Tanzania
Olbalbal

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8 travelers at this place

  • 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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  • 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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  • Day184

    Campfire!

    May 31, 2016 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Just wanted to share a picture of our campfire tonight. G Adventures focuses on sustainable tourism so worked with the conservation rangers to arrange for us to have this fire tonight on the rim of the Ngorogoro Crater. We've had an excellent week with G Adventures in Tanzania!Read more

  • Day1

    Ngorongoro

    March 20, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Get our Big Offer 2018 with Africa Natural Tours .BOOK NOW. Back-to-top. Contact Information. Email: info@africanaturaltours.com OR: africanaturaltours2008@gmail.com OR: godfreyngaiza@gmail.com. Whatsapp/Wechat +255 653679958 OR: Whatsapp: +255 764415889. Website: www.africanaturaltours.com ,Our packages involve Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Meru, Wildlife Safari such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Culture tourism such as Masai and beach holiday such as Zanzibar.Read more

  • Day7

    Ngorongoro reserve

    October 1, 2016 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Vandaag gaan we DE krater in. Voor de kenners, dit schijnt een van de dichtstbevolkte omgeving qua dieren op de wereld te zijn. En dan denk ik dat ze zoogdieren bedoelen, aangezien de gemiddelde jungle denk ik meer insecten telt gok ik.
    Anyhow we rijden via de rand van de krater de halve krater rond, een lichte domper...we rijden in de mist en het is koud. Sowieso is het hier 's ochtends koud, wie had dat gedacht? Ik niet in ieder geval.
    Aan de andere kant van de krater waar we naar beneden gaan is het weer compleet anders, helder en heet.
    Vanaf hier is het uitzicht "stunning"!
    In het midden van de krater is een half opgedroogd zout meer, om het water is alles wit. Aan de overkant zie je de wolken over de rand komen als een soort van rolwolk, en je kunt kijken zover je ogen kunnen reiken.
    Maar vanaf boven is geen dier te zien...zijn hier zoveel dieren?!?
    beneden aangekomen wemelt het er van de zebra's, buffels en gnoes. Ook de struisvogel valt weer erg op.
    Ik moet eerlijk zeggen dat ik het gevoel heb dat er bij Tarangire NP net zoveel dieren waren. Maar de cijfers zullen wel gelijk hebben :)
    Het mooiste van deze dag was toch wel dat we op een bepaald punt bij leeuwen aankwamen die langs de weg zaten. Aangezien er in deze krater nauwelijks bomen zijn, willen ze elk beetje schaduw pakken die er is...in het geval van een stuk of 10 jeeps...de schaduw van de auto's. Kortom ze zitten op een paar meter met het raampje open ;), er moeten immers wel mooie foto's gemaakt kunnen worden.
    Een keer een dieptepuntje, geen neushoorn gezien vandaag. Maar we mogen (mag blijkbaar niet) niet klagen, de omgeving en de dieren waren schitterend vandaag.
    Next chapter: Serengeti NP
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Olbalbal

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