Marlin Perkins has got NOTHING on me!
Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
40Trip End Oct 14, 2010
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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.