. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: July 22, 2000

Saturday, July 22, 2000
Simba (Crater Rim), Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Arusha, Tanzania
Tanzania's Flag

Map
Arusha, Tanzania:
Latitude: 3° 21' 28" South
Longitude: 36° 41' 52" East
Altitude: 6987 feet
From Seattle: 10861 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Arusha Center Inn

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: Tanzania
Regions: Mara, Arusha
Route: Safari: Simba - Crater Floor - Arusha
Path:Simba (Crater Rim), Ngorongoro Conservation Area - Arusha, Tanzania
Linear:83 miles
Weather: Overcast / Partial Sun

Available Photos:

Sunrise reflected in crater lake Simba (Crater Rim), Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Masai boys walking Simba (Crater Rim), Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Masai boys walking Simba (Crater Rim), Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Amy Reading Simba (Crater Rim), Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Herds Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion drinking Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Herds Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Young male lion Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lionesses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lionesses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lionesses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lionesses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lioness Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lionesses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lioness with prey Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lioness with prey Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Zebras Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Zebra nursing Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Zebras and wildebeests drinking Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Zebras and wildebeests drinking Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Wildebeests Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippopotamuses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Flamingos Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Flamingos and Wildebeests Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippopotamuses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippopotamuses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Flamingos Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Flamingos Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Wildebeests Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Buffaloes Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippopotamuses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Vulture Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippopotamuses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippopotamuses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippopotamuses Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Pelicans Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Buffalo remains Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Cheetah Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Cheetah Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Cheetahs Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Cheetahs Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Cheetahs Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hippo and view Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Amy and I Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Elephants Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Black Rhino Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Black Rhino Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Zebras Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Ostrich Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Ostrich Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Zebra Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Zebra Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Lion and lioness with kill Crater Floor, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Amy and I - out of gas Highway, Tanzania

Sunset Highway, Tanzania

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1199
Linear Dist: 234112
Countries Visited: 70
Regions Visited: 264
More stats...
Hotels: 417
Friends / Family: 302
Camping: 129
Hostels: 261
Transit: 76
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4145
Hide...

Journal Entry:
We were up early for our trip down into the crater. We were supposed to make it to Arusha National Park tonight - which means a long drive so our driver wants to be back at the camp by 12:30 - so we want an early start. We wait for breakfast then once again have to wait on the Greeks. Finally at 8:30 we were on our way. Made it about a quarter of a mile before a horrendous noise came from the engine and the car stoped moving. I thought we'd thrown a rod (goodbye engine), but it was only the universal joint between the drive shaft and the transfer case (goodbye safari). So we walked back to the camp site. Our driver found another driver who's group was walking and negotiated for him to take us into the crater. We ended up having to front US$ 80 - but our driver promised it would be repaid to us back in Arusha. The new driver set off to deliver his group and promised to be back in 30 minutes. Our driver told us we had to be back by one - as it was already ten this meant we'd have less than two hours on the floor - I strongly disagreed and we finally compromised that we'd be back at the camp at three (giving us four hours). Meanwhile our driver would get in to town, pick up a spare, and get our vehicle repaired.

Winston was our relief driver - he normally works for Hoopoe Adventure Tours, and he turned out to be incredible. He was personable, knowledgeable, and obviously passionate about what he does. He also had incredible vision. In our four hours we saw everything - tons of lions, hippos, cheetahs, black rhino, all the standards (except giraffe - they don't live in the crater; but including huge herds of wildebeest, zebra, and buffalo), tons of large birds (including ostrich, greater and lesser flamingos, the beautiful gray crowned crane, great white pelicans, secretarybirds and Kori Bustards).

By far the highlight of the day was the lions. Near the beginning of the drive we found a group of lions feeding on some earlier kill. They were quite some distance away, but Winston decided they were going to move because some Masai were bringing their cattle to drink at a nearby water hole, and parked the car where he thought they might go. There were about ten lions and as predicted they soon moved away from the water. They went different ways, but three of them came right at us. The largest of the three was a huge female whose entire muzzle was soaked in blood - she and two other lionesses brushed against the back of our car as they walked by - less than four feet below us! Even better the large one stopped and made eye contact scarcely a yard away. We also saw several smaller groups, and lone lions - though none as close. Later in the drive came on a male and a female feeding on something - they weren't that close, but close enough for some great pictures (I hope...).

At the lakeside we sat and watched a huge number of bright pink lesser flamingos mingle with some larger greater flamingos and a small herd of hippopotamuses - so stereotypical Africa it looked staged.

Next, I jokingly requested cheetahs - Winston said he'd try, and shortly after our close encounter with the lioness we stopped at a grassy field and Winston announced there was a cheetah there. It took the rest of us about ten minutes with binoculars and zoom lenses to find it, and meanwhile Winston had found two more. They were way out there - too far for the photos to turn out great - but he did find us cheetahs!

He found us some black rhinos - they were lying down and far away, but he brought us back later when they were moving around so we could at least see them. We also saw several more herds of hippos and some incredible scenery - remember this is all at the bottom of a giant crater.

After a wild ride up the crater wall (Winston was not a conservative driver) we were back at the camp at exactly three and... no car. The car and driver showed up half an hour later - right after the cook went with Winston to try and find them. Pretty much perfect timing and I was very glad that we hadn't been waiting since one! We needed to give the driver another US$ 80 to pay for the repairs (again we were promised to be paid back in Arusha) and we were off. Two hours of very bad road got us nearly back around Lake Manyara to the paved road when we ran out of gas! It was almost comical as we all got behind the land rover and pushed it for twenty minutes to the bottom of a hill. Sent the cook off to get a gallon of petrol and the rest of us sat around and watched the sun turn red as it slowly started to sink into the surrounding bush. The cook came back, we filled up with gas, and a fairly quick two hours later we were at the safari office in Arusha.

In Arusha we got the red carpet treatment. The manager was very apologetic about the difficulties, reimbursed us the $160, and offered to put Amy and I up in a nice hotel and pay for our dinner rather than sending us off to the campground we were supposed to stay at. We'd then continue on to nearby Arusha National park in the morning. Amy had started feeling a little off on the ride back to Arusha so this suited us. We checked in, went to the great Indian restaurant again (still good) and went to bed.


Related Sites:
Nyika Safaris home page
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Tanzania
CIA World Fact Book: Tanzania

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