From endless plains to crater

This is the third part of our Tanzanian safari experience. Previous posts can be seen on the following links On the count of three – “Africa” & Endless plains.

Day 4: This was probably the most interesting day. We woke up for an early morning game drive, quickly drank coffee and then headed to one of the circuits in central Serengeti. As we drove we saw the sunrise and a few hot air balloons take off too – for those who want an aerial view of the plains.

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This time we saw plentiful birds and I have written about them in a separate post Birdie birdie in the sky..!!, but will post some here too. The chirp of the birds and the morning breeze. I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of the scenery. I loved the drive while learning about birds of east Africa.

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As the sun rose we saw many animals in their grazing pastures.

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Hundreds of Thomson gazelles
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Elephant and a oxpecker

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Crocodile

Look who we saw – Banded mongoose. Ain’t they cute?

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Zebra crossing ahead 🙂

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We returned to our camp by 10 am, as we were supposed to head towards Ngorongoro today. Hence we had a quick lunch, packed camping gear and left for Ngorongoro with game en-route. Firstly we saw a lioness outside a campsite. Can you see the band around her neck, we were told that this was a tracking device for research purposes.

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We saw another lioness about a kilometer away. She was resting on top of an anthill.

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Mama elephant with baby elephant. Cute.
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Look how they feed themselves

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Were we lucky or what, we saw a lion and lioness again 🙂 This morning was turning out to be very interesting.

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The most interesting game which made us halt for almost an hour. The jackal was eating a dead gazelle, and almost 10 odd vultures were waiting behind him ready to pounce upon the dead gazelle any minute. But none of them dared to go near the gazelle when the jackal was there. The jackal shooed them away whenever they tried to move forward. There at the back of this action was also a hyena probably searching for some meat himself. He was preparing to check out the commotion. Meanwhile the jackal ate a substantial amount of the meat and took away the remaining meaty portion of the gazelle’s body. As soon as he left the vultures attacked. Now the hyena came closer and shooed away the vultures and took away the remaining body. Oh what a game..!!

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Vultures in a brawl soon after the jackal left.

Now we were running out of time and had to reach Ngorongoro before sunset. As we ascended it became colder and I donned a jacket and a sweater too. Brrrrrrrh..!! We were going to spend the night on the crater rim and visit the crater next morning. We were welcomed at the campsite by a few Zebras. The campsite was lovely just like a Himalayan meadow. We could see crater lake Magadi from afar.

We set up our tents quickly and went to see the antics of the elephant which came to drink the water from the campsite.

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And with a beautiful sunset we had quite a tasty meal- chicken & carrot soup, followed by spaghetti with curry. Slurrrp..!!

I tried to sleep but the noise of the wild animals and the extreme cold kept me awake. It was about zero deg C around midnight. I feel I wasn’t prepared for camping at this temperature. Nevertheless my heart was filled with joy which I would carry a long way with me.

3 thoughts on “From endless plains to crater

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