Monday, December 15, 2008

Ngorongoro Crater

Day 7 and 8, Ngorongoro Crater

Serena Lodge is a supreme facility in an incredible location. Built on the rim of the crater, every room has a balcony overlooking the crater floor! Ngorongoro Crater is a world heritage site and for good reason. It is the largest unflooded caldera in the world. Measuring ten miles across, the crater is a memorable experience. Four lion prides inhabit the interior as well as black rhino and a population of old bull elephants. Of course, the crater does not disappoint regarding many, many of the other well know African animals. In fact, 30,000 permanent resident animals make it their home. Giraffes and impala are about the only animals not seen here. It is not known why impala aren't found in the crater. Giraffes are unable to descend into the crater without lowering their heads which raises their blood pressure to dangerous levels. Lions are often seen relaxing in the shade of safari vehicles, providing some challenging photo ops. The wildebeest and other ungulates, don't migrate out of the crater as it has its own micro-climate, providing good forage year round. Another plus in the crater is the ever present population of flamingos which give the alkaline lake it's pinkish hue. Flamingos often fly at night to avoid the many birds of prey found in the area.

7. Drive to the crater (1-1/2 hours) brief check-in and game drive with picnic lunch in the crater.

8. Full day down in the crater with picnic lunch.

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