Holy valcanic crater packed with animals!!!
After an unbearable 9 hour layover at the airport in Ethiopia, we finally boarded the plane to our final destination. (Sorry Deb, no food pics for that flight, the food was hurting our eyeballs just as much as our tastebuds.) We landed in Kilimanjaro where Wilfred, our guide from Access2Tanzania was waiting for us. If you've been off resort in Mexico or a poor island in the Caribbean it should be easy for you to visualize what Tanzania looks like outside of their national parks. Village after village of homes and businesses looking like your grand-pa's crumbling old shed and even pieces of plastic hanging from a tree used as a roof. Heart wrenching. And then you see those amazingly strong women dressed in tradional african dresses carrying big buckets, Huge banana bunches and even woodpiles on their heads. You also have the Maasai people, a semi-nomadic tribe wearing bright colored sheets wrapped around their body, hanging around the roads with their cattles.
First day was in Arusha, where we did a bit of shopping and a lot of sleeping to make up for our all-nighter in Ethiopia. Day 2 was our first official safari day. Destination Lake Manyara, home of baboons and climbing tree lions. First safari day people!!! Any idea how excited we were?!? The first animal we saw was a giraffe. Sure, we've seen them in zoos but this is different. Those are wild animals having us over in their own homes. Then we saw baboons, hippos, velvet monkeys aka blue balled monkeys (see picture above and pay closer attention this time), baboons, few zebras from afar, elephants, baboons, wildebeest, impala, gazelles, baboons, hundreds of birds and baboons. No lion climbing trees... But did I mention baboons? Moral of the story, if you dont have a strange fascination for baboons and birds like our guide has... We would not recommend Lake Manyara.
Day 3. We woke up to the sight of an Antelope with a morning woody trying to get frisky with his lady. And no, Antelope is not my new pet name for David... Our hotel for nights 2 and 3 is on top of the biggest crater in Africa. A Crater filled with tens of thousands of animals. Ngorongoro crater. This is where we feel our safari really began. It's incredibly hard to explain the emotions that takes over your soul. Excitement, happiness, wonder, overwhelmingness??? Imagine being 6 years old again on Christmas morning.... We must have made it on the "good list" this year because Africa was very good to us on our 2nd day of Safari: thousands of wildebeests, thousands of zebras, thousands of impalas, hundreds of buffalos, 40 elephants, 30 worthogs aka pumbas, 25 hippos, 20 ostriches, 18 lions, 15 hyenas, 3 black rhinos (!!! Those are extremely rare to spot), and at least 1 baby of each family!! Calvin season is a fantastic time to visit Tanzania, what's better than seeing all those beautiful animals?? Seeing them carring for their wittle ones.