Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Afternoon in the Ngorongoro Crater

We finally saw a Cheetah between the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater.
Actually there were three of them in an oasis along the road,
but they were fast and hard to catch "on film".

 Before seeing the cheetah we had a flat tire
and had to stop as Ellie and Raj changed the tire.

They actually had to change it twice
as the first spare they put on did not have enough air in it.

While we were stopped a group of Masai women
walked up to our cars.
Their hope was to have us pay them to take their pictures.

We sat in the cars with the windows shut and cameras put away
so they took their machetes and left.

We saw many other Masai in their bright red coverings
out in the fields along the road,
as they are herdsmen out with their cattle and goats.

As we approached the crater we could see
giraffes lined up along the rim.
The walls of the crater are too steep for the giraffes
so they just hang out at the top.

Almost to the crater,
we passed the Masai village that the 2009 team visited.

As we turned the corner of the road we could see
the beautiful crater with the lake in the middle of it.

A volcano originally was at this spot
but after an enormous erruption
the crater was all that was left of the mountain.

Woo Hoo! Enjoying the moment at entrance to the magnificent crater.

 A beautiful Bee Eater in an Acacia tree.

 Let's pop the lid on the car and find some wildlife.

 Zebras resting with flamingos in the lake behind them.

More flamingos behind a jackal and some other duck like birds.

A hyena checking us out.

"Pumba" - a boar is getting ready to root.

 A female Kori Bustard in the grass along the road.

The Kori Bustard may be the heaviest bird capable of flight.

A Yellow Billed Stork hanging out
with some other ugly black headed birds.
 Lots of cars gathered in one spot - hopefully we will see something good!

A Black Rhino - Finally!

Actually, a couple of them.

What you lookin' at?

The North East wall of the crater.

Hippos sun bathing.

Our lunch spot oasis.

The drivers of our four safari cars.
Raj, John, "that one guy" and Ellie.

This Yellow Weaver is watching Judy eat her lunch.

The Yellow Weavers are one of the most common birds in the Serengeti and Crater.

A pretty bird with red wings near the lake.

Back in the car we see some water buffalo.

These Crowned Crane are hanging out with the water buffalo
and some boars in the background.

A jackal strolling by.

The hotel up on the rim is where the 2009 team stayed
when they visited the crater.

"What! You are leaving already!"
This monkey bids us farewell as we leave the crater.
We did not see any male lions this trip - 
maybe next time!

The view of the crater as we ascend up the road to head out.

Quite a magnificent sight!

Looking to the east and what it holds for us
in our next adventures over the next few days in Tanzania.

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