Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater

Trip Start Jun 04, 2006
Trip End Nov 04, 2007

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Monday, July 24, 2006

If someone was to ask me how was Africa? the first thing that would have to come to my mind would be it was bumpy! The roads here are ridiculously bumpy. And being on a huge bus doesn't exactly help either! :) sometimes you are really flying in the air!

Serengeti covers 14763 sq km and is the country's most famous park. On endless and almost treeless plains are literally millins of hoofed animals. The Wilderbeest is the chief herbivore and the main prey of the large predators. They are also famous for their yearly migration pattern. Ngorongoro conservation area joins up with the Serengeti and is famous for its crater. It is an incredible 20 km wide volcanic crater with 600m walls packed with just about all East Africa's wildlife species. There are no giraffe in the crater as the sides are too steep for them; there are also no female elephants. In the crater is a soda called Migadi, which has usually got flamingos present. Animals do move in and out of the crater but most dtay there due to the good grazing and good hunting.

Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are the essence of Africa, wide-open plains and prolific wildlife! Massive herds wilderbeast and Zabra migrate annually on these plains. We had missed the migration season and sadly we didn't even catch the end of it, but none the less, we have seen the big five and many of the animals. This morning we woke up at 5:15 and had a quick breakfast, which is usually toast/bread, baked beans and eggs and later on, during the trip we even had cereals and nutella! We left the campsite about 6:15. The name of the campsite was Seronera campsite. It was very beautiful. It is a wild campsite, so any of the animals can literally walk up to your tent. No food is allowed in the tents and you are even restricted on the use of the toilets and are not allowed outside of your tents at night! :( not good for those of us with weak bladders.

We left the campsite in the search of the big five, and what a great day it was. Our game drive started with seeng a lioness, approaching the buffalos. There was no kills. Buffalos are practically untouchable. We then saw a group of 6 lionesses near the lake. We saw geraffs and more buffalos and many anthelops such as Thompson Gazal, topi, grant's gazal, wilderbeest, impallas, zebras, lions and a cheetah.

The most amazing thing to see was the cheetah on a kill. This happened at the last hour of our game drive. We saw a herd of Gazales running and the thought that immediately went through your head, was that there must be a predator on the chase. And there was a cheetah. It was unreal and so quick, that by the time you got the camera out he had the prey in his mouth and was standing to make sure the coast was clear of any scavengers and he found a spot right by the tree and had his lunch! I managed to get some snapshots of him carrying the gazal.

We also saw a lion and a lioness mate on the day which is also another interesting thing to see. I am telling you the whole day was like an episode out of a documentary programme on TV. They mate every 20 minutes, which when you are waiting to see it happen feels like 20 hours! And it only last for a few seconds! 3 to be precise! :)

We also saw many hippos and storks. The nature in Serengeti is undoubtedly the most spectacular I have ever seen. For me I thought Savo in Kenya was great, but this is unreal!

From Serengeti we went to a place called Oldupai or olduvai (as it was mis spelled by the first excevator). This is the oldest hominid place. The oldest homoerectum which homosepians are decendent of is found in Asia. This was the fist sign of migration to Africa. The oldest bone was found in East Africa. There are a set of foot prints, which now they are covered, to stop them from neing spoiled. Quite impressive.

The night at the campsite was freezing! I can't believe how the temperatures can drop in such places. Steve went and had a shower and told me and another girl called Larissa, that the water was steaming hot, and that he spent 30 minutes under it! Of course when we went it was cold! We even went to the men's showers (as there was no one there) to see if it made a difference, but no luck! Steve was not very popular with us two that night! :)

The second day at the Serengeti was spent looking at more animals and going into the Ngorongo crater. It is an spectacular site and you can see from the pictures. That night we stayed at Simba campsite. On that second day we saw a large group of 13 lions and lionesses and their cubs lying in the side of the road and resting. Beautiful pictures. But we were also very upset by the number of cars present and the amount of disturbance they created for these animals. At one point we were told by another group of ours, that the lions were practically underneath the cars, and strictly speaking the park rangers are suppose to do something about that. They are suppose to stop the cars from spending more than 10 minutes at each spot which was clearly not happening and there were cars, parked there for at least 20 minutes! Our driver was not happy at all!
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