7th Day--Olduvai Gorge and Ngorongoro Rim


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Africa » Tanzania » North » Olduvai Gorge
October 19th 2010
Published: October 19th 2010
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Warthog mom and babiesWarthog mom and babiesWarthog mom and babies

When they run their tales stand straight up, and they're really funny!
Seventh Day--Olduvai Gorge and Ngorongoro Rim

We drove back through the Serengeti and saw many animals along the way. The best sighting was a cheetah at the bottom of a kopje on the south end of the park. During a stop at the Visitor Center we saw lots of hydraxes. They look kind of like guinea pigs on steroids, and they aren’t at all afraid of people. The next couple of hours were spent on that awful gravel washboard road that bounced us around 2 days ago. We continued to see ostriches, antelope, and gazelle. When we left the park we started seeing Maasai herds again. They’re not allowed to graze in the park, but outside of the park is open country for them. Olduvai Gorge was our next stop, and at one point Francis left the road and started driving cross-country telling us it was a shortcut. There were no signs or landmarks, and we were always amazed that he knew how to leave the trails and still end up at our intended destination. Olduvai Gorge is known as the “birthplace of humans”. The geology of the gorge has preserved 2 million years of animal and human evolution. In the 1970’s archaeologists found skeletons and fossils of several types of humanoids that lived 1-2 millions years ago. Research continues at this site several months each year. There was a small museum with amazing fossils and even footprints. When we left the gorge it was only about an hour drive to Ngorongoro Serena Lodge where we spent a very welcome luxurious night. It’s made of rocks and was built in 1996 right on the rim of the crater, one of the 8 natural wonders of the world. Every room has a balcony overlooking Ngorongoro Crater, so we spent time on the balcony with our binoculars. There was a large bar/lounge that reminded us of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. A group of 6 young men played music on handmade drums and marimba. At one point they cleared an area and did a very entertaining acrobatic show. It was hard to imagine that his beautiful lodge could have been built at an elevation over 7000 feet with only a narrow dirt road for transportation. It was very cool at that altitude, so we opened the balcony door and slept like 2 little wart hogs!



Additional photos below
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JackalJackal
Jackal

They look kind of like coyotes
HippoHippo
Hippo

Most of them stay in the water during the daytime and graze at night. Apparently, no one told this guy the rule.
Serena LodgeSerena Lodge
Serena Lodge

It's built into the side of the rim and looks like a home for Hobbits! This picture is taken from the side of our balcony.
CraterCrater
Crater

This was the view of the Ngorongoro Crater from our balcony.


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