A Bird in the Hand...

....Doesn't Compare to a Day in the Bush!  Boom. Humor.

I hope you guys liked yesterday's post because I heard proverbial crickets up in here in the way of reactions from y'all.  But instead of reading into that and possibly adapting (pssh... who does that?), I'm forging on with the original plan of making today's post an extension of yesterday's.  So, if you all were trying to send me a message, it did't work!  But, you can head back here tomorrow when "normal" posting will resume, if that's any consolation.

... So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, where were we?  Oh yes, I believe I had just finished telling you all about how my mom and I went to sleep in cozy little beds and dreamt of sugar plums in our excited little heads after a pampered day at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.... The following morning, we were awakened with a knock on our door bright and EARLY!  We opened the door to this other little room that acts as a "buffer room" between the outdoors and the bedroom.  (I presume that the concept behind this, is to prevent "indecent exposure"/awkward moments between guests and staff personnel, lest a guest might answer a knock on the door otherwise indisposed.  But this way, the staff can drop off room service or other items you may have requested, in the little room, notify you with a knock and then gracefully exit - allowing you to retrieve the delivery dressed (or undressed) in whatever your current state may be).  Upon this particular knock, we opened the "interior exit door" to find coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits as our wake up call.  Hardly a literal "wake up call" by any means!

We then dressed in a minimum of 5 layers each (as it was quite brisk outside) and headed, with escort, to meet our guide at our designated Land Rover for the day.  I should explain that it is recommended for guests to utilize the resort's armed and trained escorts when moving about the premises as it's not uncommon for wild animals to roam freely onto the property.  Unfortunately/Fortunately we did not come face to face with any wild, and potentially dangerous, species but man, wouldn't that have been a cool story if we had? :)  Apparently, it happens more often than you'd think!

But anyway, it's pretty much standard on these safaris to head out at the break of dawn as that's one of the prime times to spot animals.  So we headed into the Crater at an ungodly hour and as we made our way to our breakfast spot, we happened upon an elephant that came out of nowhere... as much as elephants can do that.  We parked on a stretch of the path and watched as a lone elephant snacked from a fairly nearby tree.  AND THEN... all of a sudden, she must have decided she wanted to walk off her meal and proceeded to head right towards where we were parked.  At a disconcerting speed, I might add.  Not wanting to startle the elephant but also not wanting to stand in her way, our guide slowly backed the jeep up.. but not before I got this action shot:

Ngorongoro Crater Safari.JPG

Oh yeah.... Wham Bam, Thank You Ma'am!

I also got this shot:

Ngorongoro Crater Elephants.JPG

And some other sweet snaps:

Ngorongoro Crater Safari Shots.JPG

As I'm sure you've probably already discovered on here, I'm not a great photographer and to date, the photos I took on this safari jaunt characterize my photography peak, so you're just going to have to endure my not-so-humble photo brags in this particular post.  Sorry I'm not sorry :).

Elephants on Tanzania Safari Crater.JPG

After this semi-dramatic event, we had worked up quite an appetite and headed towards our breakfast spot in the bush.  Upon arrival, our guide jumped out of the car and began setting up a full on breakfast buffet under this tree in the middle of the grass.  I have always had this romantic fantasy that I would one day have the unique experience of dining amidst tall grasses and open plains with campaign furniture and fancy serving ware while the threat of dangerous animals wandering by loomed, so this scenario was overwhelmingly exciting for me.  #livingontheedge  

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Picnic.JPG
Breakfast in the Bush Tanzania.JPG
Safari Picnic.JPG

Following our feast, we spent the day driving around and catching some epic pics of various animals... Here's another gem I'm proud to put my name to:

Zebra Butts.JPG

And even saw a group of wildebeests drive out a lioness who had just killed a gazelle was trying to protect her kill.  But the most insane part of the day was when we pulled up and parked mere steps away from this feeding frenzy (Fair Warning: this video is NOT for the faint of hearted.  A lioness is literally eating a wildebeest... so if you never planned on seeing that in your lifetme, DO NOT watch this video):

After sitting witness to some pretty unbelievable scenes that are a natural way of life for animals in the wild, we had lunch at another spot in the bush and eventually had to say goodbye to our amazing guide and the luxurious lifestyle we were becoming too accustomed to.

The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Safari experience was magical for so many reasons but most impressive was how much they took care to make every single detail exceptional. They made the adventure of looking at wild animals so much more than a car ride with binoculars... And that is why I recommend doing your research on different safari companies that offer packages in the same area because the details can totally make all the difference in your experience!


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