This is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world. A population of approximately 25,000 large animals lives in the crater.
We see Thomson’s gazelles, grant gazelles, lions (10 or 11 on one place) and even a young lion climbing a tree and another lioness having her zebra lunch…  We watched crowned cranes (beautiful national birds of Uganda), zebras, hippos wallowing in the water, jackals, hyaenas, wildebeest, flamingos, waterbocks, elephants, buffalos, baboons, ostriches and many more, and last but not least my personal highlight: we saw 3 rhinos. The first wild rhino in my life! It was a single one, and the same day, we even saw a rhino mom with her baby!

Hippo_on_backEagleLionLion_treeWallowing_hippoRhino_with_momFirst_rhino

The rain season started – finally after a bad drought, maybe the worst drought in history.
We arrive at our camp at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Rain_forestShy_monkeyMassai_rainRain_clouds

On our way to the Datoga we saw big plantations for red onions. Red onions everywhere! You could even smell it.

Red_onionsMe_and_onionWomen_onion_plantation

The next people we saw belong to the nilotic tribe of the Datoga. They live in small houses in villages and often there is at least one blacksmith in the family. They produce, forks and knives, arrowheads for the Hadzabe, but also bracelets and rings.

Datoga_momDatoga_blacksmith

On our first day at the Lake Eyasi after a long and very bumpy drive, (see picture below for "the road") we saw the Hadzabe ("bushmen" / Hadza people). This is an ethnic group in Tanzania who still live as hunter-gatherers. We were highly impressed to see how they move through the bush and had the chance to see the place where they live. We were allowed to shoot with their bows and arrows, try to set fire with nothing more than a stick and we joined them in their dance. There were 4 men, 3 women and 3 children. It was one of the most interesting and impressing parts of our tour in Tanzania!

The_roadWomenHadzabe_chiefBows_arrowsFire

Kili

We left Dar very early in the morning at 5 am when it was still dark and very (unusual) quiet. We were still tired from the evening before, when Jochen took the chance to meet the team members and when I didn't want to leave and say good-bye. But it wasn't easier that morning, knowing that my friends were still asleep and that for the first time after all these exciting weeks we wouldn't have breakfast together.
We started our safari with a flight to Kilimanjaro Airport and YES, we had a wonderful view of the Mount Kilimanjaro.
It's not really good to recognize on the compressed picture file, but in the background you can see the Kibo peak of Kili.
After a relatively short drive to Arusha we then headed to Lake Eyasi, our first stage, on a long and bumpy tour of about 5 hours.
We only had a short stop near to Lake Manyara, where I wanted to see the legendary Tanzanite, the Tanzanian "diamond". It's a stone that can only be found in certain regions of Tanzania, which after heating and grinding becomes a lovely blue jewel. It's really wonderful! And very expensive………
 
Dar_latte

Back to Dar Es Salaam, with my first wonderful Latte (with real milk!) and waiting for Jochen to arrive in about 5 hours.
This was the night when happiness and sadness came together at one time, as Jochen finally arrived (with all his luggage!) and Mitali was the first to leave the team.
I won't spend many words on that point (what happened in Dar will stay in Dar), but a lot of tears were shed this evening, as we realized that the team – now all of them good friends – would soon have to split.