Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

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Ngorongoro Crater is home to over 30,000 animals. Because of the steep sides of the crater and the abundant sources of food, the animals in the crater don’t migrate.

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Wart hogs, or “pumba” in Swahili like in The Lion King, have a memory span of only 34 seconds.

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The “big five” that are the penultimate goal of travelers to the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater are the five animals that are hardest to kill on foot. The “big five” are the water buffalo, the rhinoceros, the leopard, the lion, and the elephant. We were lucky enough to spot all five on our very first day in the crater.

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We saw many lone bull elephants that had been kicked out by their herds by the young bulls. Elephants always have one shorter tusk which denotes their predominant side used for fighting.

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The “ugly five” are the wildebeest, the warthog, the hyena, the vulture, and the marabou stork. We also saw all of the ugly five.

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Giraffes have very strong necks that they use to bat away other animals and don’t really have any predators. They move both legs on the same side at the same time when walking which is unlike any other animal. They eat the acacia tree, which is spiky but they have antiseptic in their saliva which helps protect their mouths. A group of giraffes is called a tower of giraffes.

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Olduvai Gorge is called the “Cradle of Humankind” with the first known fossil remains of two bipedal hominid species dating back 1.84 million years ago, called the “nutcracker man” and the “handyman.”

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