(Day 18) Ngorongora to Arusha – 17 April 2011
Distance for the day – 154 km Odometer – 6 813 km
Hours on the Bike – 02:18
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 47 864.00
This morning we had an early start and Noel, our guide, had the Safari vehicle ready to take us down into the crater.
The Ngorongora Crater is the largest intact calder a in the world and shelters one of the most beautiful havens in the world. It is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the 8th Natural Wonder of the World. Within the crater rim, large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby while sleeping lions laze in the sun. At dawn, the endangered black rhino returns to the thick cover of the crater forests after grazing on dew-laden grass in the morning mist. Just outside the crater’s ridge, tall Masaai herd their cattle and goats over green pastures through the highland slopes, living alongside the wildlife as they have for centuries.
Low mist and clouds hung over the crater and just touched the surounding rim. We were lucky and soon saw Lion, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo. Other animals like Zebra and Blue Wildebeest were easy to spot everywhere. The western side,where you enter is a lot shorter than the Eastern side and the three farmers were speculating the reasons for this. One observation that was discussed, was that the Masaai were concentrating on the western side with relatively big herds of cattle. A general feeling was that certain areas showed signs of overgrazing and erosion. The visit to the crater was definitely worth our while and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Noel was quick to spot the animals and we were even lucky enough to see a Cheetah. The lodge catered a first class bush breakfast for us at one of the watering holes.
We headed back before noon to say our goodbyes to the wonderful gang at the lodge and where soon back on the road with our bikes to Arusha.
Arusha is apparently the halfway mark between Cape Town and Cairo. The town sits in the lush countryside near the foot of Mt Meru (4566 m) and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. Arusha is one of Tanzania’s most developed and fastest growing towns.
We spent the night with Rob and Trish Ferguson who are in charge of a number of Lodges owned by the company “And Beyond”. Their hospitality was much appreciated.
Tomorrow we want to get an early start to try and reach Nairobi by Lunch time. This should give Richard a good chance to have his shock seen to.