Ngorongoro Crater, Garden of Eden.

The  biblical Garden of Eden derives its name from the Aramaic root word meaning fruitfull and wellwatered. My first impression of the Ngorongoro crater was just that, a peaceful, fruitful and wellwatered garden stretched out before me from one side of the crater wall to the other with various species of animals grazing peacefully alongside one another.

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First view of the Ngorongoro Crater

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Elephant grazing on the green grass

Reality however, is not the same as a first impressions, as lion and other predators also call the crater home and all have to eat to stay alive. Masaai herding their cattle inside the crater can testify to this as they have to be alert for attack from predators and even buffalo.

Between two and three million years ago this area was the site of a large volcano.

Then the unimaginable happened.The volcano exploded, collapsed on itself and formed the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. The floor covers 260 square kilometers and it is 610 meters deep. Today it is known as the Ngorongoro Crater and is a World Heritage Site.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngorongoro_Conservation_Area

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The crater has two lakes with one being an alkaline lake and the other a fresh water lake, where we had our picnic lunch.

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The fresh water lake and picnic area

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Wildebeest grazing near the alkaline lake

The most striking feature of this area  was the dramatic change we experienced in type of vegetation and the variation in temperature from being hot on the floor of the crater which consists mostly of grassy plains, to dense forest and very cold weather on the rim 610 meters high.

View from the lodge on the rim of the crater

View from the lodge on the rim of the crater

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Sunset from the rim of the crater

We spent our last night on safari at a lodge on the rim of the crater with beautiful views and a breathtaking sunset.

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