En Route to Ngorongoro Crater

Feb. 6, 2018


Me relaxing on the porch of our tent-cabin at Tarangire Safari Lodge the previous day


After breakfast at Tarangire Safari Lodge, we departed for the three hour drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We passed Lake Manyara, through the towns of Mto-wa-Mbu and Karatu, then stopped to pay our fees to enter the conservation area. We had boxed lunches that had been prepared by the staff at Tarangire Safari Lodge, which we would eat once we got into Ngorongoro Crater.

2-6 market outside Arusha
Market in one of the towns


Native arts & crafts for sale




653 (2)
Sign in Hebrew (unusual in Tanzania!), which means Shalom (peace).


2-6 candelabra succulent
This large succulent is called “candelabra.”


These baboons were alongside the road near one of the towns. The female is grooming the male by picking little insects and burrs from his nether parts – note the look of relief on his face! I imagine him saying, “Ahhhh!”


Male baby baboon nearby examines a branch.

We were to spend four days in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, two of them at Ngorongoro Crater. This was the most scenic area on our safari.







2-6 view of bottom of Ngorongoro Crater
Scenic look-out on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater

SONY DSCAccording to Wikipedia, the crater was formed when a large volcano caved in on itself two to three million years ago. Fossil evidence at nearby Oldupai Gorge suggests that hominid species have occupied the region for up to 3 million years. Hunter gatherers were replaced by pastoralists, and the Maasai drove out these inhabitants in the 1800s. Maasai villages dot the rim of the crater.

Maasai boma (village compound)


In 1892, the first Germans arrived to colonize this part of east Africa and a few established farms in the crater.

Ngorongoro has two possible meanings. The Maasai told us it is the sound that a cowbell makes, but it is also a word for a cooking pot.

2-6 view from top of Ngorongoro Crater
View from lookout at the crater rim. The highlands, as the hills that form the crater are called, is a unique ecosystem, characterized by acacia forests.


2-6 acacia forest
Highland acacia forest

Ngorongoro Crater covers about 100 square miles and is full of wildlife.


2-6 wildebeest in distance-Ngorongoro Crater
Wildebeest herds on the crater floor can be seen from the rim.


In this view, you can see the large lake (mostly dry when we were there) inside the crater.


Dale took this picture of me at the scenic look-out. Other members of our group are on the right.


Entrance gate to Ngorongoro Conservation Area











2 thoughts on “En Route to Ngorongoro Crater

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