticipated Serengeti!!