Tanzania, February 20, 2003
Don't believe the Ngorongoro Crater hype
|The Ngorongoro Crater is a majestic act of nature to behold, for it's the world's largest perfect caldera, or collapsed volcano, with a perfectly circular and steep rim encircling a flat valley floor filled with all of Africa's wildlife.
Still, for Sean, Christina, and I, it's a little overrated, for after the beauty and majesty of the Serengeti, with its very wild and massive herds migrating constantly, Ngorongoro's tame and compact herds fail to impress.
Of course, we drove to the crater from the north, were the road is good and the views amazing, while most tourists drive from the south, via the horrible track they call a road from Arusha, so that by the time they reach the crater, even a single elephant spotted 100 meters away would bring pleasure.
There is pleasure to be had though, for the crater does support an amazing abundance of wildlife in a very small space, from dive-bombing kites that steal food from your hands to water buffalo that wander through the man campsite, pulling up tent stakes as they graze.
And if you can ignore the tourist mini-bus attack that swarms around even the most insignificant natural act, like a jackal eating a field mouse, there are moments of pure instinct, like the strut of the magnificent double headed woffle-fluffer (better known as the kori bustard), as it calmly walks away from a hungry hyena in Tanzania's great natural wonder, the Ngorongoro Crater.