Marlin Perkins has got NOTHING on me!

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Where I stayed
Paradise Camp

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Linos, Hippos, Elephants, Ostrich, Wildebeast, Flamingo, Cheetah... yes.. thats just a partial list of what I saw today on my very first Safari.

Now let me back up and explain.. up at 4:45am today so that we can organize our breakfast and get out to the Land Rover and into the Ngorogoro Crater. What is the crater? Well, it is a massive caldera, or collapsed volcano. A huge area with a big lake at the bottom surrounded by a large circular mountain ridge.

As we climb into the Range Rover, the weather is iffy.. misty and grey.. and OMG its EARLY! I don't get up this early for work and now I"m doing it on vacation.. well it should be worth it was my thought and I was indeed treated to a show. At the entrance to the park a small show of monkey's keeps us entertained while our guide, China (pronounced Chin-Ahh), pays our entrance fee to the park.

Once in we start winding up the outside of the crater seeing absolutely nothing but fog and rain .. visibility 10 feet at best. He tells us at one point there is a fabulous view of the crater floor from here but we see NOTHING.. I'm starting to get the impression I'm going to be shut out on this one.

But as we finally start winding our way down the rater we fall below the clouds and the crater is there.. MASSIVE.. a huge lake in the middle.. and I can already see a huge heard of .. well SOMETHING down across the floor.. turns out to be Wildebeast when I get down there.

In the Rover with me are Geraldine and Sander from Belgium doing volunteer work, Chante from Australia, traveling the whole continent after working on shark boat in South Africa, and Veronique, a French Canadian on holiday before she goes back to school to work on her PhD in Speech Science.

As the day moves on, the sun comes out and the clouds burn off. If you'll refer back to the beginning of this post, you'll get a list of the animals we saw. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves but truly an amazing experience.

The only down side was the mass number of OTHER range rovers in the crater with us. It felt a lot like a zoo at times whenever something interesting was found 10 other trucks were soon there surrounding whatever it was you were looking at. Very Jurrasic Park like was the feeling.. but it only detracted a small bit from the overall experience.
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Melissa on

Although, I would have LOVED the safari, I'm absolutely happy to have experienced it vicarously through you, due to the hell you went through getting there. The animals are beautiful and how close you were was amazing...Wow!!

robert & kristin on

can we come be your assistants? we're good with animals, good with the unexpected, and love you dearly! Seriously.... we are inspired and in awe of your high adventures. give africa, and all the lovely creatures our love. we toast to you -- grapes are purple and beautiful here! love you!

Dan & Irene on

Wow....what an adventure thus far. We always say you either have a good time, or a good story (very seldom both). I'd put your Tanzania bus ride in the good story category! And gas explosions and body parts by your ear...really? That may have done me in. Know that we are rooting for you from afar and thrilled to see your Michigan hat grace your photos. It's a beautiful thing. Carpe diem! ( "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future").

Ah-Weem-Bo-Whup_Ah-Weem-Bo-Whup on

Bill!!! Did you hear?! You don't have to play those nasty buckeyes no more! (for ranking) A little news from home. If that lioness had just looked up, the M would have been RIGHT THERE! Drat it all. Still, glad you didn't try to get your hand closer, otherwise there might have been a great shot of the M hat (and possibly your hand to the wrist) dangling out of her mouth! The crater is beautiful! And the zebra obviously aren't hurting for food! Question? Your accommodations for the night, was it in a fenced area or on the outside of the crater? I'd be scared to sleep in something so flimsy knowing what was out there! David loves the Lion shot and says he can see the lion considering things. How far do I have to jump to get that? Specifically. Hah! I think the lion looks like he's mugging for the camera! Can't wait to read post #2! Keep safe! (and whole) Jessica

Mombossbe on

What pretty eyes "kittty" has! Always wanted go on a safari. Now I am!

gino on

Oh this would be the time for my camera-wish you had taken it with you.

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