Africa trips

South Africa to Tanzania Trip report - Aug 2008 - Andre Erasmus

Overlanding Trips

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 with sometimes.

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 day.

Our feelings about Ngoro: Rather go the Pretoria Zoo, you'll have much more fun.


Tour to Tanzania







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Report by Andre Erasmus