After leaving Kenya, we headed down to Arusha which is the drop off point for safari’s in the Serengeti National Park which included the Ngorongoro Crater. We stayed at the infamous Snake Park in Arusha where Dan and I both held a snake and learnt all about the different types of snakes in Africa, how quickly they can kill you and what to do if you get bitten.
From Arusha we got picked up in our 4×4 jeeps from the company called Bee Eater and Honey. The jeeps were lush in comparison to the vans in the Masai Mara. We could charge our phones and cameras, the seats were comfortable and our driver was excellent at answering all of our questions.
In the Serengeti National Park there is also the Ngorongoro Crater and that was our first stop. We got through the entrance and headed straight to the crater look out. The crater was much more beautiful than I remember from my previous visit. The combination of the colours, mountains and clouds was nothing short of incredible.
We drove down into the crater and had lunch at a small lake with lots of hippos, an elephant grazing and a lion asleep just down the road. The hippos were very inquisitive and came very close to the shore to check us out.
In the crater there are lots of salt flats which create beautiful colours and made the bumpy dusty roads more bearable. We saw two rhinos very far in the distance, so far we could barely make them out through the binoculars.
Some of the animals along the way included ostriches and hyenas, no doubt wondering where their next meal was coming from.
Soon enough we saw what we came for…lions, and lots of them! Lucky for us there was a group of females lounging around right next to the road. Further along there were more and we got to see them on the move. We were no more than 2m away from the lionesses and being able to just sit and watch them walk in front of us is mind blowing. They are truly beautiful creatures.
The lions were initially lazing around but after a few minutes they became very playful, rolling around, grooming each other, wandering down the road. The best part was we were the first trucks on the scene so we got to spend a good chunk of time with the pride. They had positioned themselves right next to the road which was fantastic for us.
We stopped off at a pool that was the home to over 100 hippos. They were bathing in the mud, farting, rolling over and just being the general lazy animals that they are. It was awesome to see that amount of hippos in one spot, there was even a film crew from a French television channel there to capture the magic.
The landscape on the drive out of the crater was phenomenal, the sun setting on the salt flats was something I will always cherish. The mountains, rolling hills, endless colour and scenery for miles is just spectacular.
We camped on the edge of the Ngorogoro Crater, our tents were already set up for us when we arrived back and we got a hot drink and sat and watched the zebras graze and the sunset. It is worth noting that if you are going to camp on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater that you pack warm clothes as the temperature plummeted at night time.
I would highly recommend going to the crater as it was excellent game viewing as well as spectacular scenery. This was my second visit to the crater and I would most definitely go again as it is just like nowhere else I’ve been. The scenery and animal viewing is second to none.
Have you been to the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania?
You can read about my other African adventures here: