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Safarri Day 3 Ngorogoro

TANZANIA | Sunday, 25 November 2007 | Views [781]

day 3
2 lion prides
crowned crane
elusive black rhino endangered only 17 in park
cape buffalo
maasai giraffe
several lazy and bloody hyenas
agreesive black kite's
cherval cat
jackals both kinds
greater `and lesser flamingos
one sucicidal cape buffalo
warthog with tiny babies

This morning we left Ndutu and headed thru the Serengeti for Ngorogoro. The road was dry and the land wide open. The Serengeti is clodes to the Maasai so no cows or goats, just wild animals. We came across a kill, the vultures alerted us, as they do the jackals and hyenas. We drove off road and found a hyena with a fresh kill, he was all bloody and ripping into it,hyenas eat everything. He had a young Thompson's gazelle and we could hear him crunching the bones and breaking them with his teeth. As he ate jackals tried to sneak in and grab a bite here and there, with little luck as he snarled and pulled his prize away,poor jackals,they get not much as all the vultures are second in line. There are about 35 or 40 maybe more vultures of all kinds, at least 3 different species of vulture waiting, when the hyena pulled the kill to a new area they found the stomach left behind and within seconds and blood flying everywhere it was gone, completely. Another hyena appears and the one steps back and lets the 2nd feed, whole head in the body cavity of the gazelle, head comes back out bright red....hyenas eat until they are tired,they do not get full, only tired. On we go.

As we packed this morning I stood by the landrover and kicked the back passanger side wheel and marveled that the tires must be made of steel as I could not imagine they did not puncture with the complete beating they take on the roads here, you feel like your insides are shaken to the core and don't stop bumping around for like 1/2 hour after getting out!!! Anyway I mention this as when we arrived in the Ngrogoro crater and headed down the steep road from the rim we stopped close to the bottom to mark our territory,aka pee and Brenda noticed w1e had a flat....guess which tire.....
a couple Maasai warriors stopped to watch as Chui had to figure out how to change this tire on a hill and rutted road. We were able to borrow the maasai spear to dig a hole to get the tire off...and again we are back on the road after I apologize to everyone,especially Chui for my doing!!

The Ngorogoro crater's floor is filled with life,these are all the resident animals of the crater,in another couple weeks when the rains begin the migration will arrive and the crater will be filled to capacity with new and different animals. We are lucky enough as we see the elusive Serval cat...rarely sited. Zebras, Wildebeest,cape buffalo, flamingos and birds are plentiful,crossing and stopping traffic,we had a showdown in the road with a pregnant zebra...she would not move!!!

We were on the hunt for the endangered black rhino,there are 17 that reside in the crater,however they are rarely seen, we did find one laying in the grass very far away that looked more like a rock than a rhino,we left to have lunch and check to see if he woke up later. We head to the picnic place and see some elephants and are alerted to lions...males...so head that way,as we arrive several vehicles pull away and tell us there had just been a kill and we had missed it,we stay to see the 2 prides...2 large males,several females and cubs...pretty far off but still visible...suddenly Chui says watch this...2 cape buffalo are coming in from the north, the one has his head down and is mooing or whatever they do and heading toward the lions...Chui tells us he is going to go right up to the female, poised up on a mound and that the female will get up and run away, sure enough he heads straight at her, seeming quite pissed,apparently because they had killed one of the buffalo a little bit before and he wanted them gone...so he disrupts her and he moves on over to one of the males...he also gets up and moves, then the stupid suicidal buffalo continues over to where the cubs are, well that did it, big mistake...he is chased toward the rest of the pride and pounced on by one of the females....she grabs on to his backside one paw on each hip, he screams and starts swinging around in a circle, she holds on and is swung around with her feet off the ground, he tries to shake her and she holds on...the rest of the pride gathers round...we are cheering for them to help,silently as we are all so amazed by what is transpiring before us...Brenda will have a few holy shit's on her video of the event as she was standing next to me....All of a sudden big daddy joins in to help the lioness and he pounces and is on top of the buffalo's back, standing and with a huge amount of buffalo screaming the rest of the pride join in and he goes down......and they all join in ....sadly the other buffalo turns and hurriedly walks away as the lions feast......WOW!!!! Chui is amazed!!! , he explains how rare that is to witness and calls some friends and conveys the story in swahili. AMAZING!!!!!

So we head to lunch....we eat at a park filled with safari vehichles surrounding a hippo pond, beautiful setting. So we get out with our lunch boxes and Chui says no, we have to eat in the vehicle, why,the black kites...big birds..circling in the air....Well Marcia and Brenda had already headed over to a clump near the pond and seemed unconcerned by the warnings, me I believe Chui but don't want to get in the vehicle so I sit on the ground in front of it....as I sit and sover my food three little yellow birds fly in my face and on my box....I cover and sneak bites....I watch as a large black bird dive bombs marcia and snatches her sandwich from her hand, she looks around stunned, and presto, just as fast Brenda's is snatched...too funny to see, they look so bewildered...up they get heading for the vehicle before they loose the whole meal.....the guides in the next vehicle are lying on the ground under the vehicle eating...we get in the car and the black kites stay away but the various yellow birds are all over the car watching and flying in for scraps...crazy!!!!

Back on the hunt for the rhino...We stop to watch some elephants in the grass...and then a warthog family with young babies, tails in the air proudly!!!! soo cute.....We spend much of the afternoon on the hunt...nothing

Then, as we decide to head up the rim to Sopa Lodge, Chui grabs the binoculars as we are surrounded by a huge herd od wildebeest, zebras and buffalo and there it is...he finds it...THE BLACK RHINO!!! It is far off but as we wait it wanders closer and closer...amazing...Chui is a great guide...he knows the animals,their habits and he can spot them from far far away....very cool way to end our day!!!!!

We head up the road out the other side of the crater, we have to be out of the park before 6pm, The Sopa Lodge where we will stay tonight is perched on the rim of the crater looking west for the most amazing sunset...... The lodge is beautiful, we are met at the door with warm towels and juice and we wipe down all the dust and dirt. The glass windows overlook a pool and the crater, gorgeous, there are 2 large round buildings with thatched roofs and all glass, outside they are lined by lounge chaire to have a cocktail and watch the sunset...and so I did....

Our room is a round hut, very large...my first queen bed in a while and all for me....There is a solarium of all glass with 2 rocking chairs overlooking the crater. Dinner was lovely and we were met by a security guard to walk us to our room, I laughed and asked why, he said for my protection from leopards and buffalo, I laughed and said oh really, he proceeded to walk me over to the ledge by the pool and show me a huge cape buffalo standing there!!!! ok..but I told him we had been looking for the leopard so if he saw one to be sure and let me know!!!

Tags: Adventures

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