Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 15 - Ngorogoro Crater and the Serengeti

Day 2 of safari and we saw the Ngorogoro Crater and visited the Serengeti. We saw a leopard, baboons, giraffes, zebras, wildebeast, hippos, hyenas, giselles, voltures, impalas (that is the one I couldn't remember the name of yesterday) and secretary birds.

During breakfast this morning we were able to watch the baboons playing outside. We left the Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge at 8:30.

We drove up a long narrow windy road while playing chicken with the oncoming traffic and competeing with the other trucks in our group to see who could get to the check point first!

Along the way we stopped at the Ngorogoro Crater and had a quick look before it started raining heavily so we jumped back in the truck and headed for the Serengeti. It was a long drive but we saw lots of animals along the way. I am also travelling in what is known as the 'party bus' so the young girls keep me very entertained with music, singing, dancing and jokes!

Not long after we entered the Serengeti we stopped to have lunch under a tree. While there we were slowly and cautiously approached by a group of about 15 young Masai boys. These boys are currently going through a traditional initiation into manhood. This is an event that occurs every 7 years. During this initiation boys aged between 7 and 14 are circumsised and dressed in black with painted white faces. They are then sent out on their own to fend for themselves. I have no idea how long this goes on for and I am sure there is more to this initiation process then just that. So, these boys approached us wanting to sell jewellry and asking for money for photos that were taken of them. We were eating from very overstocked lunch boxes so we gathered all our excess food together and gave it to them. They collected the food and went away to eat it before returning the rubbish to us. I had heard of this initiation process before and found it quite frightening that boys that young are sent out to fend for themselves but it was interesting to see these boys today and see how they were looking after each other and they were happy. They actually seemed to be really enjoying themselves and you could sense their comradery.

After lunch we headed off for more animal spotting. The animals are usually not to concerned about all the safari trucks and just live their lives around them. At times they come really close to the trucks.

The leopard we saw crossed the road right in front of us. I tried to take photos of it but it was going dark and I don't think they will turn out.

At one stage we were checking out the baboons when they suddenly decided to attack. They were jumping up at the windows and trying to grab at us. One of the larger baboons tried to attack Adam (our driver) and the attack was so sudden that he screamed and almost jumped out of his seat. That was amusing and the young girls are not going to let him forget about it in a hurry!

Tonight Lionie, Tania, Sandy and I are staying at the Serengeti Wildlife Lodge. This place is not as nice as the one yesterday but it is still a whole lot better than camping. It is cold and rainy out here and the camping matresses the other girls are sleeping on are very thin!

I miss you guys heaps and wish you could be here with me. I hope you have a good night on New Years Eve and don't go to bed to early! Love you <3

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