Hunting Rhino in Ngorongoro
Ah, the elusive rhino. Of the “Big 5” animals we had yet to spot the toughest of them all, and our time was running out. Although I wasn’t really counting, I did want to see one of these horny and odd animals in the wild. Our last day on safari had us visiting the Ngorongoro Crater, a place I was already incredibly excited about. This excitement was elevated when it became our last chance to see these creatures. As it turned out, hunting rhino in Ngorongoro proved to be our best chance.
Settle Down Greenpeace
Before I go on I must stipulate that when I say hunting rhino in Ngorongoro I simply mean spotting them and shooting a picture. A photographic trophy is all I need. No rhino horn aphrodisiac for me. While on the subject of hunting rhino in Ngorongoro, the crater itself offers an amazing home for them. Protected by nature and the parks board of Tanzania, hunting rhino in Ngorongoro for their horns, which is a serious problem, is next to impossible. This area has allowed the rhino population to grow, making it likely for us to spot one.
Land Before Time
We left Chaka Camp before sunrise in order to maximize our time in the crater. After stopping for an early morning photo we made our way to the crest. There we made the incredible journey down to the crater floor. It was unreal.
Inside the crater I couldn’t help but feel like I was transported back in time. Aside from the roads (which vehicles must stay on) you are surrounded by prehistoric nature. Maybe it felt that way because of the crater walls as the 360 degrees of awesome. The crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was formed 3 million years ago when a massive volcano erupted, blowing its top way off. How massive of a volcano was it? The crater floor left behind is over 250 square kilometres. Whoa.
We began hunting rhino in Ngorongoro by following the roads along the crater walls. As we drove along we noticed that the crater includes so many diverse ecosystem within. There is a lush jungle where baboons play and elephants feed, a marsh where birds rest and hippos cool off, a desert plain where antelope and wildebeest can spot predators miles away, and a lake where all the animals can get a drink. This amazing collection of ecosystems is why there is such a high concentration of animals in one place, just no rhino’s evidently.
We put our hunting for rhino in Ngorongoro quest aside and enjoyed a break next to a hippo pool before watching a showdown between a water buffalo and a lioness. The crater is wild and everything I wanted it to be. Hunting rhino in Ngorongoro aside, it is more than worth the trip, and don’t people know it. The crater is a popular spot, which meant fighting with other land cruisers to see an animal. On the flip side the animals in the crater are used to the traffic meaning you can get very close. Very.
As our time in the crater was coming to an end so was our hunting for rhino in Ngorongoro expedition. Slightly dejected, but not really, (the place is AMAZING) we crossed the large plain in the middle where I spotted something grey in the distance. To the naked eye it appeared to be a large rock but to my telephoto lens it proved to be otherwise.
Even though we didn’t get close, hunting rhino in hunting rhino in Ngorongoro was a success. I never really had a goal or list to see all the animals but for some reason seeing a rhino in the wild became a priority at the end of my safari trip. Hunting rhino in the Ngorongoro shouldn’t overshadow the natural awesomeness of the crater itself. With its 360 degrees of mountain walls, the different kinds of ecosystems, and all the amazing animals found within, the Ngorongoro crater is a natural gem.
It is also another tick off my bucket list. Ok, so I did go with some expectations.