First Taste of Africa: Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara

Oasis Overland Africa Truck

Our ride and home for the next 2 months!

Big yellow truck: Check

African safari: Check

Seeing the Big 5: Check

We dove head first into Africa after our first couple days at Karen Camp in Nairobi. After getting a briefing on the trip agenda and how the truck works, etc., we hopped in our big yellow truck and took off for our first camp site – Snake Park. Yes, they have snakes here, but thankfully they are for show and behind glass. πŸ™‚

We would be in Snake Park for only one night as the following morning we would be off on a 3-day safari where we could finally see some animals!

Ngorongoro Crater

View of Ngorongoro Crater

Our safari would include time at Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater. We also hit the Serengeti, but we’ll save that for another post.

We started with Lake Manyara and followed it with Ngorongoro and it was a great way to begin our time on the safari. Almost immediately we began seeing wildlife, which was the main reason we wanted to get to Africa. Monkeys and baboons were everywhere, but we particularly liked the little guy you see below. He stopped with a friend right beside our truck and played around on his tree, but also stopping now and again for a couple poses.

Black Face Monkey

Cute little Vervet or black faced monkey

Giraffe Ngorongoro Crater

Giraffe catching some shade

We found giraffes as well, which were some of Alana’s favorite animals…at least for the moment anyway. We had lots of time left and had not seen any cats, so I was pretty sure she would change her mind. Crazy cat lady. πŸ™‚

Animals in Ngorongoro Crater

Wildebeest and zebra grazing

The wildebeest and zebra seem to hang out with each other in harmony as each eats a different type of diet (according to our driver), so they don’t get in the way of one another. These are the two main animals that comprise the Great Migration through the Serengeti, so it makes sense that they play nice.

Lion Pride Ngorongoro

First lion sighting! This pride of roughly 20 lions was relaxing and digesting their early morning meal.


This was what Alana (and I) had been waiting for and thinking about since our trip got booked. It was early in the morning at the crater when the guide spotted a pride of lions lounging in the field. Pretty amazing to see these big cats rolling around and acting like any ordinary house cat.

For those cat people out there; we caught them laying on their back with their feet randomly in the air, licking/cleaning each others heads and even one who took a paw and covered his eyes and face because it was apparently too bright out. Funny stuff.

Ngorongoro Crater Animals

Inside Ngorongoro Crater

Well, I should wrap this up as our wifi is limited. But, since we could actually upload a few images we wanted to get a post up ASAP.

Lastly, after three days of the safari, Alana pretty much wants a baby version of every animal we saw, typical. Next up,Β the Serengeti!

About Matt

Matt is one-half of Great Big Globe. He loves the Green Bay Packers, chips and salsa, a strong Americano and knows an incredible amount of useless sports trivia.


  1. Loved snake park, and ma the owner! So glad you got to see the big 5. How is camping life?

    • Hey! Yes, we were lucky to see the big 5 and so many other awesome animals! Camping life is ok. The constant set up and tear down isn’t enjoyable but we are getting by. Two more nights and then we are on Zanzibar!
      Happy Anniversary to you guys! πŸ™‚

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