Ngorongoro Crater and the Elusive Rhino
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area is not too far outside of the Serengeti. If you are going to one, you should definitely go to the other. The crater is actually a volcanic caldera that is left from an eruption over 2 million years ago (source).
Ngorongoro is where the elusive Rhino tend to be seen more often as there is a more concentrated population of them . However, when I say concentrated population, take into account that they are critically endangered and there are only 26 rhinos at Ngorongoro (source). Our guide is consistently leading safari groups and hasn’t seen a rhino in over 3 months. Today is our last safari game drive so it is now or never to complete viewing of the Big 5.
The drive into the crater is very massage-like with great elephant views. The volcanic soil is rich in minerals more so than regular soil so elephants here tend to have huge tusks (per our guide Emmanuel).
We searched for rhinos in their “normal” spots where Emmanuel has seen them before with no luck. We saw plenty of warthogs, zebras, and gazelles but no rhino.
We were supposed to drive out after a gorgeous picnic lunch at this lake but we convinced Emmanuel to drive us around a little longer.
Not more than 30 minutes later, our driver whipped a U-turn and started driving really fast. He spotted something. Could it be the elusive rhino?
Yes it is!
Our guide and driver both hadn’t been this close to a rhino in a long time. While I didn’t think we were all that close, apparently we were.
5 out of 5!!! The Big 5 complete!! The group deemed our safari a huge success and drove out of Ngorongoro with huge smiles.