Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Aug. 4, 2010. Serengeti National Park

We left the lodge at 7:30 AM and drove back through Tanagire. We saw a group of cape buffalo running through the dust and crossing the road right in front of us to get to the river. It was like round-up time in the old west. We drove a few hours to Ngotongoro Reserve. The center of the reserve is the Ngorongoro crater which is home to many animals as well as the famous Leakey family discoveries. We had a box lunch overlooking Oldupai Gorge. Oldupai (with a "p" is the Masai word for "wild sisal" which grows wild throughout the area). After lunch we visited the small museum which cleared my mental picture of what the gorge looked like and how geology played a role in the discoveries. We also had a brief lecture on the site by a local man. It was very satisfying to finally see the gorge for myself. We left Ngorongoro and entered Serengeti National Park - the two border each other. The Serengeti is very dry this time of year. It was easy to spot ostriches from far away. We also saw two lionesses just a few feet off a side road. We were able to get quite close and took some excellent pictures. We also saw warthogs, bustards, many Thompson's gazelles, and eventually, as we neared the lodge and the area became more forested, we saw giraffe, dik dik, and elephant. The lodge is very nice and the room overlooks the Serengeti. The rooms ate quite spacious. The food here is good and again, the wait staff and chefs entertained us with song and dance - I even joined them for part of it tonight.
Tomorrow, more Serengeti and a relaxing afternoon.

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