Tanzania, Part 2: Manyara & Ngorongoro Crater

Fun Facts
– National Animal of Tanzania: Giraffe


– Tanzanian flag does not have the color red because their independence was not won through bloodshed

On our way out of the Tarangire, we saw the elephant paradise.  This pic doesn’t even do justice, huge herds of elephants, all over the place, at least 300 if not more.

We also saw BABY LIONS!  Our guide said they were probs less than a month old, and the momma had stashed them up on this rock shaded by branches to keep them safe while she was hunting.  The pic is fuzzy because they were SUPER far away. Even the guides had to use binocs which was rare.

The rocks and trees behind me are where they are! p.s. my camera zoom rocks.

Despite our continued search for tails and paws, we have not yet seen a leopard.  They are super hard to see because of natural camoflauge and trickery, so the guides say to look for tails and paws hanging down from tree limbs where they are laying.

Super rare lens cap sighting! casualty of taking pics when flying in a jeep

Next Stop: Manyara National park.  This park is almost jungle-y in parts, then opens up to a bare grassland type vegetation.  it’s crazy.  In the jungle-y part are TONS of baboons. some were cute, some were ugly with gross butts.

There is a hippo pool here:

Baby Hippo! the guides said it was only a few days old

how close we were to the hippos!

action shot!

Lunch at a banana plantation! regular bananas AND red bananas.

We stayed at Endoro Lodge these 2 nights, and it was so lush and vibrant, plants everywhere!  Each pair had their own little cottage and they were very safari chic. Lots of animal skins and the ubiquitious mosquito netting.

Our next stop was the Ngorongoro Crater!  On our way, one of our people stopped at an ATM to get $$ and the conversion was $200 to 300,000 Tanzanian Shillings.  Talk about feeling like a baller!

The Ngorongoro Crater is actually a caldera because it has an unbroken rim.  We started out driving around the rim, then dropped into the crater for some seriously incredible game viewing.

the rim, you can see the rim all the way on the other side

flat topped acacia trees

The rim of the crater is very lush, jungle like landscape, while the floor is short grasslands with lakes.  The crater supports harmonious living, and allows the Massai people to live on the rim and bring their cows and goats to the crater floor to water, while on the floor the wild animals reign.

wildebeast

guess where Glamour was?

cape buffalo

harmonious living, cape buffalo, zebra & warthogs

Black rhinos are on the endangered list and Tanzania is trying to grow the population.  There are 18 black rhinos in the crater, and we saw 5, the guides were amazed we saw that many.

3 black rhino, just chillin. SUPER RARE to see

flamingos!

Hyena

Lion & Lioness prepping for their afternoon siesta

hippos and a birdy

we had lunch near a lake where there are hippos, and by near, i mean we could touch the water.  (but we didn’t obvi).  Hippos are only dangerous to humans when they are out of the water (or if you are in the water with them obvi) and you get between them and the water, then they attack because they feel threatened.

pride of lions

On our way out of the crater, on a road up the edge, the vehicle in front of us startled an elephant and he gave a mock charge to them and then us when we pulled up.  Apparently elephants give 2 or 3 mock charges before they really charge.

this is with no zoom.

End of the day: the tops of my hands started to get burned from holding onto the jeep roof all day every day, time to zinc it up!  Animals seen in the crater: grants gazelle, cape buffalo, zebra, wildebeast, warthogs, hippos, hyenas, lions, eland, baboons, crown crane, goose, rhino, flamingos & elephants.

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