I've got the sun in my eyes

Kilimanjaro

Day 2: Journey into Ngorongoro Crater

Sunday, 11 Dec 2011

Woke up late again! After huffing and puffing to breakfast (effects of higher altitude), we finally set off at 10:30. We were allowed to spend only 6 hours per car in the crater. Congestion control!

After 10mins of driving in the crater, we spotted a lioness strolling towards a tree. Apparently, there were another 5 lions taking a siesta under that tree but we couldn’t spot them so we continued driving on.

We saw again too many wildebeest, zebras and gazelles everyone. Lazing and grazing, Poor guys, but I guess this is how mother nature works – they were plentiful as they are at the bottom for the food chain. [singlepic id=195 w=640 h=480 float=]

After another short drive, we saw a pack of lions. 2 males and 4 pregnant females. They were walking towards our directly so we stopped the car and waited. They walked right up to our car for a drink in the ditch next to us, barely 1m away. So exciting! Such magnificent animals. [singlepic id=192 w=640 h=480 float=] [singlepic id=193 w=640 h=480 float=]

Just minutes before their arrival, Mr Fudge dropped our camera cover outside the car so I panicked a little as he got down to pick the cover up. Phew! The animals do not see us “human” when we are in the jeeps as they think the jeeps are part of the environment like tree etc and are harmless. But if they see a human form, they will recognize danger as human is their predator.

That was quite a show!

We continued driving on and saw a lone elephant crossing our path to get a drink at the lake nearby. [singlepic id=191 w=640 h=480 float=]

One of my favourite pic! [singlepic id=194 w=640 h=480 float=]

It rained a bit unfortunately so we stopped when we spotted a pair of black rhinos and had lunch while peering at them from afar. These black rhinos are protected due to the threat of extinction. There are about 18 of them in the crater well taken care of.

We saw more wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, dears, hyenas and many families of Phumbas (warthogs). They are often a family of 4 children. So cute!

We also drove past a salt water lake (mysterious creation of nature!) which was dotted by pink flamingos. Such a pretty sight! [singlepic id=197 w=640 h=480 float=]

We did a pee stop at another lake nearby, a spring water source and watched lazy hippopotamus floating about in the water and surfacing occasionally. Apparently, hippopotamus are only active in the night where they get out of the water to eat and walk about. They can be dangerous too if they charge at you with all their weights. [singlepic id=198 w=640 h=480 float=]

The whole crater was so beautiful and scenic. It is like a nature’ Truman show set. There are no external intervention (except preservation of the black rhinos). The whole eco system in the crater sustains all living creatures in there with the cycle of life and death, reproduction and most importantly, a constant supply of water from the spring. It is indeed a nature’s wonder!

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