After the not-so-terrible Moyale Road, we knew we were counting down our final days in Africa. A stopover in Nairobi meant a requisite return visit to the David Sheldrick Foundation. Since the foundation opens the doors at night for a private viewing only for foster parents, we got to see the sweet elephants hustle back in time for their nightcap (and almost got run over in the process!). A lovely way to say goodbye to beautiful Kenya.
After a quick 2 days and a hassle-free border crossing, we were back to where it all started. After a cool night in Arusha, Tanzania, we drove on to the famous Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest inactive caldera on Earth. We had the special campsite completely to ourselves, unfenced from the wildlife and unearthly quiet. To celebrate what would be our last safari, we clinked a Tusker beer.
In what would be our most exciting morning, I woke up at 5am to make breakfast in time for the drive down. It was pitch black outside, and soft shrieking noises rose from the surrounding bushes. As our eggs cooked, the disturbing sounds increased in frequency and volume. It became obvious that something was amiss. Still enveloped in darkness, we slowly came to the realization that we were surrounded by hyenas.
Terrified, I spent the remaining 20 minutes of darkness swinging the brightest flashlight we owned around us. Eugene managed to nonchalantly continue to cook and eat Magi noodles… And when the sun finally crested over the mountain top, the hyenas left. We climbed into the PPE to begin the journey down.
The Crater is absolutely teeming with wildlife. Everywhere we looked, herds of zebras, buffalo, wildebeest, and various antelope roamed.
[Click below to enlarge]
While resting the car and scouting for lions, Eugene noticed a troupe of elephants strolling over to our car…
…that within minutes sauntered across the road inches from our car.
And with that, our last safari in Africa was over!