Tanzania – Ngorongoro Crater

Our first day on animal safari did not disappoint!  After seeing the crater from the rim, we were so excited to go down into this massive crater and see all of the animals!  The Ngorongoro Crater was formed when the top of the mountain collapsed and created a volcanic caldera.  There are lots of animals that live here and they almost exist in their own ecosystem.  The animals migrate around the crater depending on the season – we happened to be there at the end of the rainy season so everything was nice and green and lush!

We spent the whole day in the crater and I swear we only saw like 25% of the whole crater.  There were SO MANY animals!  I was literally beside myself with just pure joy!  As soon as I saw an animal my brain was like “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and sometimes that came out of my mouth, too, but I tried really hard to stay quiet.

One animal that I wasn’t expecting was the WARTHOG and GUYS THEY ARE THE CUTEST!!!!  There were so many in the crater and I never got tired of seeing them.  At lunchtime, we went to the picnic area that was right next to the hippo pond, so Mike was absolutely out of HIS mind!

I think one of our favorite things in the crater was how you could see the rain in different parts of the crater.  It was so cool and Mike actually caught it on video when a lioness was just casually walking towards the jeeps (!!!!!!!!!!!!):

My pictures turned out GREAT and I’m just so so so happy that we got to experience this incredibly special and unique place in Tanzania.

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Wise Wildebeest, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Mother and Calf, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Branching Out, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Play Bows, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Grant’s Gazelle, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Down and Dirty, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Zebra Breakfast, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Unicorn, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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African Crowned Crane, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Black Rhino, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Secretary Bird, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Greater Eland, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Fly By, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Guarding the Bloat, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Just Passing Through, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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The Herd, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Patrolling, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Blep, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Big Smile, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Kori Bustard, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Alone Time, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Jackal on the Move, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Lazy Scavenger, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Yummy Toes, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Gazing, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Mom Taxi, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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African Sacred Ibis, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Protecting Cubs, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Brave Cub, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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Cub Scouts, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

This next picture comes with a story.  We were driving and came up on this little lady bushbuck right next to the road.  She was so still, so we stopped and took some pictures of her.  Right after I took this picture, we decided that we were going to keep going.  Everyone turned around to sit back down, but for whatever reason, I was delayed in turning around.  All of a sudden, I see a blur of tan and the bushbuck takes off.  I yelled, “THAT WAS A LIONESS!!!!!  SHE IS CHASING THIS DEER!!!!”  We all get SO EXCITED BECAUSE IT’S A LION HUNT and the driver takes off and tries to keep up.  The bushbuck gets away but the lioness is still in search of food.  At this point, my camera is an afterthought – I’m more focused on watching this play out.  This is nature in action!  We follow the lioness for a while and she starts to stalk to warthogs (not my pumbaas!!!!).  She chases and again, comes up empty pawed.  We move onward, but here is a picture of the luckiest bushbuck in Ngorongoro Crater!

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Shoo Flies, Ngorongoro Crater, 2018

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