]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo Cra

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]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo Cra

Postby jgh » Feb 24, 2014 3:01 pm

Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga Episode 18 Project Zawadi safari Day 2 Ngorongoro Crater

(Apropos of nothing… an excerpt from a typical Idiots’ conversation)

Idiot He: "Why?! Why did you do that?!!!"
Idiot She: “Why do you always ask such stupid questions?!”
Idiot He: “What part of ‘rhetorical question’ didn’t you get?!”
Idiot She: “Why do you always try to change the subject?!”

The Idiots were just reading the first draft of this day’s account, chock-full of interesting science and details… and realized it’s a bad sign when one is bored by one’s own writing. Heavy redaction is called for!

Quick(er) intro:

The Great Rift made a bunch of volcanoes. Ngorongoro Conservation Area protects a large area including the amazingly beautiful Ngorongoro Crater. The main road across northern Tanzania climbs the forested eastern slopes, circles about a third of the way around the crater on its rim, then drops down to the west to the Serengeti.

The crater is a unique safari destination. The walls form a “bowl” with a large flat bottom where mixed wildlife (all the major safari animals except giraffes) provide scene after scene of extraordinary beauty. When national parks are created, all the native peoples are kicked off the land. As a conservation area, Maasai people continue to live and herd cattle amidst the wildlife.

Get to the pictures already!

Climbing the eastern slopes…

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Like opening the curtains to a great stage set – a viewpoint on the rim reveals the glories of the crater. Distant details and wildlife on the crater floor are surprisingly clear with binoculars and telephoto lenses.


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Into the crater – the descent road…


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The short rains turn the crater into 50 Shades of Green (hmmm… good book title?) and acres of grasses and flowers. Large herds of zebra, buffalo, and wildebeest get fat on the lush grasses.


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Here and there, Maasai herdsmen (often herdsboys) graze cattle amidst the daily pageant of predators and prey on the crater floor.


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The young animals were acting like kids in Spring… running and playing and bugging each other. A pregnant zebra watched a couple of young one - you could almost hear her saying “That’s perfectly fine – until one of you puts an eye out!”


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With all the green and play and pastoral peacefulness, it’s easy to forget that Ngorongoro Crater also supports lots of lions and cheetahs and a few hard to find leopards. Throw in plenty of hyenas and jackals and assorted small predators and you’ve got an excellent reason for the browsers to remain vigilant. The white accents among the grasses are sometimes flowers… but they are often scatterings of bones from the neverending “Circle of Life” saga acted out each day.


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The zebra herds contained many pregnant females… and lots of mamas taking care of young ones…


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Part of the fun of Ngorongoro crater is the mixing of species… one can stop almost anywhere and watch many different animals and behaviors.


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A generation or two ago, rhinos inhabited most of the safari environments. They have been poached so ruthlessly that the crater is often the only place on the northern circuit where visitors see them. As a matter of fact, one of the rhinos that was reintroduced to the central Serengeti was poached a week before the Idiots’ safari. The Idiots had one relatively close sighting and later in the day saw five rhino in a distant meadow.


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Wildebeest are not typically described as “beautiful” – and the epithet “mindless” is often assigned to them based on their migration habits, especially the frequent crossing and recrossing of crocodile-infested rivers. Nonetheless, there is power and dignity there.



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Tree-climbing lions can occasionally be sighted… but a tree-climbing Michelle is relatively rare! Visitors are not allowed to get out of their vehicles in most safari areas – for their safety and the safety of the animals – but there are some designated areas to picnic, use the restrooms, and stretch one’s legs.


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The Idiots didn’t enter the crater unti mid-morning and most of the predators hunt early in the day. They did manage to catch this action sequence…


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The Idiots saw lots of lions doing what well-fed lions always do during the middle of the day…


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“Poombah!” The Idiots saw – and photographed – so many warthogs on their previous safari and their self-drive in Tarangire that it became a running gag – “We don’t stop for Poombah!” But, of course, one will always stop for another Poombah. So ugly – but so much character!


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The abundance and variety of wildlife is not limited to mammals. Birds will be featured their own episode, but one shot, with grey-crowned cranes, ostrich, and assorted companions hints at the diversity.


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One last shot before leaving the crater… one of the large blooming plants that dotted the crater floor… looks like an amaryllis…


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There are several lodges right on the crater rim with wonderful sunset views into the crater. Unfortunately, they also carry a hefty tariff to have that view. The Idiots stretch their budget by staying at the Rhino Lodge which does not have a view into the crater. They had to settle for these sunset views…


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jgh
 
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]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo Cra

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Re: ]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo

Postby Violet Wood-Hoopoe » Feb 24, 2014 4:00 pm

Waiting for the birds.
Rhino Lodge may not have 'the view' but it ticks all the boxes for me.
More please.
(nice Rhino)
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Re: ]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo

Postby GrannyNanny » Feb 24, 2014 6:16 pm

SO many wonderful animal photos! I am beginning to feel as if I've been right beside you on the seat of that safari vehicle! Thanks again for taking us all along for the ride. Phyllis
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Re: ]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo

Postby thy » Feb 26, 2014 8:35 pm

Thanks for letting me travel with you
The Masai people have had a special place in my soul growing up with a globe trotter as a teacher in biology and geography. He told us a lot about them and their culture, compared themwith other tribes ... witch always lacked something ;-) Can'trememberhowlong helived with the masais a half or a whole year ? Remember a lot of the things he showed us and the respect he felt,,, and as a girl their way of equal respect between man and woman.
Even our class had a very bad reputation, no one made any troubles in his class, we all glanced with open mouths...
A good teacher can get the aura of a god :-)

There is a great description of their ritual manhood lion killing in the 2. book of Jan Guillous new 190 century books ...like ken Follets, but other stories :wink:
Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.
E-mail for pics hostapics@gmail.com
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Re: ]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo

Postby vpeterson » Mar 03, 2014 9:00 pm

Sigh... I never get tired of these sights and stories. I have been limiting myself to one a day so I can drag the enjoyment of looking at them for as long as possible. Vicky
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Re: ]Idiots Bahati Ya Mjinga E18 Project Zawadi saf dy 2 Ngo

Postby georgejivess » Aug 28, 2019 12:33 am

Lovely photos! Thank you for sharing your trips experience with us, this will be helpful for the people who are planning for Ngorongoro Safari.
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