This close.

closeness_to_vehicle

Move out of my way.

How close do you get to the wildlife on Safari?
Close, really close. In fact sometimes they can get so close, you can smell them. And that can be a memory etched in your brain forever. In a good way of course, especially when you are away.  You just have to be in the right place at the right time.

When on my Safari to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park this year, I was lucky to encounter a lion with her baby, 20+ lion family snacking on a wildebeest [taken with my iphone], lots of elephant families in both Serengeti and Tarangire, female impalas harems, rhino crossing close by and more.  When we were driving out of the private area after my Serengeti Walking Safari, I even saw a cheetah with a baby cub walking right by our vehicle. Side note here – do not pack your camera as I missed this shot. Or maybe it was nice just enjoying the moment without taking pictures. Safari problems.  

My client Carlos M has had a cheetah jump on a Safari land cruiser close by when in Masai Mara. How close is that!

In Northern Serengeti, we were enjoying some coffee when a herd of wildebeest decided to gallop right past our vehicle. Coffee time with a view – very enjoyable.

Migration in the background

Hello wildebeest. Coffee?

Life worth Exploring! ™ Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call – 1.877.558.6288 / 713.592.6228 [outside US]
Form – Request Information

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Oxpecker on the look-out – Wildlife Wednesday

Black Rhinoceros

I got your back my friend!

Rhinos and oxpeckers are fast friends. They work together – a symbiotic relationship.

How? The Rhino needs the oxpecker to scratch it’s itch. The oxpecker feeds on the insects and ticks that are crawling on the rhino. The rhino is an oxpecker’s meal ‘tick’et. The oxpeckers have been seen to even crawl into the ears. The rhino does its best to keep the creepy crawlies away by rolling in the mud and forming a thick layer but there is always a missing spot. And that’s when the oxpecker comes to the rescue and helps. Though the oxpecker may be helping, it does also pick on scabs and may not get the smaller ticks on the skin.

And the oxpecker is his look-out buddy. When it senses danger, it will alert the rhino. Don’t be fooled by the size of the rhino. They can run.

Now if only they can run fast enough from all the poachers and the hungry end consumer. They have been around for 50 million years. We can not let them be gone in our lifetime. Be part of conservation. See them in their full glory in the wild and roaming free from the threatening man.

Life worth Exploring! ™ Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call – 1.877.558.6288 / 713.592.6228 [outside US]
Form – Request Information

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater is home to approximately 30,000 animals in an area only 12 sq. miles wide and a wall 2000 ft. high at its highest point. Once a towering mountain larger than Mt. Kilimanjaro, the eruption two to three millions of years ago created a caldera, a bucket-like geological splendor.

zebra_crater

Resident animals. A group of stripped zebras always make for beautiful pictures.

Why Ngorongoro Crater should be a must-see on your Northern Tanzania Safari? 

One.
The animal population in this small area is dense. With only 12 sq mile wide, this little eco-system increases the chances of seeing lions or the long tusked bull elephant close by the road. Cheetah walking, zebra grazing, hippos lazing – all close encounters possible. Endangered black rhino – maybe – we were lucky to see one cross the roadrhino_crater

elephants_in_ngorongoro

There were at least 20 + elephants at the exit gate of the crater. This may be the same herd Jo Anderson, our elite guide has mentioned about. Read our Elite guided Safari post.

rolling hippo

Hippo at the hippo pool have a fun time splashing around in the muddy pond. Close your nose.

vultures

The vultures or the ‘cleaning crew’. They are an integral part of the food chain.

Two.
The crater eco-system makes for stunning views. From many points on the crater rim, you get to see the whole ‘bucket’ eco-system and from every angle the crater is beautiful. After many Safaris here, it still takes my breath away. On the crater rim which is around 7-8,000 ft in elevation,  can get quite cold during the cooler months. The early mornings tend to have a blanket of heavy mist which can result in not getting a glimpse of the crater. When you are on the ground, you have to admire the soaring 2000 ft crater wall.  Early in the morning, the clouds cover the wall which adds to the beauty.

ngorongoro_tanzania

The beautiful crater. This was taken near Lemala Gate.

Three.
Ngorongoro Crater is a world heritage site, the largest intact volcanic caldera and has been known to be called the 8th wonder of the world. If you are going to Tanzania for the first time, it should be on your list of places to Safari.

buffallos

The wall of the crater covered in clouds.

How to avoid the crowds?
Because the crater is small and everyone wants to see the caldera for the above reasons, your guide will help you avoid the pitfalls.

Start early in the morning.
If you can reach the entrance gate by 6 am, you are likely to share the crater floor with fewer vehicles.  The government is trying to figure out how to speed things here as well. The paperwork at the main gate and the crater rim gate takes a while – patience is key here.  Spend time with the baboons at the entrance gate.

Drive the other way to avoid the crowds.
Our guides will drive the other way when they see a ‘herd of vehicles’.  But there are exceptions. Our guide Elissa was not comfortable with us being with the ‘herd of vehicles’ when we were admiring the black rhino and would have prefered to guide us in another direction. He asked us our preference and we said we were okay sharing the rhino.  We were also on Safari during the low season so there were not that many vehicles.

Low season.
If you can go during low season , April to June and November, chances of sharing the crater with fewer vehicles are higher.  But if high season is when you are on Safari, relax and enjoy the experience. You are on Safari!

Ngorongoro Crater, a must see destination especially for the first timer on Safari! 

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Life worth Exploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in Touch //
Email us – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 1.877.558.6288 
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Form – Request Information

Photo of the week

Taken by client Reggie and Bill Hepp in Ngorongoro Crater.

Taken by client Reggie and Bill Hepp in Ngorongoro Crater.

Beautiful black rhino, with a peaking crested crane, in Ngorongoro Crater.

To save our rhinos from poachers, please remember to never buy rhino horns. Their horns do not aid in fertility, give you strength or aid in fever reduction.  Horns are actually made of keratin, the same material our human fingernails and toe nails are made off.  Do not buy artifacts with rhino horns. Say no to bracelets or daggers made out of rhino horn.

The only place a rhino horn should be is on a rhino!

For more information and help, visit //
http://www.savetherhino.org/
https://biglife.org/