Enjoy the video below taken by our safari guests on September 5th, 2020 during an early morning game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater. The elephants in the Ngorongoro Crater have become very habituated to tourist vehicles over the years though it’s unusual to get this close. Make sure to turn the volume up on this one!
Lerai Forest, Ngorongoro Crater
Video September 05, 2020
Lerai Forest in the world famous Ngorongoro Crater is home to some of the largest bull tusker elephants in Africa. The elephants in the Crater are unique in that they are predominantly old bulls flaunting giant ivory tusks. They survived the pre-ivory ban days in the 1980s when many large tuskers outside the relative safety of the Crater were poached. Since the ivory ban was enacted, elephant numbers have increased dramatically and the contiguous Northern Tanzania parks including the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara and Tarangire form one of the greatest strongholds for elephants in Africa.
The best place to see the large tusker elephants is the Lerai Forest of the Ngorongoro Crater. Lerai is a Maasai word referring to the tall yellow barked acacias that dominate the forest. There are about 70 different bull elephants that are regular visitors to the Crater floor and Lerai Forest. Breeding herds of elephants (cows and calves) usually wander only through the upper rim forests though recently they are being seen more frequently down on on the floor.
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That big bull that approached the vehicle was in Musth you can see all the urine running down his back legs and lots of temporal gland drainage. What a magnificent encounter with one of my favorite animals in the world.