We are travelling today to the Ngorognoro plains, to the west of the crater. There are Wildebeest, Zebra, Eland, Golden Jackal, Bat Eared Fox, Thompsons Gazelle, Dikdik, vultures (3 kinds), Giraffes, and Hyenas
George spotted a Cheetah resting under a tree. With a full belly she walked only to another tree to flop in the shade there, then rolled over on her back just like a domestic cat or dog. We also see Honey Badger warrens – but no Honey Badgers to later in the tour.
Dead Wildebeest are being eaten by vultures and a freshly dead zebra not yet discovered by the critters. The vultures were fighting over the wildebeest, plucking at the face, the mid belly and the anus, disappearing up to their shoulders in the beast, coming out with red blood stained head and neck. Just like skeksies :). Hyena chasing storks, watched by nervous gazelles
Across the high grassy plain, animals here 3-4 weeks now. Wildebeests have their young here – many bubs born only this morning, many with their umbilical cord attached, one mama yet to deliver her placenta, and one placenta lying on the ground. Wobbly, knobby legs, trying to run, very ungainly.
We have lunch here by the car, amongst them. Lunch pack of a tomato sandwich, a meatball, pizza slice, banana, banana chips (salted, very like potato crisps), 2 hard boiled eggs, a foil triangle of cheese, a green mandarin (or similar), Cadbury chocolate, mango fruit box. A typically huge lunch pack!
There are tens and tens of thousands of animals, very occasional small tree. Then into wooded land, acacia, gradually giving way to euphorbia candelabra and shrubs.
Into the actual Serengeti park, driving past still more zebra,wildebeest, eland, Thompsons gazelle and dikdik, plus many Flamingos in a lake. We pass a stricken vehicle with a broken rear axle, so both back wheels splayed out, like a cartoon truck. Later in the day It rained on and off through the afternoon, great big drops, leaving fair sized puddles.
After 10 hrs in the car – the kids coped remarkably well with little bickering, some dozing, some iPod listening. We arrive at our camp, part of the moru kopjies, meeting up with Els and Siemen from Rhotia Valley who had been here a couple of days. They showed us the male lion lounging on a rock, just 50 m from their tent. There is a mess area with several men from Wayo providing food for us, hot water for our bucket showers. They have solar panels, kerosene lamps and a generator.
Our camp is comprised of x 3, 2 man tents, a mess tent to eat in and a bathroom area with long drop loo, bucket shower and handbasin bucket. The longer grass is very wet, as are the tents, but it is warm enough.
Dinner was veggie soup, rice and pork stroganoff and chickpea curry, followed by tinned pineapple rings. A fire was lit, despite the wet wood, with the men bringing hot coals from the main cooking fire to get it started.