Discover Ngorongoro Region
Over the years, our personal relationship changes over time. When we are children, we look forward to getting older so that we can get a job, drive, drink, and “be free”.”But as we grow older, we yearn for the relative freedom of youth, and each year brings us closer to our own mortality. When she was a Baby, Time seemed to stand still. I would like to sit and watch her animated expressions, play with her on the neighborhood playground, and walk with her to see the ducks in our local pond without looking at the clock. Hours would pass without notice.
But now that she’s almost 15, our family time feels like a sacred gift. When she’s not busy at school, doing her homework, doing her community service or being with friends, we do everything in our power to slow down, put aside our work and our Technology and enjoy every minute we have together.
Instead, we focus on establishing and strengthening our family bond and pray that we will do enough to create a lasting bond that will survive and thrive, no matter what changes the future brings. Perhaps it is simply human nature not to fully recognize the miraculous beauty of our blessings until we realize the possibility of losing them.
The same applies to humanity’s relationship with nature and the animal world. After more than a century of evidence, we are beginning to realize together how fragile the ecosystems of our planet can be. And nowhere have we traveled, the precious nature of time is better reinforced than in the Ngorongoro Nature Reserve in Tanzania.
When you look at the world’s largest inactive, intact, unfilled volcanic caldera from the observation deck on the edge, the bottom of the 100-square-mile crater looks like open meadows practically untouched by man since its formation two to three million years ago. There are no Buildings in the Crater, no picnic areas or toilets. There are only one or two areas where you are allowed to exit the safari vehicle and you must be accompanied by a licensed guide at all times. From above, the 10-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater looks like a vast, beautiful but empty area of nothingness.
This is exactly what makes your six-hour exploration of the Ngorongoro Crater so magical. Once inside, time seems to stand still and the animals continue their lives as they have done for countless centuries, relatively without taking into account the human presence. You will see huge herds of Grant zebras, Cape buffalo, wildebeest and Grant and Thomson gazelles. Other ungulates, such as the Common Eland, ibex and wildebeest, can be seen in smaller numbers.
Wild predators such as the African leopard, the cheetah, the East African wild dog and the Serval inhabit the park, but are rarely spotted by visitors. There is a small population of endangered Black Rhinos, but Rangers are trying to keep them in an area inaccessible to humans to protect them from poaching. Many buffaloes and elves migrate north with the great Migration at the beginning of the dry season, which lasts from June to October. Thousands of smaller flamingos flock to the Magadi Salt Lake every year to feed and breed, but we didn’t see any during our visit.