Piece for Escapism | The Drive of your Life, The Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most incredible natural phenomena you’ll see in Eastern Africa. As you might have read in this post I wrote on the blog, the Ngorongoro Crater was formed 3 million years ago and is the largest unbroken caldera of its kind, in the world.

I wrote a piece for Escapism magazine on our drive through this Jurassic Park-like land. Featuring in their January 2018 issue, I share my experience of the breathtaking views you get as you climb the Rift Valley in your safari vehicle, and the bouncy but incredibly rewarding journey you take as you descend 600 metres to the crater floor.

The Drive of your Life, The Ngorongoro Crater

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What’s so incredible about the Ngorongoro Crater is the diversity of  the landscape across this ecosystem and subsequently, the density of wildlife that thrives here. You can expect to see everything from salt-rich lakes where flamingoes feed, to beautiful woodland where you may well spot tree-climbing leopards. You’ll almost certainly see the hippos bathing in the muddy swamps. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a lion lurking in the vast and grassy plains.

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The Ngorongoro Crater is also massive, measuring a whopping 100 square miles. So if you’re planning on taking a safari here, you’ll need a full day. It takes around six hours to see the best of the crater and (hopefully) spot the Big Five.

One of the most fascinating things about the crater is that, unlikely the Serengeti, Maasai tribespeople are free to roam here with their cattle. Risky, you might say when there are predators living here. But this is the way of life for the Maasai pastoralists and it makes for an intriguing sight when you spot them around the watering holes, among the grazing elands, wildebeests and zebras.

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What made our trip to Tanzania so special was our stay at Nimali, an incredible safari camp on the edge of the Tarangire who helped arrange our safari to the Ngorongoro Crater. I must also mention the couple of days we spent at Gibb’s Farm following our trip to the crater – an incredible retreat built on a historical coffee estate in the crater Highlands.

After our beautiful stay in Tanzania we then took a flight over to the paradise island of Zanzibar where we stayed in the luxurious Zawadi hotel following a few days in Stone Town.

If you’re looking to combine a unique safari experience in Tanzania with some of Africa’s finest beaches, I highly recommend this safari and beach combo. Read about my latest piece in the January 2018 issue of Escapism.

This is a summary of an article which first appeared in Escapism Magazine. You can visit Escapism magazine online here and see other examples of my published travel writing here.

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