Friday 2nd February NGORONGORO CRATER
CRATER SCENE WITH THE 600m WALLS IN THE BACKGROUND
Our first Tanzanian breakfast. The fresh pineapple was excellent. We didn’t take the eggs. We got into the Landrover at 08:30 for the trip down into the crater. Can’t remember the drivers name. Long drive around the Seneto descent. Masai out in force along road. “Masai wave” girls undulate neck beads as we pass. Judith took a picture of young Masai boys who had been circumcised. “You pay!” they knew some English. “Only 100 each!” driver snaps. After about 15km we came to Senato descent road. The main Ngorongoro to Sengeti road had been bad enough. This is worse but steep as well. We are in a snake of about 15 landrovers making their way into the crater.
Once on the floor of the crater we rest briefly at the Senato Springs. We are able to get out and stretch our legs. Everybody takes a few pictures. Using binoculars we can see elephants in the distance. The setting is spectacular. This is what I came for. The driver rolls back the roof and puts up the bench seat , then we were off for our first game view. Sun hot.
Burnt the back of my hands ears and temples. No sun shade in the landrover. Good sightings of Rhino, 3 during day. We took our picnic lunch at the Ngoitokitok springs in the crater. African kites swoop down to steal food. So we take our lunch in the Landrover! Find the toilet is invaded by wasps. Ronnie uses the bushes much
FEVER TREES AND ELEPHANT IN CRATER
Our first Hippo at Mandusi Swamp Ngorongoro Crater
much to the amusement of a bus full of American ladies. Overheard Jean talking to the driver “Do you like the animals?” “No I like the money they bring”, at least he was honest. After lunch we headed back towards the Mandusi swamp to see the hippos. Excellent view over the pool from a slight rise. Still can’t get an open mouth - one day!We are introduced to Colin Bastard. It turns out what the driver said was Kori Bustard but Colin Bastard stayed with us for the rest of the trip! The afternoon was hot and peaceful. Ron, Judith and I lounged in the back of the landrover and chatted. Then when we stopped we would get up to watch the animals , then back
down and chat. Watch. Chat. It was hot, it felt good to be alive, bumping around in the back of the landrover watching game in the Ngorongoro crater. Sizewell B and ISCO worries were washed away. I soaked up the atmosphere. I locked the memory of that afternoon away for future reference. As we headed back across the crater we found two lion, 1 male and 1 female on
the dried up Gorigor swamp. She made a fuss of him but he couldn’t be bothered. We found a couple more elephant in the Lerai forest. Shortly afterwards we were out of the landrover to stretch our legs. Hope the elephant knew we were friendly. This is the campsite we had seen the night before. The driver must “drink water”.
LAKE MAKAT NGORONGORO CRATER
No peoples wanted to use the toilet. The ascent is made via the road on the Oldeani Mountain side. I recount to the “crew” how I had listened to “North of the Limpopo” on the radio on the way home from Littlebrook and had set my heart on visiting Ngorongoro. My dream has been fulfilled. The highlight must have been the Rhino. Back at the lodge we tip the driver and say thank you. I bought and wrote some postcards. “Mating in the crater” bad taste calendar in the shop. Drink some beer, eat some dinner and go to bed. Serengeti tomorrow.
Published on Feb 19, 2012