- 6 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
First 3 recaps can be found here:
Before I start this 4th recap, a few disclaimers upfront. This recap will be longer then the others so far and have more photos. Also, this recap will contain a few graphic images. We did see the aftermath of a lion kill. I will put another warning within the recap before those photos, but for those who are very sensitive you may not want to look. There is not a lot of blood or guts, but there is an animal in the process of being eaten.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s get started!
We work up before dawn to get an early start up to the crater. With how much we saw at Ngorongoro Crater I’d say the 5:30am wake up call was MORE than worth it.
We stopped at the gate of the crater to get the paperwork in order before heading in:
As we were working our way down to the crater floor we were greeted by the silver jackal. They are usually quite shy, but this one seemed to be very curious:
When we got to the floor of the crater the sun was up and it was looking to be a beautiful day:
As we drove along, we encountered some Cape Buffalo crossing a ravine:
They were muddy from the water in the ravine:
Then we found a lioness enjoying the morning sun as much as we were after the cold dawn:
I’m pretty sure she saw us:
And then she decided her sunning time (and our photo op) was over. But as she walked away the sun illuminated the spot pattern on her coat:
As we continued along we ran into a warthog family. Mom, Dad, and 3 babies:
And a bird whose Swahili name I cannot remember, but it means “Large Bird who only flies short distances”:
And then of course we came across a herd of ever present zebra. They are certainly NOT shy:
This one was very pregnant:
Some even posed for photos:
We got a call on the radio about a mamma lion and cubs, they were hiding in the grass but you can kind of see them in this photo:
Then we ran across some fighting wildebeest:
After that we made our way over to the hippo pool, they made such a racket slapping the water:
After this was when the call on the radio about the recent lion kill came in. The next 5 photos contain images of a lion eating a wildebeest. I don’t feel they are too graphic, but I wanted to give fair warning. There will be plenty of cute baby animals after these 5 photos to resume the “aww” factor.
At first we couldn’t tell what the large male lion was eating:
Then, he decided he was full and it was time to move his meal to the “icebox” (as our tour guide called a shade tree a ways off in the distance). As he got ready to move his kill, we immediately saw he had been munching on a young wildebeest:
He then proceeded to cary this wildebeest, which was about his size, across the road (weaving between all the parked safari jeeps) and traverse the 200-300 yards to the nearest shade tree. He had to stop every 20 yards or so to take a break and then resumed his trek:
You can see the jeeps in the background rushing to get a glimpse of this mighty male lion:
It was absolutely amazing to watch this male lion drag the wildebeest and we felt very lucky to see something like this. It is not very common to witness the immediate aftermath of a kill (and very very rare to see a kill actually happen). It really was an incredible thing to witness.
And now, I will return you to your regularly scheduled cuteness.
Mom and baby together:
Then it was nap time:
There were babies EVERYWHERE!
And here’s one nursing:
We saw some Grant’s Gazelle:
And so many more lions!!
Here’s one with an elephant:
Another mom with cubs:
We then went and had a picnic lunch by another hippo pool. As we headed back towards the center of the crater we hit a HUGE traffic jam of safari jeeps. We couldn’t figure out what was going on until we got close to the front. There were lionesses everywhere. On either side of the road and even crossing it:
They seemed very comfortable around the jeeps:
On our way out of the crater we were very luck to see the ever elusive rhino. They were very far away, but definitely a mom and baby rhino:
When we got up to the crater rim, we took the opportunity to look back down into the beautiful crater. It’s amazing how many animals live down there and how empty it looks from the rim:
And finally, our “home” for all our safaris. The roof popped up but this was where we spent 6-8 hours of every day while on safari:
We were exhausted when we got back to our lodge that night, but what we had seen was truly amazing. The next day we were headed off to our last park in Africa, the Serengeti. We would see cheetahs, leopards, and the great migration. That will be the next recap.
Hope this wasn’t too pic intense, I really love sharing our experiences on safari.