Days 8 and 9: Ngorongoro crater

After Serengeti, we headed to the Ngorongoro crater. This is a large volcanic area, where you can spot lots of animals. We spend there just one night and one day. If I would go now, I would definitely spend more time there. It’s very beautiful there.

The name “Ngorongoro” comes from the language of the maasai tribe. They call it the sound of the bells they use for cows, goats and sheep.

1. Giraffes on the way to Ngorongoro.
giraffes on the way to Ngorngoro crater

2. White-naped raven.
white-naped raven on the Ngorongoro campsite

3. Big baobab tree at the campsite. It was pretty cold there, especially during the night, so bring some warm clothes with you.
big baobab tree at the Ngorongoro campsite

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Days 6, 7 and 8: Central Serengeti

No need to tell you about Central Serengeti. I think I’m not mistaken if I say that everyone who is traveling to Tanzania visits this national park. And it’s truly a gem! Huge territory with lots of animals and beautiful landscapes and numerous birds. I just show you how lucky we were to see so many animals busy with their things like hunting or having an afternoon nap!

1. This lonely lioness was smelling the air and thinking about where to go for hunting.
lioness central serengeti

2. Then we were so lucky to spot this spotted hyena with a head of wildebeest! The head was very heavy and our hyena made a few stops while carrying her precious cargo!
spotted hyena with a head of wildebeest in serengeti

3. This is a typical african landscape: it’s a party time for some vultures, jackals and hyenas to have a good meal!
landscape with hyenas and jackals in serengeti

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Days 5 and 6: Northern Serengeti

Ok, after my posts about Tarangire NP, Lake Manyara and Lake Natron (1, 2, 3), i’m going to continue with my Tanzanian journey and switch now to the Serengeti national park. This park is one of the most famous national parks in the world. It’s famous for its huge diversity and for the wildebeest migration together with other herds of cloven-hoofed animals like zebras, gazelles and impalas. It’s really an amazing and spectacular sight, but i was not lucky enough to watch it. The problem is that the animals migrate in the very northern part of the park which is quite far away from the northern entrance. So if you visit the Northern Serengeti, give yourself at least one full day and two nights to surely visit the migration at the river spot. The best time to see it in the Northern part is September.

We arrived there from the lake Natron, the road was astoundingly beautiful, but extremely bumpy. A good idea was to bring some radio or iPod dock station so you can entertain yourself a little bit. I also had a gauze bandage, since it’s really dusty! In total, it took us about 8 hours to get there and we saw a few jeeps got stuck on the way, basically in the middle of nowhere. So be sure that your driver is experienced enough and be prepared for some “unexpected” adventures 🙂

So, on our day 5 very late afternoon we arrived at the Northern Serengeti and on the way did some safari in the park till we got to the overnight stay spot. The spot is really amazing. Since not so many people visit this northern area, it’s quite empty, just a few tents. And the most exiting thing is that animals can visit you along the night. Well, i mean here buffalos, leopards, lions can walk around the tents during the night time. It was really a good idea to bring a disposable urine pack, so we could use right in the tent 🙂

Then in the early morning we continued with safari in the northern part of the park till lunch time. And afterwards we proceeded to the Central Serengeti. It takes about 2-3 hours to get there, but since it’s inside the park you still can see lots of animals on the way, so it may take a bit longer.

1. An Agama lizard right at the entrance.
agama lizard northern serengeti

2. Baby Coke’s hartebeest was just lying at the road.
baby reedbuck northern serengeti

3. A Black-backed jackal at the dawn.
black-backed jackal northern serengeti

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Day 3 and 4: Flamingos Paradise at Lake Natron!

Continuing with Lake Natron, you can find there one of the most beautiful creatures – flamingos. After I saw these amazing pictures by photographer Nick Brandt, I so badly wanted to go there and just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Lots of flamingos around you, beautiful landscape, what else one would need?

The reality turned to be a bit different, though as always 🙂 Flamingos are very shy birds. So as long as you try to sneak around, they’re slowly moving away from you or simply fly away! They’re very hard to photograph… On top of that, they basically stay in a very muddy area, which is very wet and slippery. So be prepared to get really dirty 🙂 Anyway, they are truly beautiful creatures and I really enjoyed walking around. Hope, you’ll like some of my photos.

0. If you want to see these “frozen” dead birds, like Nick Brandt did, you should go there in April. We were there in September, so I found only a baby bird.

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Days 3 and 4: Lake Natron

So far, so good! Hope you’re enjoying my Tanzanian experience and maybe consider similar trip for yourself 🙂

Our next stop after Tarangire NP and Lake Manyara was Lake Natron. On the way to this conservation area we observed amazing landscapes. Some of them were really like from another planet.

1. On the way to Lake Natron
On the way to Lake Natron

2. Giraffes on the way to Lake Natron
On the way to Lake Natron

3. On the way to Lake Natron
On the way to Lake Natron

4. Entrance to the park
Entrance

This area belongs to the Maasai tribe, so there are basically two accommodation options: campsite near village on the hill (about 15 minutes to the lake by jeep) and a luxury lodge right at the lake. Both have some pros and cons. The second option allows you to get to the lake when you want to and just spend more time there, though it’s more expensive. The second option is nicer in a sense that you live in a close proximity to the village, so you can talk to locals, talk to the kids and just walk around on your own. We didn’t know about the second option so we stayed at the campsite. The atmosphere was really amazing: very quiet, peaceful and relaxing. There are not so many tourists around. I loved this place. Down the road is another Maasai village, so you can watch how the people pasture cattle, mainly cows and goats.

As a visitor, you are equipped with your own Maasai guide who takes you to the lake and to the waterfall. Well, there are mainly three things you can do there: walk at the lake and enjoy flocks of flamingos, walk to the waterfall and enjoy refreshing swimming and climb Gelai Volcano (at night). So if I knew, I would spend not 2 but 3 days there and would definitely climb this amazing volcano. Hopefully, next time…

5. Gelai Volcano
Entrance

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