ngorongoro crater

from dubai, we flew to arusha, tanzania, to go on safari.  we chose ngorongoro crater and the serengeti because the wildebeest migrate through southern tanzania in january, and who doesn’t want to see a wildebeest migration?  fun fact: ngorongoro crater was formed by a volcano that exploded and collapsed in upon itself 2-3 million years ago.  it is about 2,000 feet deep and 100 square miles in area, with unbroken walls all the way around the crater.

it's pretty damn big.

it’s pretty damn big.

in going through my photos, i see that i shot 49 photographs – at least half of which i’ve already deleted – of cape buffalo in 12 minutes so let’s get to them first:

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the cape buffalo are one of the “big five” that you’re supposed to look for on a safari: the cape buffalo, the elephant, the lion, the black rhinoceros, and the leopard.  as it happened, we came upon the lion fairly quickly, although it wasn’t quite what we expected:


now i know that my dog isn’t sunbathing in the driveway: he’s practicing to be a lion.

the lionesses were a little more attentive, but this group had eaten recently enough that they weren’t in a mood to hunt … which isn’t to say that they didn’t think about it.

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as it happens, we’d seen this group with their kill the previous afternoon, but we were too far away to get a good detail shot.  note the hyenas on the periphery; the lionesses had been eating for a while.

note the hyenas on the periphery; the lionesses had been eating for a while.

finally (for this post), the black rhinoceros proved to be the most difficult to find. as we drove through the crater, we managed to spy some off in the distance.  using the best rhino-enhancing software, this is what i got:

apparently, rhinos are pretty social creatures.

next: more critters.