Armstrong Adventures travel blog

Cheetah on the prowl

Scoping out the dinner options

They say he's the King. He looks the part, doesn't he?

She looks pretty majestic, too....

Phoenix Expeditions does the Ngorongoro Crater. In back, Kylie, Snow, Dana. In...

Shower, anyone?

Leopard silhouetted in an acacia tree

Yes, the leopard is as close as it looks...a definite highlight in...

A vervet monkey stole a lunch out of our car, while we...

Wandering Topis

Guinnea Fowl running through the brush

Fisher Eagle presiding over the Serengeti

The Serengeti National Park, located in northern Tanzania, is 14,763 sq km and is contiguous with Masai Mara National Park in southern Kenya. On the eastern edge of Serengeti is the Ngorogoro Conservation Area (NCA) which includes the Crater Highlands and the Ngorongoro Crater, which is just one of the several craters, volcanoes, and collapsed volcanoes (calderas) that make up the Conservation Area. The Conservation Area is 8300 sq km and the Ngorongoro Crater is 20km making it one of the largest calderas in the world. The Serengeti and NCA are the main tourist reasons people visit Tanzania. We took a 3-day 4x4 Safari to visit, first the Serengeti, then a day in the crater. Both were phenomenal game viewing opportunities. We felt pretty fortunate to see 3 different groups of lions, a couple really upclose (see the pics). After watching a silhouetted leopard in the tree for about 20 minutes we were rewarded with his head-first decent of the tree then he turned and casually walked right towards us, crossing about 10' in front of our 4x4. It was thrilling! What a beautiful, graceful animal!

Instead of listing all the animals we saw, we posted all the pictures--far more interesting, in my opinion. It was an incredible 3 days!

Our first of 2 nights on the safari we bushcamped. Bushcamping can mean absolutely no facilities, and just a pit toilet, like what we did in the Okavango Delta. Or, sometimes there is just a long-drop (the South African term for an outhouse). The bushcamping in the Serengeti had a few relatively clean long-drops, and even had a designated campfire area. We all pitched our tents pretty close together and made sure we didn't drink too much before bed so there would be no midnight treks to the long-drop. I didn't want to encounter any hunting lions or wandering cape buffalo on a bathroom trip. Fortunately, Snow and I didn't hear any wild animals too close to the camp, though Kylie swore some big animal was sleeping right outside her tent.

Because it is off-season in the Park (rainy season) all the highend game lodges offer cheap rooms to the lowend safari companies. So, for $10 each we all stayed at the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge on the rim of the crater the second night. What a luxury to have a shower so hot you have to turn on the cold water! A first since arriving in Africa, I think.

Enjoy all the pictures. There are more in the next entry. These are only a sample of what we took. We just shipped 9 CDs containing probably over 2000 pictures taken from when we first left Cape Town to Nairobi to my parents. At this rate, reviewing all our pictures when we get home will be a bit daunting, but, man, that digital camera is fun. The concept of "free" pictures (no developing) keeps us clicking away. Our camera shows that we've taken more than 4500 pictures since the beginning of our trip, but we've edited a lot, maybe half. The beauty of the digital camera is when we are watching a cheetah run across a field or a herd of elephants splashing through the water in front of our canoes we can snap 50-100 pictures then go back and review them, selecting the best 10-20.

More soon!


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