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On Tuesday we woke early, to enter the park as soon as it opened. The first animal we saw was a baby jackal, which I took as a good omen.

Ngorongoro Crater

Soon afterwards, we were driving full speed over the dusty road, catching air whenever we hit a particularly big bump. Marc said this was the rarest of mammals we would see all trip: the rhino, which was down to 27? in the region due to poaching.

(I didn't expect to use my 2x extender nearly so much, but it turned out to be very handy. These guys are still small, even at 800mm.)

Ngorongoro Crater

We saw a couple zebras bickering.

Ngorongoro Crater

We ate breakfast by the water. Hippos in the water, zebras and cape buffalo drinking at the watering hole. Little birds stayed close as we ate, knowing someone would drop something tasty.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast, we saw the wildebeest running, as if from something, and then we saw it -- a large male, awake.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater



Ngorongoro Crater

Not too far off, we saw a large cluster of vehicles, a sure sign there was something exciting to see. And there was: a cape buffalo / pride of lions standoff.

Ngorongoro Crater Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

I could have stayed and watched all day.

Further along, we saw 181 grey crowned cranes by the water -- as I understand it, the majority of the regional population, and a larger group than had been sighted together to date this year.

Ngorongoro Crater

To end the safari, we saw a serval cat hunting, and I managed to capture it as it pounced.

Ngorongoro Crater

We had the afternoon off, during which I exhaustedly tried to nap. I ended up skipping dinner to go to bed early, which meant I missed my surprise birthday celebration. I'm fine with that; it was the best birthday ever.


The rest of the photos are here.

Previously:

July 2014

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