After a rest day at Peponi we left for Ngorogoro. Many fellow
travellers that we met have told us that we were to late for the
migration and that there wasn't much happening in the Serengeti.
We didn't feel like going into Kenya (a mistake at the time) so
thought we'd check out the crater at least.
It was a full day's drive to Twiga camp although we stopped at
the Shoprite in Arusha to stock up on a few essentials. The traffic
in Arusha is a quick guerilla warfare course. The loudest, quickest
and biggest oke wins. I've by now learned to drive like a local
and Ramkat hooter worked overtime. Bad habits that I'm still stuck
Twiga camp was full of campers and overlanders and we felt just
a little bit crowded. Still, they had good showers with instant
hot water and we could refill our water supplies which were starting
to run low.
We entered Ngorogoro Resreve the next morning at 8am and had
to pay $400 US dollars for 24 hours, which included camping at
a public campsite for one night. We had to be out the gate by
8am the next morning or we would have to pay another $400! At
the entrance gate to descend into the crater we were turned away
as we had no guide with us. Despite phone calls to several officials
we had to go back to the Parks office. My patience ran out somewhere
between the gate and Simba camp where we left our trailer, when
one jerrycan holder broke. So I hitched the trailer drove to the
Parks office and demanded my money back. The Parks PR manager
however arranged for us to enter the crater without a guide. Somehow
Swambo managed to calm me enough to go all the way back, unhitch
the trailer and drive into the crater.
By now it was past 11am and we were excited to see the animals
in the crater. Yes it is a sight to see once and we did see the
big 5 - like it was in a zoo. We also saw Thompsons gazelle and
grants gazelle quite close. Everytime we saw an animal a gazillion
guides with Landcruisers arrived in their droves and would rudely
cut in front of us and other vehicles. Well it wasn't long before
my temper was back at boiling point, suffering a severe gout attack
didn't help matters. By 3pm we've had enough and decided to go
to the campsite. At this time the second jerrycan holder broke,
adding fuel to the fire.
The exit road out of the crater was something else. Ramkat was
heavily loaded and we attacked the steep ascent on loose gravel
in second gear lowrange.
At the campsite we tied all the broken pieces down with rope,
had another cold shower in freezing weather, had a quick pasta
supper as the wind was blowing so much we daren't light a fire
and went to bed. Just after nightfall the camp was invaded by
a bunch of zebras and then a ranger came around to tell us to
be carefull as 8 lions are operating in the area.
We woke by 4am to find the tent soaking wet on the outside from
condensation. The guys at Howling moon know what they are doing
as the tent was cosy, warm and dry inside. Daybreak found us on
the way down the mountain and we encountered a bunch of buffalo
in the mist. The fog was so heavy that we let Ramkat run down
the mountain in first gear low range as we couldn't see anything.
We got out the gate just in time to avoid having to pay for another
Our feelings about Ngoro: Rather go the Pretoria Zoo, you'll
have much more fun.