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Day 13: Ngorongoro

July 13, 2009

We started out headed for the Ngorongoro crater this morning and went on a morning game drive on the way while still in the Serengeti. The first thing we saw was 25-50 zebras in the watering hole. They were so funny. They would all go in the water until they heard a noise and then they would all gallop out of the water and stare at us, then they would go back in and two minutes later run out again. We watched this for 30 minutes, it was hilarious.

 

Moving on, we came upon a male lion, which is not very common. Our guide got us a car length from him and he woke him up and we were able to get some amazing shots of him. We were not all convinced that we didn't look appetizing to him, so a tad leery. This was followed by a few hours’ drive to the gorgeous lodge on the rim of the crater. On the way we stopped at the Olduvai Museum in the Masai country. They believe this may be the cradle of humanity. We looked at the work done by Louis and Mary Leaky, who spent 53 years there doing excavations. Some of the human bones they found were 3.3 million years old, the same age as “Lucy,” who was thought to be the oldest person ever found (in Ethiopia). This excavation site and little museum were in the middle of Masai country, desert for miles.

 

The Masai children, with shaved heads (to prevent lice) and dressed in bright red robes, chase the trucks trying to get us to buy trinkets. Like the native Americans, the government took all their land away and made it a national preserve and park. What has been left for grazing is little, although they are allowed to bring their herds down in the crater during the day. We pass their villages put together with cow dung and straw, little tiny kids out in the fields tending the herds.

 

The lodge is beautiful, the nicest place we have stayed in. Every room has a view of the crater; the water is hot, real bathtubs and towels. Once again, there is an evening buffet and music with lots of South African wine and we exchange stories with the other guests before we go to bed. Electricity is off from midnight until 5:00am and it’s very dark. There is no city for hundreds of miles, just all of us animals of all kinds and shapes.

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