Going to Ngorongoro

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
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Trip End Nov 28, 2012


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Farewell, Serengeti! We'll miss you!

Retracing our tracks through the national park, we were lucky to spy more lions, including an old man lion on his way to a watering hole for a drink, and many more wildebeest!  One of the highlights of the day was to spot a Northern black rhino, which is on the brink of extinction, in the distance, The story is that it had escaped from a conservation area and the rangers were on their way to round it up and return it to its safer home.  At any rate, it was a thrill for us!
Wanderer2 is an Ancient History specialist and it was his wish to visit  Olduvai Gorge , one of the most significant anthropological sites in the world.  It was here that evidence of the fist humanoids were discovered.The time span of objects unearthed here date from about 2 million years ago and the fossil remains of several hominids have been found here.  These include a 1.8 million year old skull found by Mary Leakey in 1959 and the famed "Lucy" skeleton discovered in 1974.  Apparently the Beatles song "Lucy In The Skies' was playing on the radio when it was found!  Although the gorge was not officially part of our tour, and there were no excavations taking place at this time, our travelling companions decided to not go to another Masai village and eat our picnic lunches at the gorge, so W2 could enjoy a visit to the small museum.
Then it was on to the famed Ngorongoro Crater (I have always been fascinated by the name!) and our accommodation perched atop the rim.  Because of the altitude, for the first time on our safari, we didn't have to worry about mosquitoes or tsetse flies. ( Every place we stayed up to now had mozzie nets which were opened up over our beds while we were at dinner each evening.)  I have often mused at where one might find the perfect climate!  My thoughts would be an equatorial location with altitude, where there would be constant, but temperate, temperatures.  At 2400 metres above sea level, could this be it?  The highest point in Australia, Mount Kosciusko, is only 2228 metres. What a lovely place to stay, despite the uphill trek to the dining room!  We had panoramic views of the crater from our room.  While enjoying the sunset, we were a bit startled to see a Masai herdsman walk by just outside our window.  We then thought perhaps the tinkling of bells could herald an ice cream van, but alas, it was just a cow grazing on the lawn by our door.  A different kind of dairy product!
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