The last location of our photo safari was the Ngorongoro Crater, an ancient volcano that imploded into itself, forming a gigantic bowl of incredible biodiversity and geographic oddity. Here the characteristic red clay of Africa gives way to volcanic ash, and the rim of the crater is perpetually ringed with clouds, forming an alien landscape.

People don’t generally think of Africa as “cold”, but at 7000 feet of elevation the morning required us to layer up against the temperature and heavy mist. We drove down into the crater before sunrise, and the fog was so thick we couldn’t see 10 feet in front of the vehicle. Fortunately our guide had been there many times and didn’t share our fear of plunging off the cliff immediately to the side of the road!

The floor of the crater has many different habitats: Open grasslands, forest, and a huge lake. Virtually every type of animal in East Africa can be found here, and we saw lions, leopard, hippos, Black Rhino, baboons, gazelles, flamingos, giraffes, cerval cats, jackals, Cape Buffalo, warthogs, zebra, and a huge variety of birds, to name just a few!

This is one of the more popular parks in Tanzania and it can get crowded later in the day, but it is such a natural wonder it is really not to be missed.

3 Replies to “Ngorongoro Crater – Descent into the Volcano”

  1. I am a good friend of your dear sweet sister, Sharon. We met at Opryland Hotel many, many years ago. She just sent me your website – she is so proud of you. What an amazing photographer!!! Grand life you lived with stars of Hollywood and stars of our lands now. Congrats on all you pursue… exciting life. I worked 25 years in Nashville music industry – met all the stars – many personal clients such as Dolly, Jimmy Buffett, Garth, Shania to name only a few – BUT, never took their pictures. LOL. Continue on with your grand adventures safely. Sheila D Barnard

  2. Sharon is one of my best friends. Love her so!!! She wanted me to see your art. Wow!!! I took pics last week of a Heron who landed 6’ from me while I was fishing in Florida – I sent to her – lol’ed – no comparison to yours – FACT! Stay ssfe… maybe we will meet some day.

  3. Hi Sheila! Sharon is one of a kind, but then you already know that. I am one of those lucky souls for whom the pandemic turned out to be a blessing. I had a very busy and successful career working within the entertainment industry, and I loved it, but after 33 years of it I was ready for a change. I turned my cameras instead to nature and wildlife photography, and suddenly I had “the plan” for the next chapter of my life. It’s been an incredible adventure and I intend to pursue it as long as my eyes and legs and back hold out 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you In person one of these days…Moses

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