Driving in the crater.
Belinda, Geoff and Dana in the Land Rover

Into the crater
Fri. 15 Oct. 2004 - Ngorongoro Crater to Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania

Ostrich. The day began in our muddy, foggy, zebra-dung-covered campsite at the edge of the Ngorongoro crater. After breakfast, we boarded four Land Rovers for a tour of the crater. (Our Guerba truck, not allowed in the crater, would meet up with us later outside the park.) We saw many lion, including some munching on a fresh cape buffalo kill, dingos, ostrich, black rhinos, elephants, and more.

Driving in the crater.
Hippos in the Ngorongoro crater

The Land Rovers effortlessly scaled the slippery mountain roads and took us to meet the Guerba truck outside of the park. From the truck, it was a pleasant drive to the camp site, with two stops for shopping. Once we got to camp in Mto Wa Mbu, our guides had already set up our tents for us. (They had time while we were touring in the crater.) This saved us from having to set up still-wet tents late in the day.

Once in camp, I washed some of my clothes in the sink, hung them up to dry, and walked into the town to meet some of the other travelers, who had gone to shop. As I walked down the street, I stood out because of my skin color and the way I was dressed. At every turn, people approached me trying to get me into their shops, where they sold paintings, carvings, and so on. "Jambo! Hello!" they shouted. I smiled and kept walking purposefully — trying to look like I knew where I was going or something. Out at the main road, a man called out to me, "Your friends! They're over there!" I ignored this stranger, figuring he was using an old ploy to get my attention to sell me something. But then I heard my name called, and sure enough, my friends were over there, drinking Kilimanjaro at an outdoor table at a bar. Just when I was growing suspicious of everyone, along came someone who was being genuinely warm and helpful. I joined my friends at the bar, where people were friendly to us.

Back in camp, we enjoyed another delicious dinner from our cook Benedict and stayed up a little later sitting on the patio of the campground bar.

Driving in the crater.
Wildebeests in the Ngorongoro crater

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