Ngorongoro Crater

Today was a dream 50 years in the making.  It was worth waiting for!  We left our fancy digs this morning for the two-hour drive to the Ngorongoro Crater.  That has been on my bucket list for almost 50 years.  (Thank you, Phoebe Kay Rogers, 8th grade teacher extraordinaire!)

The crater at one time was an active volcano.  It eventually became extinct and its come collapse and formed the largest intact volcanic crater on earth.  This 185 square mile area has the highest concentration of wild life on the planet!

We stopped for lunch by a hippo pool where we had to eat in the vehicle because of the extremely high numbers of very aggressive black shoulder kites, soaring and swooping around the vehicles, stealing whatever was left untended.  The helmeted guinea fowl ran everywhere searching for crumbs and rufous tailed weaver birds watching our every movement with their piercing brown stares.

We did see lots of animals, but because of our extremely good luck with animal sightings at the beginning of our trip we added only a blue monkey just outside the park entrance, a golden jackal and an enormous flock of pink flamingos on the alkaline flats around the lake.

We also got to see the mating ritual of the ostrich from courtship to consummation.  We spotted the male first.  He was strutting and weaving and swinging his long neck back and forth, creeping ever toward his enamorada.  Even though her back was to him, you could tell she was paying attention.  She sat down.  Apparently that means, “OK, big fella.”  Total time, courtship through consummation, maybe three minutes!

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