Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater, Sunday September 7, 2003

Map of the Ngorongoro crater during the dry season

10:03 - A baobab tree

10:05 - The road near the rift valley

10:22 - Pedro trying to get closer to a Baobab


10:24 - Aaron, our guide for the 5 days of safari

10:37 - A Maasai warrior and his village




11:29 - A monthly market in the village of Rhotia



12:15 - Climbing from the outside of the Ngorongoro, the vegetation is quite lush

12:15 - Pedro taking a peecture





12:23 - First view of the crater from the rim


12:46 - Monument to the Grzimek's who devoted their lives to study and protect the wildlife in Ngorongoro

13:11 - The Boma Oloirobi village

13:11 - At the distance the Malanja depression

13:35 - A Hoopoe. It is curious that the first bird that we saw inside Ngorongoro was the emblem and name of our safari company

13:36 - We never saw another one

The next few pictures are from the Seneto Springs, a little oasis at the entrance of the crater.

13:42 - Warthogs. They kneel on their front legs to graze, quite funny.


13:43 - A falcon




13:48 - A golden Jackal roaming around

The next pictures are from the Goose Ponds. We did not see any geese, though. It is partly the runoff the Munge river, so the ponds are breakish, but not as salty as Lake Magadi. The adjacent areas are one of prime grazing areas.

14:27 - A Thompson gazelle. Viewed from the front, the horns and the ears look distinctively like an inverted A.

14:27 - They swish their little tails in a furious way, very peculiar

14:30 - Gnus, gnus and more gnus. We were afraid we may not see any...

14:32 - A Cackle of hyenas, one of them bathing, with a backdrop of zebras.

14:32 - The hyenas are easy to spot from the distance as their hind legs appear to be shorter than the front ones.

14:33 - Did you call me?

14:34 - A nice picture of a Spotted Hyena

14:35 - The Gnu is also called Wildebeest

14:35 - We rode into a huge herd (or leash or parcel) of Gnus (there is no collective name for Gnus, hence I hereby propose the collective "a system of Gnus")

14:35 - An excellent picture of a Gnu (but still, they are ugly...)

14:36 - Another system of Gnus

14:36 - More and more systems of Gnus as far as the eye can see

14:42 - A couple of spotted hyenas, with bulging stomachs, also at the Goose Ponds




14:49 - A couple of Sacred Ibis

14:49 - A Great Blue Heron

According to Aaron, these couple of lions were mating. When the lions mate, the couple goes away from the rest of the pride for about 7 days. At first they mate every half hour, more spaced as the days go by. They do not feed during this time.



14:57 - Clearly a good life...











This is the Hippo pool at the Mandusi swamp. There were several bloats of hippopotami, the families stick really close together. The hippos need to have their skin wet, else it cracks. So they continuously swish their little tails to wet their backs.




15:48 - A tail swishing water. They also roll very slowly all around or 90 degrees and back. The middle one is doing that.


15:52 - The hippos need a lot of food and hence graze at night. This pond alone had about 50 hippos.

16:00 - A baby hyena by its den

16:00 - This guy was really enjoying the last sun rays of the day

16:16 - The crowned crane



One of the most interesting parts of the visit was to arrive at a recent kill of a Cape (or African) Buffalo by two lionesses

16:24 - These are the ones that most likely made the kill and had already eaten


16:29 - Ohhh, I ate too much...

16:30 - A third lioness is feeding. The Jackals and the Hyenas were close but did not dare to eat before the lions were done.

16:31 - 4 jackals and a hyena waiting around

16:36 - Lets take another bite, it was really good

16:37 - We regretted not having a good telephoto lens at this time...

16:46 - The cubs are anxiously waiting to eat. There is a strict order of feeding, the ones that do the kill eat first, then the males then the females, then the cubs, then everybody else.

16:46 - Often the cubs starve to death according to Aaron.



16:54 - Why did the ostrich cross the road?

17:06 - Two lonely male elephants. Cows and young elephants will not come into this crater.

17:13 - The pond there is called the Hippo pool, it is not the same as the pond in the Mandusi swamp.


17:14 - The two male elephants can still be seen from here

17:14 - The ascent road and the Lerai forest behind

17:28 - A last view of the crater. The Wildlife Lodge, where we stayed for the night, had essentially the same view.

GPS data from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Last updated on Sat May 1 05:53:40 EDT 2004 by GhG.