Don’t miss the chance to rise early this morning and witness a spectacular sunrise over the crater. Following breakfast, enjoy an Included game drive through Ngorongoro Crater, reputed to contain the largest number of predators in Africa. FB L D
In a landscape reminiscent of the volcanic upheavals of the Rift Valley, Ngorongoro – the unbroken caldera, 600-700 m deep, scarcely covers 300 sp km. In this restricted space, exceptional climatic conditions have favoured an explosion of animal life. Some 20,000 great mammals are permanently in residence: gnu, zebra and antelope, not to mention elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus. And, in the ranks of the more exclusive, 400 hyenas and 100 easy going black-maned lions. West of the bowl are the waters of Lake Makat, at certain seasons carpeted by clouds of dwarf flamingos. White pelicans prefer to fish further from the shores, in deeper water. Cormorants, storks, herons, kingfishers and 400 other species nest here permanently or take up residence for the winter.
How the day turned out
Our local guides decide that it is better to leave the Sopa Lodge later than the 7:00am as planned. This allows us to have a more casual breakfast before venturing down into the crater to view the waiting wildlife. So it’s roof up and top class viewing for the adventurous.
We come across a troop of baboons eating the grasses beside a small creek. They don’t take any notice of us at all (must be used to human gawkers). We find plenty of zebra, wildebeest but no impala or giraffe. The giraffe cannot find a way down into the valley and if they do, there are so few trees to have a meal from. The impala like to hide from their predator in thicker forests.
We meet up with five or six lions lying lazily out in the grasslands, resting from what was probably a recent meal. The many visitors photograph even a slight movement. They have heard the message via CB radio, that ‘someone’ has noticed – lion. When one decides to sit up and then stand, cameras go wild. This male lion is so graceful as it moves toward us and then through the traffic on the roadway and across to where other males are.
Later on, we make our way to another spot where you can see there are many 4WDs. (This is a sure bet that something spectacular is happening). Yes, it sure is. A male lion is mating with a female – Sid and Bruce have photos to prove the ‘moment of the day’. I was temporarily diverted to an elephant along the way and so missed filming ‘the act’. When lions are ready to mate, the female sits close to her chosen male with tail up. He comes along and satisfies her request, which lasts for less than 10 seconds. Then 5-10 minutes later, she lines up again. This can go on for many, many episodes until fertilization.
We find a picnic spot to have lunch and over 80 4WDs pick the same spot – there are toilets there too. Ahh! That’s why.
After lunch, we go on the hunt for black rhinoceros and notice some pink flamingo in the distance, too far away to get good photos. We will have to wait for Lake Nakuru for flamingos by the 100’s of thousands. Travelling for over an hour on the hunt for rhinoceros, we give up and come back to the lodge to enjoy the fantastic sun shinning into our room as we look over the great basin of Ngorongoro National Park.
We have an early start in the morning as we make our way to Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
A warning to all “Gents”. Be prepared! Today, it has been revealed that two ladies, together, were noticed coming out of the men’s loo, completely unaware that they had past urinals to get to the cubicles; and then a third did the same.