Tanzania
Ngorongoro District Council

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  • Day48

    On the road

    February 21 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Secondo giorno!!
    La notte in campeggio come già detto non è stata male!
    La sveglia questa mattina non è stata malvagia, alle 8.30 avevamo la colazione pronta, preparata dal nostro cuoco Pablo e poi via sulla jeep per proseguire il nostro viaggio.
    Oggi non è stato un giorno di safari ma più un viaggio per arrivare al parco nazionale Serengeti con varie tappe in mezzo.
    La prima tappa è stata la vista panoramica sul cratere di ngorongoro dove poi andremo a fare il safari l’ultimo giorno. Veramente emozionante, una vista dall’alto spettacolare. E pensare che dentro il cratere è pieno di animali che vivono la. Incredibile!!!
    Proseguiamo poi andando a prendere le nostre tende nel campsite dove alloggeremo l’ultima sera. Ma recuperiamo le tende così stasera abbiamo dove dormire nel prossimo campeggio. Sosta rapida, oggi fa veramente caldo!

    Risaliamo in macchina, prosegue il viaggio verso Serengeti, entriamo nella riserva di ngorongoro, precisamente la zona abitata dai Masai. Passiamo difianco a questi piccoli villaggi e poi finalmente ci fermiamo in uno. Ovviamente bisognava pagare l’entrata ma ne valeva veramente la pena. Veniamo accolti dal capo villaggio, che ci porta a vedere una danza tipica loro, veniamo coinvolte tutte a ballare. Dopo di che ci porta a vedere l’asilo. Una casetta costruita da fango, escrementi di mucca e un po’ di legno. Come anche tutte le case.
    I bambini erano dentro a fare “scuola” con l’insegnante. Era tutto tranne che una classe, la cosa che mi ha impressionato di più erano questi bimbi con circa 40 mosche sulla loro faccia. Poveri.. io stavo impazzendo non immagino loro. È più un asilo che una scuola, poi quando crescono devono fare 40km tutti i giorni per raggiungere le elementari a ngorongoro.. e vi assicuro che i trasporti non sono minimamente paragonabili alla cutta di Arusha.. figuriamoci all’Europa!
    Ci vengono poi fatte vedere le loro case, impressionante. Molto basse, tanto che io non riuscivo a stare in piedi, tutte costruite con melma,niente luce. Saranno stati 4 metri quadrati di casa con dei buchi dove dormivano. Allucinante... sconvolgente! Impossibile immaginare che le persone nel 2020 vivano ancora in determinate condizioni.. la cosa bella è che si mantengono ancora vecchie culture e tradizioni ma ci sono degli aspetti soprattutto sull’igiene che sono veramente difficili da concepire per noi!
    I Masai uomini possono avere fino a 4 mogli, e la cosa ancora più sorprendente è che le donne costruiscono i villaggi e le case.. gli uomini invece lavorano con il bestiame. I masai sono dei Nomadi, hanno una base fissa ma quando il bestiame deve migrare devono seguire gli animali! Quindi tutto il villaggio si sposta.

    Terminiamo così la nostra visita e devo ammettere che è stato molto interessante, non avevo ancora visto niente di simile! andiamo avanti.. ci fermiamo a fare un pic nic in mezzo al nulla, proprio Into the wild e dopo circa mezz’oretta da la arriviamo all’ingresso di Serengeti!

    Ah dimenticavo per strada abbiamo visto di tutto, zebre, giraffe, antilopi!
    Ma appena messo piede nell’altro parco nazionale il mitico frank ha subito beccato una leonessa dormire tra un cespuglio!
    WOW! Iniziamo più che bene!

    Ormai però si è fatto tardi, proseguiamo verso il camping dove dormiremo stasera. Montiamo le tende, cena e poi a letto!
    Ecco sta notte non è stata proprio piacevole, tranne che abbiamo avuto nuovi compagni durante la notte.. precisamente un leone e una iena! SURREALE!!!
    La sveglia è veramente presto e io avrò dormito circa due ore.. vabbè amen, di tempo per dormire ne ho!
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  • Day8

    Safari dag 2: Ngorongoro Highlands

    November 18, 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    Vanaf vandaag zouden we samen met de Spanjolen en nog twee Duitse meiden op pad gaan. Volle bak dus! Gelukkig konden we wegens Piets lange stelten regelen dat we niet achterin de auto hoefden te zitten: daar paste hij simpelweg niet in. We vertrokken richting de Serengeti, waarbij we door de Ngorongoro highlands reden. Over hobbelige, onverharde en veel te smalle wegen baanden we ons een weg omhoog, en probeerde ik niet te bang te zijn om het ravijn in te vallen, wanneer er weer een veel te grote tegenligger aan kwam. Onze chauffeur was gelukkig een pro. Behalve toen hij ons bij een tussenstop vertelde dat we alle ramen moesten sluiten voor de apen, en de kok vervolgens zelf zijn raam open liet. Binnen 5 min zaten er twee bavianen in de jeep onze lunch te jatten! De natuur was prachtig en veranderde ieder kwartier rijden: van jungle, tot bergen, tot een landschap dat ons deed denken aan de film Skyfall in Schotland. Het letterlijke hoogtepunt was de rand van de krater, waar we over de hele krater konden kijken en zelf dieren konden spotten met de verrekijker. Van daar reden we door de heuvels die steeds vlakker werden tot een soort savanne, tot we op de Serengeti ofwel: eindeloze vlaktes, terecht kwamen. Wat een rit.Read more

  • Day53

    Tanzania Day 13 - Ngorongoro Crater

    September 16 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Another 5.30am start for us today! We camped at a beautiful campsite overlooking the Ngorongoro crater. We weren't alone again and could clearly see buffalo and Zebras grazing between our tents once it was dark!

    Rocky (our guide) explained to us that the crater is actually a caldera (a collapsed volcano). We watched the sunset over the cliffs as we descended down the caldera.

    As always, the wildlife didn't disappoint! We saw jackells, wilderbeast, buffalo and sea of beautiful Zebras all looking like a they had been carefully and intricately painted! We saw at least 30 baboons all running from one tree to another, following the next ever so carefully!

    We had been driving for maybe 3 hours and it was time for a convenient toilet break at the parks public toilets. Just before we arrived, Rocky received a call on his radio and told us he had a surprise for us. Surprise > toilet break so we told Rocky were were okay and he put his foot down to get us somewhere special.....
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  • Day442

    Colonialism

    January 12 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The Datoga were Nilo-Hamitic speaking pastoralists, who lived in this area more than 300 years ago, were displaced by the Maasai. Now there are around 42,200 Maasai living in the Ngorogoro Conservation Area, living off the flocks of cattle, donkeys, goats, sheep and selling honey to gawpers. During the rains they move out on to the open plains; in the dry season they move into the adjacent woodlands and mountain slopes. They may range wherever they like, but are forbidden to live or cultivate in the crater.
    This is a traditional Masai boma (fortified house) providing shelter for humans and animals against 4 legged predators rather than 2 legged ones.
    Running out of time now we returned to the park entrance. My pleas to visit the ruins at Engaruka resulted in numerous Swahili phone calls and eventually I discovered that Bakari had been released and the drivers would swap on the road. Again, my requests to go to Engaruka resulted in more Swahili phone calls and we continued along the road at 40 to 50 kph. By the time we got to the turn off for the ancient ruins there was an hour of daylight left and it was 55 km down a dirt road to the site. He told me it would take 2 hours to get there and I knew he would make it so if I insisted so I didn't.
    So, I only saw half of what I paid to see. But Shika tours refunded half the amount I paid which was good.
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  • Day442

    Make no bones about it

    January 12 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Yes, I know: we've seen it before in "2001: A Space Odyssey". Oldupai is the location of the first monolith in Arthur C. Clarke’s masterpiece. It is over 30 miles long and 295 feet deep. Oldupai is the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant Sansevieria ehrenbergii, shown at the bottom of the photo.
    Five different layers of rock can be seen quite clearly, and different types of hominoid have been found in each. Australopithecus Zinjanthropus (Boisei), Australopithecus Afarensis (like Lucy) , Homo Habilis, Homo Sapiens and Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
    When around 1930 the Leakeys discovered the remains of a 1.8 million year old skeleton of Australopithecus, (now renamed Paranthropus,) boisei, he became known as the Nutcracker Man, why I cannot tell. But his significance as one of the distinct links in the human evolutionary chain has ensured that this site has been excavated and researched since then, revealing an abundance of fossils spanning 5 million years and also a huge collection of stone tools, known as Oldowan, whose dispersion around the world has provided many clues to our species evolution.
    A few years later, Mrs L stumbled across a complete set of footprints preserved in ash estimated to be over 3.7 million years old. They are believed to have belonged to our ancestor Australopithecus afarensis, proving that hominid species walked on two legs during the Pliocene era, some 3.7 million years ago. They are still there, at Laetoli, but apparently covered from view: these are plaster casts.
    My loquacious guide insisted I photograph this bone left conveniently for tourists to photograph. But in fact, wherever you wander there are bone fragments to be found. Paleoecologists have determined that there was a spring and nearby forest nearby, explaining the abundance of eaten animal bones and explaining why it was such a good factory site.
    Alas, most of the museum displays are resin casts of the originals which appear to be kept in museums around the world. For their own protection of course. That does not take away from the experience of walking through such a significant place in the human story.
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  • Day442

    Barkan in the wind

    January 12 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Heading out from the Gorge we encountered concrete mile-stones marking the progress of one particular sand dune over the years. Actually, more of like 17m-stones, since that is the average distance moved annually since 1969. It is about 9m high and 100m along its curve.
    The local Maasai believe the black sands originated from Ol Doinyo Lengai or “Mountain of God”, an ex-volcano which is just visible on the horizon.
    An significant peculiarity is that the sand has a very high iron content and has become magnetised. The compulsory tour guide insists on chucking handfuls up to prove that it prefers to clump and drop rather than be dispersed by the wind. Unfortunately, thanks to the mornings rainfall, the sand is saturated and really solid underfoot; my footsteps on the dune leave no imprint. So the animated demonstration merely proved to me that mud drops in the wind.
    This type of dune is called a barchan or barkan and is begun by sand clumping around a stone as it is blown by the wind which comes predominantly from the East. Sand grains are blown up the gentle, windward slope in the usual way, but instead of flying through the air like spume off a wave, tumbles down the leading edge owing to each grains affection for its neighbour - magnetic attraction. As they are blown up, gravity tempts them to take a less vertical line. Over time this results in more sand on the sides than in the centre and thus the crescent shape.
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  • Day35

    Day 35: Inside Ngorongoro Crater

    March 8, 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We have left Serengeti, but before we went back “home” to Arusha, we went for another game drive - this time we actually drove into the crater 🗻

    Inside the crater you find a whole new ecosystem with thousands of animals, beautiful lakes and green fields. It kind of reminds me of the kids movie “The land before time” where the dinosaurs were looking for the The Great Valley 🌿🌱

    See for yourself ...
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  • Day442

    Critters at large

    January 12 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We didn't descend into the crater but skirted the side and travelled along the road to the Leakey Museum over the plains that eventually become the Serengeti Park.
    Our passage was interrupted by herds of beasts roaming around. Zebras munching contentedly by the roadside and giraffes blocking the road. Mr. Thompson appears to have abandoned his gazelles who seemed happy with their freedom. And of course, the stupid wildebeest who when startled form columns to canter away.Read more

  • Day87

    Ngorongoro

    August 1, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    When visiting the Ngorogoro Conservation Area, you pay a hefty sum and have exactly 24 hours once you go through the gate before you must exit or pay another day’s fees. We decided to enter mid-morning, so we wouldn’t have to drive in the dark to get out on time the next day.
    We headed up the side of the Ngorogoro crater through dense tropical forest until we reached the crater rim. It was cold and foggy, but we were able to catch glimpses of the crater floor below. There is one road for descents and another for ascents, so after picking up a guide (mandatory if entering as a private vehicle) we drove down into the crater.
    As a conservation area, the local Masai are still able to live and graze their livestock in the park alongside the indigenous wildlife. Our guide was a young Masai from a nearby village and he helped us to navigate the roads, gave some info on wildlife and shared some of his experience with Masai customs and culture -- including the ongoing practice of polygamy. According to his explanation, marriage is not a matter of love or ‘leisure’, but just a means of produce more kids to take care of the livestock (if they’re boys) or garner dowry cows to add to the herd (if they’re girls). We learned cows are worth ~$300 each and that a typical marriage price is 6-10 cows.
    The crater is an amazing, beautiful, and unique environment. Because of the steep walls, it’s difficult for the animals to leave, and as there is water and plenty to eat, most stay within the confines of crater. The crater floor is teeming with life. We saw thousands of grazers (zebra, wildebeest and gazelle) as well as many hyena, lions, elephant and hippos. It’s also teeming with humans. The safari business is HUGE here. There are hundreds of safari vehicles everywhere and it is impossible to escape the masses. The unfortunate thing is that even though millions of dollars are collected in fees everyday by the park service, we noticed the maintenance of the park is pretty poor. Roads are almost impassable in places, and dangerous in others, and basic facilities are lacking; a lot of money is being collected, but we are not at all sure where it is going? Hmmm…
    We camped on the edge of the rim and enjoyed an elephant visiting while we sipped our G&Ts and also watching zebra running around nearby. It was very cold at night at about 2300meters, so we went to bed early.
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  • Day21

    Ngorongoro Krater

    March 6 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Der Ngorongoro Krater (Ngorongoro = Kuhglocke) ist landschaftlich sehr beeindruckend und vielfältig.
    Ein letzter Tag Safari steht an und die wahrscheinlich beeindruckendste Situation, die wir bisher beobachten durften!
    Wir sehen 3 männliche Löwen, die um ein Weibchen kämpfen und sich anschließend paaren. Alles direkt vor unserer Nase.
    Nachmittags geht es zurück nach Arusha und wir planen die nächsten zwei Tage.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro District Council

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