After conquering Kilimanjaro, we rewarded ourselves with a safari! The Ngoronogoro crater was formed approximately three million years ago when a volcano exploded and then collapsed on itself, creating a bowl 2000 ft deep and floor covering 100 square miles. It is a natural enclosure for an extensive variety of wildlife in a high concentration – the perfect place to see tons of animals in their unique and natural environment. We were amazed by all the animals we saw, especially catching a glimpse of the rare Black Rhinos which are critically endangered. We were also thrilled to see zebras, giraffes, water buffalo, wildebeests, elephants, lions, hippos, several different species of gazelles, warthogs (who are hysterical), bustard birds, guinea fowl, a serval cat, jackal, and a sea of white and pink flamingos – so many that the pond from a distance looked pink.
After a day exploring the Ngorongoro Crater, we essentially spent the following day in our safari jeep crossing the Serengeti and were delighted to see even more animals: herds of zebra, gazelles, and wildebeests beginning their migration, storks, blue and gray dove, water buck, impalas, ostrich, dick dicks, topa, and a leopard! Touring the Serengeti the next day a hyena stalked around our jeep, baboons with their new babies were everywhere, we watched velvet monkeys play in the trees, crocodiles sunning on rocks, and so many brilliantly colored birds, including red bill horn birds and kingfish birds! It was truly an exotic animal bonanza.