I reckon I was most looking forward to this day out of the 3 days. We had been told it was the main area to see the ‘Big 5’ as well as many other species of wildlife. First, I need to tell you about the crater itself as it is a pretty spectacular place! Effectively it’s a caldera, which is a “cauldron-like” depression created when a volcano emits large amounts of magma in a short amount of time, and the volcano caves in like a sinkhole. We were told that back in the day it would have actually been a mountain larger that Kilimanjaro and that there are only a handful of calderas around the globe, but the Ngorongoro is special because it’s the world’s largest fully intact caldera that hasn’t yet turned into a lake.
It’s also 1 of the 7 natural wonders of Africa which is an incredible bucket list ticker in itself. Here’s some pretty phenomenal animal facts about what lives in the crater. You ready? Here goes…7,000 wildebeest, 4,000 zebras, 3,000 eland, 3,000 gazelles, 600 hyena, 200-300 elephants, over 60 lions, 30 rhinos, and many others!
Upon arrival we were blown away with how incredible this crater is. It’s huge to say the least and from the top allows spectacular views of the whole crater. In the first half an hour we pulled up to a few other safari vans that were parked as we wanted to check out what was happening…well, I am glad we did. In the distance we watched 2 lions take down a zebra then chow down on it for the next 40 minutes! While this was happening a bunch of Hyena and jackals joined the party waiting patiently for the king of the jungle to be satisfied and move along! What an experience, we could not believe our eyes!
From there the day was awesome, we saw Rhino, buffalo, flamingo’s, bird life and I think I overdid it as after lunch I was asleep in the car. Luckily, Frank who is a legend took us too the Hippo pool where I was able to tick them off the list. We were also told that just last year a woman on a walking tour was mauled by a hippo and died… crazy hey? That’s why you STAY IN THE VEHICLE!!
Getting back to Eileen’s Tree Inn was much needed. I swam, drank some beer and we sat down to the most delicious dinner before passing out around 9pm. Who knew that wildlife spotting could be so tiring!