Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

May 30, 2017 - Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of my favourite places in the world. Generally I rave about the wildlife — the crater has a great diversity of animals in a wonderful setting.

But today, it is not the animals that blow me away. It’s the early morning light, playing on the hills, fields and crater walls. It is stunning.

We reach the park gate at 6:15am and are immediately let into the park, the first three vehicles of the day. Sunrise is around 6:30 but it takes several minutes longer for the sun to peak over the rim. 

And once it appears, it is spectacular.

This is the kind of light you can wait months, even years for. Unbelievably, with the quickly shifting clouds and small gaps of blue sky, the amazing light lasts until almost 8:00.

I capture dozens of landscapes, looking in almost every direction, trying desperately to do justice to this once in a lifetime opportunity. For several minutes a rainbow appears. Then moments later, sun splits through gaps in the clouds to bath rolling hills in soft light.

By 8:00am I’m spent and a full day of glorious wildlife photography feels anti-climatic. I know I haven’t really done justice to the day — I’m not sure if anyone could — but here are two of my attempts.

BTW - the day was capped off with an amazing sunset, that I ran from the lodge to capture in the few brief seconds where everything looked magical.

- Mike