5:00am came around really early! Somehow we all managed to get up, grab some breakfast, and pile in the landrovers for one last game drive. Getting up early was worth it! This beautiful sunrise photo also came from Cindy!
Although there were many facinating birds of all sizes, shapes, and colors, they took second fiddle behind the big animals when it came to stopping for photos. This was a sacred ibis I believe. We also saw some flamingos in the crater, but they were far away.
Here were some other birds we encountered along the way, some even ate out of my hand at the wayside stop. These photos are courtesy of Marisa (check out her photos if you haven’t already done so, she’s added some new ones!).
Here was a group of hyenas. We thought we were going to be in for some action, but nothing happened.
The inside of the crater is 11 miles in diameter and the height from the floor to the rim is about 2000′.
There are normally about 25,000 animals in the crater at any one time (mostly zebras and wildebeest).
and more wildebeests….
Here was a group of lionesses. All the animals seemed fatter in the crater – maybe the vegetation is more lush and nutritious this time of year as opposed to the serengeti.
Dusty Roads. About the only big animal we did not see was the black rhino. We thought there would be a good chance to see one in the crater, but no such luck.
Here is a good group shot with the landrovers (thanks again, Marisa).
At the oasis bathroom break in the crater. Maybe we should feed the animals.
Ok, we probably shouldn’t feed the animals. We had a monkey jump into the landrover as we were parked there.
This was the largest elephant we saw! The thing was huge! Look at the size of its tusks. Estimated at around 60 years old. It was kind of scary watching it walk our way.
The group seemed pretty tired out by this point, so we headed back to camp to pack up. We then drove on back to Moshi.
My camera’s memory cards filled up at this point, so I have no more photos. I will try to get photos from other people to post here. Once back in Moshi, we had the iciest, coldest beers ever at the Keys Hotel! Showered up and then hit the disco bar (Pub Alberto) for a cheese burger, fries, and some cheesy american disco music. This was our last night together. We toasted Jonathan at midnight for his birthday (shots of tequila), some people danced until 3am, others said their good-byes earlier and went on our ways. Kind of sad. It’s amazing how attached you get to people when you spend day in and out with them for over 2 weeks. Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of the blog. I will fill you in on the next couple of days including the trip home, and give a recap. I’ll need to track down some more photos, though, to keep it interesting, so stay tuned….