|The Ngorongoro crater - captured as a panorama photo.|
After breakfast we left in the sunrise. In South Africa we are used to very early morning tours. Our guide was not in a hurry and it was well over eight when we reached the main gate. It took some time to get in and I thought we would miss the show.
When we climbed the crater and Moody drove on top of the edge for almost half an hour it was extremely misty. We saw nothing and I thought that we had made the trip in vain.
When I asked Moody about this, he promised that the weather would improve when we got to the bottom of the crater. And of course it did. And it also improved generally speaking. Just like Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro crater has its own weather system.
We saw almost everything, except – of course – leopards. I have lived in Africa 7½ years and visited numerous parks. But never have I spotted a leopard. I start to think that Mother Nature’s message is:
You and your kind are messing with me. This is my answer. And it is only the beginning.
Are we really civilised? I have strong doubts. Especially after having seen the Massai cattle herders leading hundreds of cattle down the slopes of Ngorongoro. We had just seen at least 15 lions. How did they dare? So, Moody told the story we had heard from others also. The lions and the Massai have a truce. The Massai never hunt game. And the lions don’t take cattle from the Massai. I love this!
It was a bit disturbing that we also saw approximately 20 cars, where we saw the 15 lions. But we should not complain, since our car was part of the traffic jam.
One thing that was special with the crater was the variety of birds. Stork, grey crowned crane, pelicans, flamingos, eagles, vultures and many smaller birds like the beautiful blue starling and the colourful lilac breasted roller. Not to mention the secretary bird and the heaviest flying bird: kori bustard.
Very satisfied, after almost five hours of intense game viewing, we began our journey back to Makumira.
As if the day was not good enough, Dag had arranged a wonderful dinner when we got back. Penina had helped him and at the table we also saw Mary and Msafiri. What a fantastic last evening.