We were packed up and heading out of the Serengeti shortly after noon on the 4th day. From there we mostly retraced our path back to the Ngorongoro national park. As we passed through the eastern Serengeti we got an even more impressive view of the migration than we had seen on the second day. Pretty much zebras and wildebeests as far as the eye could see. Our destination for the evening was the Ngorongoro campground on the rim of the Ngorongoro crater. A very popular and crowded campground. It was nice to have electricity tonight, but we missed the relative isolation that we had in the Serengeti.
The next morning we got off to another early start with a 6:00 breakfast. Ngorongoro is an incredible place. Apparently it was once a volcano on the scale of Kilimanjaro. Over time the caldera collapsed and became a fertile and very isolated savannah. Because of it its isolation it is pretty much a closed environment. It’s isolation has also allowed it to be better protected from poachers. It is one of the few places where the African rhinoceros can still be found. After a quick breakfast we jumped into the land cruisers and headed down to the caldera. We were immediately struck by the density of the animal population. Large heards of buffalo, impalas, gazelles, etc. at very close quarters with equally large populations of lions. A party of 14 lions attracted our attention (as well as an a large number of other land cruisers). Of course our goal for the day was to see the elusive rhino – it is the only one of the big five that we have not yet seen. There are reportedly only about 20 left in the park. As we approached our noon deadline for departure it was looking like we were going to miss out. However Solomon, out guide and driver, finally came through for us and spotted a couple of rhinos mixed in with a large herd of buffalos. Too far away to get a picture of, but impressive none the less.
After the Ngorongoro crater we packed up and headed back towards Arusha and the end of the tour. On the way back we stopped at a Maasai village for a tour. It was a bit touristy but interesting none the less. A few photos, a few souvenirs and we were off again for Arusha.
It was a very nice safari, and a truly amazing tour but it was nice to be headed home. A bit of repacking and a lot of cleaning and we were ready to head home.