African Safari. Day 4. Ngorongoro Crater

4th Day: Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive

dscn3213.jpgNgorongoro Crater makes for misty, cold mornings that gives way to a fiery, red sun. The positioning of the crater is such that as we went downhill to reach the crater floor, we could see the clouds rolling inside the crater walls, almost like a waterfall. It was mystical.

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I actually didn’t expect to see much animal life in the crater, but I was in for a surprise. In the early morning, we saw herds of wildebeest, antelopes, zebras, gazelle, ostriches. The flowers of the crater makes a pretty picture and the elephants amongst the flowers makes an absolutely postcard perfect photo. We saw half a dozen lions in the crater. We read that lions inhabiting the crater do not allow other lions to come inside. Hence, there are around 62 lions in this area.

We also saw flamingoes and buffaloes in the distant. Not to forget hyenas and foxes. There is also a hippo pool. There are varieties of birds in this place and there are small shrubs in which (it looked like) hundreds of birds were nesting.

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By the way, our car broke down once inside the crater. It broke down quite a few times since yesterday.

This was the last game drive and after this, we headed back to Arusha. Lunch was a packed box, so unsurprising and repetitive that the Swede girl bought a salad for herself at the restaurant where we stopped for lunch.

Everyone was angry at the cook for cooking the same food over and over again.

Tipping: When discussing how much to tip (at the beginning of the journey, the owner urged us to pay 10% of the trip to the driver and cook), the others decided that they wouldn’t tip. The Swiss got off first and he didn’t tip. We were to get off second. We decided to tip. The driver, George, had tried to show us whatever we wanted to see. He had stopped wherever we asked him to. He deserved a tip, but of course, the car had broken down and that didn’t work in his favour. Finally, we decided to pay $40 to the driver and $20 to the cook. I doubt the Swedes paid anything to the cook. They were very, very angry with their low-protein intake meals.

We understood that there’s no compulsion to tip 10% of the trip cost. It is really voluntary and depends on the services provided.

Well, that was the end of the safari for us. After four days of gathering dust, we couldn’t wait to shower and wear clean clothes and sleep on a soft bed. Tomorrow, we go to Zanzibar!

Jambo Zanzibar.

Other Safari Links, Day 1 (Manyara), Day 2 (Serengeti), Day 3 (Serengeti).

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