Published: October 20th 2010October 20th 2010
The smaller one is nursing. When they're young their stripes are brown, and their hair is shaggy.
Day 8--Ngorongoro Crater
We started the day with an early breakfast, so we could be among the first safari vehicles on the crater floor. Since this lodge was our little bit of luxury, the large breakfast selection was more than we were used to. When Francis picked us up we noticed he had washed our vehicle! It was a nice gesture, but it didn’t last long as the roads were to be some of the worst we’d been on. We loaded up with lunch boxes in hand. Did we mention the horrid lunch boxes with various food items that were unsafe to eat? Needless to say, lunch time was not a banquet! The drive down to the crater floor was nothing more than a “cow trail” of only one lane. The switchbacks made the view of the vast crater spectacular. Once we made it to the crater floor we drove on roads rather than trails for what seemed to be forever. The animal viewing was less than we expected; after all we have seen in the days before it didn’t take long to reach our saturation point. “Oh look, a hundred more zebra! Gee, same color, same pattern!” Every lion
Lodge Dining Room and Lounge
we would see would bring to mind the same question, what should I eat today? After lunch (did we mention the boxed lunches?) we made a decision to alter our plans and shorten our animal drive the next day. How about relaxing in our tent and spending some time at the pool. We agreed it was time for a break in our safari. On the way to our next camp we stopped at a roadside store to look at the huge selection of African “what-nots”. This shop had no prices on the items. Instead, they wanted to negotiate the price when you were finished shopping. So we did just that. The shop “clerk’ brought us a basket to put our selections in, and them we made our way to the “business counter”. We found a small wooden animal for each grandchild, and then the fun began. The opening price for all items was $135.00; are you nuts? Len’s offer was $20.00. After about 3 different prices from each of them, Len made his final offer. When his $35.00 offer was refused, we said goodbye and started out of the shop. As Len expected, he yelled, “OK, come back!” The offer
The front of the bar was carved out of African ebony wood.
was now good enough and he packed our prize items. Len called this “African EBay” where the buying was as much fun as the shopping. Next, we headed toward Losirwa Camp, our camp for the night. At least we were on a nice, smooth 2 lane road for a change. Then, without warning, Francis slowed down and pulled off the road. He drove through the open land past a local “hut”. He said it was a shortcut that would take us to a trail that led to our camp. It’s amazing how he knows his way around, and Len gets lost using a GPS! Finally, we arrived at the camp--tents, a very nice lodge, and yes, a fairly new pool at the edge of the camp. Dinner was a welcome change from the boxed lunch. We met up with another couple from California that we had befriended at a previous camp. The meal and conversation were enjoyable!