neil posted in Travel, Neil, Tanzania on April 24th, 2007
The tents are down, the submerged hippos are staying that way and we are getting our tails back to the rim of the Ngorogoro crater. (Casting our minds back to the Africa trip)
The drive is fast and dusty. A few kilometers short of the migration we meet our first lions. Not the sea lions we were promised but three females, two of whom were heavily pregnant. They sat ignoring us in the sun before slinking off into the long grass.
The wildebeest herd is still practicing its river crossing technique on the road, playing chicken with our land cruisers. We drive around the vehicle ahead and are blocked by kamikaze ‘beests. Perceiving this as cutting them up the car behind swerves violently around us and back in front, very close to the torrent of follow-the-leader animals.
We head on, opting out of seeing the Olduvai Gorge (where footprints of early hominids have been found) and declining to pay the Maasai $10 to see one of their villages (tourist trap in every sense of the word). Just short of camp we get lucky and see two bull elephants grazing. It is a welcome sight but a sobering one. We are glad to see armed rangers at the gate. No-one wants to wake up to a rampaging bull elephant.
More insidious intruders are the bush pigs. Food is banned from our tents, as is toothpaste. All the same there are loud snuffling noises outside our tents after dark. I show Omari the Leopard shot and he smiles and asks if I got the Impala porn too. “Of course….”
A very early morning allows us to enjoy a beautiful sunrise while Omari tinkers with the land cruiser. It transpires he has only driven safaris for three months. Before this he was a mechanic. This is very reassuring and he is a top-notch safari guide to boot. A fact we appreciate all the more as we descend into the Ngorogoro crater.