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Published: September 17th 2018
Tanzania day 9
Ngorongoro completes the Big Five with a live sex show
If the Ngorongoro crater was in Stoke they would have filled it in by now and then run out of money and left it as waste ground. Thankfully councils are more forward thinking in Tanzania and this jaw-dropping spectacle is there still. This collapsed volcano should surely be one of the natural wonders of the world just for the amount of animals and species it holds.
Most animals here don’t leave because they don’t need to. The cat food has grass and water and the cats have, well, plenty of cat food.
We rose at 5am not having had another elephant in the camp...or had our tent flattened by one... Coffee was ready and then breakfast ready for our 6am departure....at 6:11. Not too bad. We drove a short way and then began our descent down a bumpy road to the crater floor arriving at about 6:30 as this checkpoint was blissfully quick. Nearly forgot, we’d stopped to watch the sun rise over the crater on the way down.
Soon after hitting the floor a lion was spotted, and another, then another, then a serval....and
then six more lions. The serval decided that hanging around nine lions was a bad idea and ran off. We decided that nine lions walking past in a procession was a pretty good way to start the day. And our first wild serval of course.
There aren’t many trees on the crater floor, as they don’t start until you reach the edges, so there aren’t many places for animals to hide. Keeping distant from the road works of course as vehicles do stick to them. I was worried that the crater would be overrun with jeeps now but thankfully this is not the case, in fact you can be alone for some time.
Apart from gazelles, wildebeest and some distant elephants I think the next animals we saw were some hyenas of which we saw quite a few this morning. The highlight was one walking right alongside our vehicle for quite some time.
Then Bori spotted something he’d never seen before....rhinos having sex! We hurtled towards them but they were just uncoupling before we had chance to take any photos. They had a youngster with them so doing it in front of your kids must be okay in rhino culture....or
maybe it was a sex lesson? Either way even Bori was pleased to have seen something so rare and was laughing later because none of the other drivers believed we had seen it.
And with that the Big Five was complete for this trip as we have now seen them all; result!
We saw some more lions including an adult male actually standing up. It was while he was drinking from a stream that Claire’s memory card decided to announce that it was full. Claire wasn’t happy. It could have been worse if she didn’t have a spare!
We also saw three baby jackals, some foxes, zebra, gazelles, buffalo, one monkey, warthogs and hippos both in and out of the water-a couple were actually standing up! We also some birds and some were actually quite interesting....weird eh... There were ostriches of course, flamingoes, pelicans, crowned crane, a fishing eagle, a heron, some yellow birds, a huge colourful stork thing and some others that I will never go to the trouble of identifying. Thee were a lot anyway and probably fascinating if you’re into that sort of thing.
Claire’s last wish was to get a closer shot of a leopard but
sadly this was not to be as we haven’t seen one today. We began our climb out of the crater at 10am having had a fantastic time down there but wishing we could have more. The Hungarians have a plane to catch later though so we have to get them back in time for that.
Molisi had packed up our tents by the time we got back and they would be ready for the next poor sods who try to put them together. They were fine once built but putting together a tent with solid metal poles most of which were different lengths and no indication of which should be where was quite a challenge each time. One tent had had a pole broken so it ended up being fastened down last night by some string tied to a rock. It lasted the night though but I can’t help thinking it would have been the first to go if an elephant had come back. Mind you if I was an elephant I would have headed for the tents that had real beds in them as they were a bit poncey to say the least.
We are now on our way
back to Arusha and our six day tour is nearly over. It has been incredible to say the least and we have some memories that I’m sure we will be boring people with stories of for many years to come. We have had some great travelling companions who haven’t wound me up in the slightest. We’ve even just given them links to our blogs as I have nothing bad to say about them. Not often it’s safe for me to do that as frequent readers know.
Lunch was taken back at Panorama camp near Lake Manyara. The Hungarians collected the cold weather gear they had left there and we presented our guide with tips for him and our chef. Three different currencies and going on Lonely Planet guidelines so hope it’s enough. Both have done a great job and helped make this such a great trip. Apologies to anyone if I have your name wrong-I thi. nk it’s Uri but Claire says Rudy....
We eventually arrived in Arusha and parted ways with our companions. Bori and Molisi then drove us to our accommodation for the next two nights, Hekima House. It is probably called this because you have a hek
of a job to find it but it has a 9/10 on booking.com so it’s worth the search.
Apart from the location it is the best place we’ve stayed in here so far-it even has a tepid shower! The wifi works and I’m trying to catch up on uploading my blogs. We went for a walk to an overly named ‘super’market and bought a few things to have for tea back at our accommodation. A relaxing evening ensued after attempting to get rid of six days of dust.
Tot: 2.526s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 13; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0495s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb