Driving down and down, round and round into the huge bowl-like crater of Ngorongoro. An almost circular depression of a long extinct volcano with a diameter of 19 kilometres and without doubt one of Africa’s most spectacular backdrops i have ever seen. I thought the Serengeti was amazing but this was another level. All the hype you hear about the Serengeti being the place to safari. Well i may disagree this is definitely my preferred area to take your safari holiday.
We descend from the upper rim, driving down a steep track that drops about 600m to the grassy plain, lake and marshes of the basin floor below. This winding track, restricted to small 4WD vehicles, leads us onto a rich tapestry of Africa. This is game viewing at its best!
The perennial marshes teem with bird life, including flamingos, ibis and egrets. The crater itself, technically classed as a caldera, owes its existence to the violent fracturing of the Rift Valley over a period of some 2.5 million years. At one time, a volcano occupied this spot, eventually becoming extinct and collapsing into the empty magma chamber beneath it leaving only the gigantic natural basin behind.
As all the animals are in this basin spotting was quite easy. We got to see the Big 5 here elephant’s, Buffalo’s, lion’s and lion cubs, leopard in the distance, cheetah with a kill in its mouth and a rare black rhino. An experience i will never forget…