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Nick and Bec's Big Trip Starting on the 29th of June 2008 Bec and I will be starting a year long adventure, spending 6 months in Africa and another 6 months in South America. It should be lots of fun.

The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area

SWAZILAND | Friday, 19 September 2008 | Views [657]

We are back in Arusha after a 10 day jaunt to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Plus an epic trip up Volcano Lengai, a whopping 2878metre above sea level. The volcano is active, last erupted in April and scared me silly.

The diary extract this time is roughly Day 7 of our safari heading to Lake Natron, a giant soda lake containing thousands of flamingos.

16th September Lake Natron

This morning after breakfast we headed for Lake Natron, a huge soda (alkaline/salt) lake which crosses the Tanzania-Kenya border. We parked the 4WD at the edge of the wet season extremity of the lake and continued across the scorched and cracked earth on foot, heading for the flamingos, greater and lesser, busy feeding in the shallow waters. They are mostly after shrimp. Our guide said they filter over twenty gallons of water per day. They nest on the few rock islands dotted across the lake, giving them safe passage from hyaenas in the wet/breeding season. We climbed one of the rock islands to get a better view of the lake flamingos and distant Lengai volcano.

After contemplating the world we descended our perch and headed back to the truck, jumping across a number of small streams feeding the giant lake. In the distance we noticed many Maasi women and young girls surrounding the safari truck. As we neared their intentions became apparent. They we armed to the teeth with trinkets and kabash water bottles and porcupine quills, all for sale. Bec and I made a bee line for the door, but failed miserably. Bec got pinned to the side of the Landcrusier and I was starting to get swept away. I looked up to see Bec covered in bracelets and struggling to sound "Hapana asante!" convincingly. I was fairing no better and was busy removing bracelets and saying no thankyou to the countless hands trying to place lions teeth necklaces around my neck and give me horn shaped Maasi water bottles. I made a bid for the door and escaped with my wallet unaffected or no lighter. Bec backed in after me, with a groovy bracelet, which cost 500TSh. Our driver asked Bec to shut the door, but the opposite happened as five Maasi women all climbed in, one of them pushing me out of my seat. Our driver sensing the battle was lost allowed two more women in the front seat, only to find another five clinging to the drivers side of the truck.

They wanted a lift back to their boma/village. So we obilged and bounced along the road trying not to loose any of the passengers or spike any with accacia thorns. The journey was extremely noisy with much chattering and demanding to the driver, go this way, not that way, going on. Bec and I laughed all the way back. So we eventually drop them off and they allow us to take a photo for free. Hopefully I'll post the picture sometime.

This afternoon we are off for a short walk to the waterfall, for a swim and cool down, plus resting before the ascent of volcano Lengai.

So that was the entry for the 16th September. I am extremely tired after the volcano climb. It took 10 hours and 25 minutes and was bloody hard. Pretty much straight up a 45-50 degree slope for 6 hours until the top was reached. We started just after midnight.

Tomorrow we leave Arusha and head for Mwanza on the shore of Lake Victoria, heading for Rwanda. I forgot to add the Serengeti was brilliant.

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