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Forgotten caldera

THIS IS AFRICA

Driving through the undulating emerald landscape of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area, we pass Maasai herders, bedecked in ruby-red, guiding their animals to fresh grazing. At last the spiritual Ol Doinyo Lengai, or ‘Mountain of God’, appears in the distance. The faded-blue active volcano is shrouded in mystique; it blends seamlessly with its hazy surroundings like a painting. Continuing on foot, we set off towards the Empakaai Crater, an ancient caldera — and suddenly, there it lies. The deep saline lake sparkles like a sapphire, and is rimmed with white salt and pink greater and lesser flamingos. We begin our vertiginous descent through lush greenery, along a trail lined with yellow lion’s claw flowers and purple morning glory. As we approach the water’s edge, flamingos start to soar and circle above us in a glorious dance spectacle. We stop and gaze in awe. LAURA GRIFFITH-JONES

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About Travel Africa

Life as a chimp - everything you need to know about this great ape • Kafue National Park's natural attraction • Driving around Zimbabwe • The Waterberg and Madikwe, South Africa • Tarangire on foot • Stunning leopard portfolio • Learning to guide in the Mara • Taking tea in Malawi • The Himba today... and much more!