For my last day in the park, we returned and went down into Ngorongoro Crater.
The Ngorongoro Park is actually classified as a “natural reserve”, specificity linked to the history of the Maasai who live in this region and are therefore on foot (it’s forbidden to be on foot in the other parks). You should know that calling it “Ngorongoro crater” is a misnomer because it is actually a caldera (the volcano is dead and collapsed). There are not many as important in the world and especially this one is the only one that can be visited. Indeed most are now covered with water or in much too bad condition. This year it has a lot more so not all the tracks were passable which left little choice of visit.
Descent into the “crater”
This is a small mountain road with no stopping or possible U-turns. Once down we begin our visit hoping to come across the famous black rhinoceros!
The landscapes are really very beautiful with this large lake! We see a lot of species up close and even an ostrich mating! It seems that it is quite rare to witness this.
We will have lunch at a small summit which allows us to have a superb view of the lake!
Then we go down to admire the flamingos and I can see a baby zebra suckling its mother before my eyes 😍.
Not having seen a rhino, we are about to leave. Fortunately I ask for a pee break before taking the small mountain road! If we had climbed we would not have been able to turn back when we received a call indicating a rhinoceros. Once at the spot indicated, he has already returned to the vegetation. We are going to turn around and during an impromptu stop (the other cars did not allow us to pass) he finally comes out of his hiding place and I was able to admire him! From afar, of course, but I’m happy I saw the big five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros).
Although I enjoyed the landscapes of the crater, clearly it’s less worth going there without seeing the rhinoceros. And I really had a lot of luck!! (thanks my bladder 😉). Be careful though, if your guide has a weak car or one in poor condition, you may not be able to get out of the crater and get stuck. This was the case with one of the cars we passed. With another car we helped him (by towing him to the top) but otherwise they would have spent the night there… It’s not that rare.!
We did not spend the night in the reserve (it’s extremely expensive apparently), we went to the Kudu camp which was not very busy (only another tent). It has the advantage of having free wifi if your guide does not have one (it is attached to a more upscale hotel).
Go back to Arusha
The next day we had quite a bit of time before my flight to Arusha. We did a lot of stops in small shops. I also asked for a detour to a distributor. Of course the purchase is not obligatory but it’s not always easy to say no! Don’t forget to bargain a bit, the price can always be lowered.