A volcano crater with hippos? Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro was an active volcano two million years ago but now it is home to lions, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants, zebras, and more.  Even hippos made it into the crater.  To get to Ngorongore Crater you drive through some spectacular country side and several Masai villages.  On the outer sides of the crater the steep slopes are covered in lush forest.  Then at the top of the crater edge it was very cold but by the time we were in the crater it was burning hot again.  Beau and I were very dilagent with our sunscreen.Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Masai and ZebrasOn our drive down into the crater we passed more Masai homes in the bush and grassland landscape.  Ngorongoro Crater Conservation is one of the only national game parks to allow residents in to live inside the boundaries.Ngorongoro, Tanzania - wildebeest Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - wildebeest and salt flatsInside the crater it turns to dry grasslands with bright white salt flats.  The contrast of colors with massive herds was eye catching.Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Elephant Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Elephant detail Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - BaboonThe roads through the game drive and on the way out to the Serengeti are rough to say the least.  We learned that the two tires on the back of the land cruiser were not for show.  Well if you are going to get a flat tire somewhere in the world, it is pretty cool to change one where some Masai are going to watch.Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Masai with donkeys Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Broken down land cruiser    

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