Monday, December 14, 2009

Ngorongoro Crater

This was the game changer.

Before this, Tanzania (and East Africa in general) was just one of the places you had to check off your list of places to visit. The day we went down to the Crater has changed the way we want to travel. Historical monuments, cultural artifacts, works of art, idyllic beach resorts and gastronomic delights are all wonderful, but being out in the bush, in an environment that has hardly changed for thousands of years, is something that everyone should experience.

We made our way from our Lodge down to the Crater in the early morning:





Going down into the Crater was a revelation  - the tranquil views afforded at the rim gives you little to imagine about what to see below.





And as we got to the bottom, we saw thousands of animals, glorious, incredible, amazing. We saw many exotic birds:










Zebras and Wildebeest:











different species of Antelope:





Elephants:







Ostriches:







Warthogs (and baby warthogs):







Lions:









The highly endangered black rhino:







Hundreds of baboons:





And so much more than what this one blog entry can handle.

After eight hours on the dusty safari road, we made our way back to our Lodge, still in a slight daze. I am by no means an environmentalist, nor do I have an extraordinary love for animals, but seeing all this has made me want to do something to ensure that every person living and every person still to be born will see this, as it is.

On our way back to the Lodge, we had one last look at the crater as we ascended to the rim, and already it had transformed back into the tranquil scene that belied the presence of its teeming mass of inhabitants:



When we got back, I was greeted with some happy news. This was a very, very good day.