A Crater of Critters

Here’s the deal with Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater (other than it’s prohibitively hard to spell.) A dense population of the world’s coolest animals is trapped in a 14-km long sunken volcanic crater by the boundaries of said crater, oh and also by surrounding agriculture and mean people who kill the aforementioned coolest animals (because don’t fuck with my goats!)

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Editor’s note: I heard from a number of subscribers (bless you) that my automated new post emails weren’t being received. I think I fixed that problem while creating another one. The caption for the photo in my mailing is something like “MailChimp advises you to put a caption here.” Awesome. Stick with me guys, I’ll eventually figure technology out (in time for it to become obsolete.) Ok, back to the program!

Then some entrepreneurial folk came along and huzzah! Decided to charge tourists obscene amounts of money to cruise around in camouflaged Land Cruisers, sneak up on corralled creatures, and take some very likable Facebook selfies. Count me in.

I’ve never gone on a traditional safari. In fact, I’ve fought it. The word safari conjures images of asshole American dentists, Cecil the lion, Tilley hats and people with far too much disposable income descending on poor African countries to snap (photo or gun) some animals and then return home victorious with stories of danger and savagery! How exotic!

The reality is that the wondrous, diverse, magical flora and fauna that once blanketed Africa has been systematically destructed and today little remains intact. In order to see virgin rain forest, natural African savanna or the greatest animal migration in history, you need to don your Tilley hat, poke out of the top of a truck that would put a Texan soccer Mom’s Suburban to shame, channel your inner meerkat and belly up to the bar with some serious cash. I drew the line at the hat.

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God, Africa must have been the most incredible continent in the world when our ancestors began walking upright and exploring the Heart of Darkness. The Ngorongoro Crater blew my mind. Creatures spotted, certainly in no order of importance, include mongoose, wildebeest, water buffalo, two kinds of gazelle, bush buck, flamingos, countless birds, lion, black rhino, and last but not least a jaguar tail. It was allegedly attached to a Leopard. We’ll never know.

My all time favorite animal is the warthog. We saw a family (it may have been two females with the babies, but hey, it’s 2015) playing together and I squeeeeeeee’d so hard. Warthogs are great because they are super self important with these erect, silly tails and a very purposeful march. I picture them as the diplomats of the animal kingdom, or maybe like a furrier Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast.

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Here are a couple of my favorite photographs. Enjoy people!

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I’m a touch behind with my blogging, but will have another post up shortly.

BRB just doing stuff for a bit, k?

x V

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