We feel so fortunate in the morning, the skies are clear with no low lying clouds or fog, both common in this area. Our view is spectacular as we descend the breathtaking 610 meters to the crater floor. The Ngorongoro Crater, is the world’s largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera . The crater, was formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two to three million years ago. It is 610 m deep and its floor covers 260 km². We’re told as many as 25,000 large animals, along with the highest density of predators in Africa, live in the crater.
On our way to the crater we see some Maasai taking their cattle down the narrow and very steep descent, in search of water. Once again their tough hard life astounds us and we silently count the blessings of our easy life. Each vehicle is permitted a maximum of 6 hours in the crater. This is in an attempt to control the safari traffic, which would be otherwise out of control especially during peak times. As it is when we visit, traffic is light and we only see between 6 or 8 vehicles at any one time.
As soon as we arrive in the crater we see huge herds of wildebeest and took numerous pictures. Also there were herds of zebra. We took quite a while trying to catch them in just the right position. Their stripes fascinate me. So exotic.
We then drove for quite a while without seeing much of anything. This surprised us as we wrongly assumed animals would always be here in large numbers, but the crater is huge and during the time of drought the animals rest out of the hot sun. When we reach a jungle area we spot a spectacular Ayres Hawk Eagle. He’s perched on a small branch above a stream, an ideal location for fishing.
We also see many Grey Crowned Crane. They are quite comical looking with bright blue eyes and fuzzy heads.
It is now time for us to take a break and have some food. This is part 1.