As the sun sets over the endless plain of the Serengeti, dark shapes and glowing eyes begin to encircle the camp. Being wary of the campfire and the commotion, the hyenas keep their distance. As the night progresses, however, the humans retire to bed and the fires slowly turn into piles of ember. The chattering of men is replaced by the calls and cackles of hyenas. Throughout the camp, they roam, scratching at tents and searching for food.
Nights in the African wilderness are always filled with awe and fear. Although the safari guides paid little attention to the circling hyenas, precautions were given. Keep food away from sleeping area and never go to the toilet alone. However, if you muster the courage to walk to the edge of the camp away from the light of the camp fires, you are rewarded with the most beautiful night sky in the world.
Days in the Serengeti are hot and slow. In a vast savanna of 30,000 square km, much of the time is spent driving around the park in search of wildlife. Every once in a while, we stop beside a caravan of Land Cruisers to admire large mammals.
Ngorongoro Crater, named after the sound of cowbells when the Maasai lead their cattle down the slopes of this extinct volcano, is an entirely different story. With an area of only 264 square km, there are wildlife in every direction.
The concentration of animals here is so dense that it was like driving through a zoo. That is a very scenic zoo with an open picnic area right beside a pond filled with hippos. This was by far the most exciting place for wildlife watching in Africa.