Safari part 2Posted: May 16, 2013
We reached the Ngorongoro Crater on Monday night after our journey through the Serengeti and relaxed in our hotel for the night. We checked in and showered and headed down to the lobby for some entertainment. A few Maasai people came and performed a traditional dance for us and it was spectacular. I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved all of their jewelry, clothing, and voices. Dinner was in a huge dinning hall with a view that was breath taking. It looked right out into the Crater so we could see the whole thing. I couldn’t stop looking out the window all night. Even the views from our rooms were looking straight in the crater…gorgeous!! We were able to go look at the stars that night which were so clear because there was absolutely no light around us.
The next morning, we got into our safari vehicles again and went to explore the Ngorongoro Crater. It doesn’t look like it is a big crater when you are on the rim, but once you get inside the crater…wow! It was huge!! We had the chance to drive around any place we wanted in the crater and find animals. Right away we found 2 rhinos laying in the grass. Our safari driver told us that we will come back to that spot because they were sleeping. We drove through a more wooded area inside the crater that had a few elephants and baboons. Then we drove more and saw a ton of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, and gazelle. Then we get a call on our radio that there is a lion laying next to someones safari vehicle. We drive over to find that a lion that just ate is trying to get shade by laying basically under a car!! We got so many close up pictures. The lion started to move and walked across the road and decided to lay in the middle of the road. We drove more just looking at more animals and there was another lion in the middle of the road getting some shade by a vehicle and then it decided to come next to our vehicle!! I was in the back seat and the lion put its body up against the car and I stuck my head out the window and got a picture with the lion that was super close to me!!!! How cool!! That is the closet I will ever get to such a big and dangerous animal but I wasn’t scared at all! It was just such a cool moment to see that lion right outside my window where I could have touched him, he was that close. We drove more the stopped to eat lunch by a little pond that was full of hippos.
After lunch, it was time for us to go back to Arusha. But before we could get outside of the crater, we wanted to go see the flamingos. As we were driving to see them, we spotted a rhino that no other group got to see. We stayed and watched it walk closer to the road and then we drove other to get closer to it. It walked right across the road and we got so many awesome pictures of the rhino. That would make the rhino count 3. The interesting thing about rhino is that there are only 26 of them in the Ngorongoro Crater and there aren’t any in the Serengeti. So for us to see 3 rhinos, was a pretty amazing day!! Our group definitely had some bragging rights when we got home!
Since we stopped to look at the rhino, we only had about an hour to reach the gates of the park where we came in at and got our pass. Our pass for the weekend was only good until 2:45pm on that Tuesday and if we were late, we would have to pay for an extra day. Our driver was driving so fast in order to make it and sure enough, right at 2:45 we pulled into the gates and changed our flat tire that we got! He was happy that he made it in time and that we got to see the rhino up close!
This weekend trip was unforgettable and I couldn’t image it happening any other way but this. I saw all big 5 animals: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhino. I saw more animals on top of that and I now have memories that I will never forget!! Safari will probably be my favorite trip we take this month because of the views, majestic animals, and the memories I made with 6 friends in the safari vehicle. All 7 of us got along so great and we always were joking around. It was a blast and if I could go again on a safari, I would in a heart beat.