The Big Five, rain and thunder – a marvelous visit to Serengetti and Ngorongoro (part 2 of 2)

Ngorongoro crater

We entered the Ngorongoro crater coming from the Serengetti National Park on a muddy road. The Landrover was almost sliding down and the beautiful scenery was passing by. The view wa fascinating and we were amazed. The animals in Serengetti were many and very fascinating and we didn’t expect so much more of Ngorongoro. It’s just a crater, even if it’s huge. We couldn’t be more wrong.


A group of elephants wandering


Topi antelope is not so small

Entering the crater we passed trees along the road, that looked liked large broccoli heads.  I mean, they were big, but with the huge crater in the background their size did seem small and not very special. The proportions became strange. We were very small, the crater was now our world.

Black stork

Black stork

secretary bird

Huge secretary bird

Down in the Ngorongoro crater we were welcomed by a number of birds. We saw storks, secretary birds, ostriches and others. We also saw Eland, the largest antelope in the crater. It was large. The view of storstorks warmed my heart a lot. During the European summertime, every time I visit Poland I look for those wonderful birds. Then they fly all the way to African summer and warmth when it’s winter in Europe. And there were they! In African heat when Europe was covered with snow.

White stork

White stork


Eland, the largest antelope in the crater



Of course there were zebras and wildebeests everywhere and smaller antelopes and I could write too much if I wrote about all of them specifically. All were special, but with so many at the same place it was hard to see every single one specifically.



Animals everywhere

Animals everywhere

Blue wilderbeest

Blue wilderbeest

Soon after entering the crater we saw two male lions, two males lying on a small hill in the middle of the road, just like that. Our guide Godfrey said that they must be two youg brothes, since grown up males wouldn’t be so near each other. They didn’t care. We were not the only ones to see the lions. A small warthog did as well and backed away into a small cave in a little bit of panic. And the lion didn’t care. Just amazing scene to witness.


Lion brothers

We went on. It’s needless to say that we saw animals. We saw very many. We also saw thunderstorm in the far end of the crater. It was fascinating to stand in the sunshine and witness a thunderstorm, not so far away. There was also a mini-tornado as a part of the storm. Like a totally different planet.



After a while we started to go faster. Godfrey got a message about a rhino in another part of the crater. And suddenly we saw it in the distance (number five out of five, we’ve seen the big five!. We stopped and watched. The rhino walked slowly with animals everywhere seemingly not caring about each other. But the other animals were carefull. The rhino was getting closer, maybe a little too close. Godfrey started the engine to drive away and them the rhino strted to charge at us. That’s because they’re almost blind and see the outline of the car. That could be an elephant for him or any other large animal. – was the explanation.

two rhinos

Two more rhinos

Driving away we happened to see four more rhinos far in the distance, one large and three small. A mother with the young? It’s a very special feeling to see those endangered animals. It’s special to see one, but four, that’s almost euphoric feeling.

vulture in a tree

Some vulture waiting for a meal in a tree

We also saw a leopard once again and a cheetah, both far in the distance. Our guide with his perfect eyes saw them and poited out for us, lucky bastards. And on the way out there were some vulture waiting for a meal in a tree.


Large elephant


View of the crater from above

The day was almost over. Leaving the crater we saw some vulture and few other birds, a cheetah in the distance and one more leopard, also far away. Finally, as we started on the way up there was a huge elephant in the bushes watching us.

crater in the morning

Morning view of the crater.

We spent the night at a lodge just above the crater with marvelous view, both in the evening, night and in the morning. I want for sure come back to this place.

Ngorongoro crater

Sunrise in Ngorongoro

We said good bye to Godfrey and went on. Next part of the journey was a Kilimanjaro climb. I’ve already written a post about it, but I’ll write more in another post.


Our happy guide, Godfrey

Ngorongoro became a world heritage site in 1979. Link to this site: Ngorongoro.

My grade for this site is of course five out of five:



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2 thoughts on “The Big Five, rain and thunder – a marvelous visit to Serengetti and Ngorongoro (part 2 of 2)

  1. […] doors, narrow streets and Christmas ornaments   I described my trip to Serengetti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro a while ago. The trip was early in 2007 to Tanzania and we ended it with some […]

  2. […] was extra special. I was on my first safari trip, first visit to Africa ever. Another post is here. I want to return to this spectaular place, yes, I do. The initial thought was that we were not […]

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