Tanzania ¡V June ¡V 2007
Car pickup at 1:30 to JFK ¡V normal traffic ¡V arrive, check in (seats are as confirmed) and go to KLM lounge. Kill the next 3 hours and then board flight to AMS. Business class is how we remember and the food/drinks are great.
Arrive AMS on schedule, kill 3+ hours in KLM lounge and board flight to JRO.
Flight is uneventful and Laura sleeps and I get maybe, two hours. Food/drink again, is excellent.
Arrive JRO and are meet by Habib from Roy Safari¡¦s and informed that he will be our guide/driver for the duration. We are then driven to Mt. Village Serena where we check in and asked if 8:00 AM pick up will be OK to go to Roy offices for rundown of itinerary and we find out that this will be one of a few late sleepins¡K.. ƒº
Breakfast at Mt. Serena was great with the normal fruits and cereals and chef on board to cook eggs, omelets, french toast, pancakes, etc.
Go to Roy offices and go over itinerary and then it is off to Lake Manyara. One observation: I would not go walking after dark in the area surrounding Mt. Village Serena. Picked up a couple hundred dollars of Tz schillings for drinks, etc. Also next door, got a Celtel SIM and topped off with 50,000 Tz schillings of time. Called to NJ every day and talked for about 10 minutes and still have approximately 15,000 schillings of time left.
Drive is over asphalt highway and we enjoy the sights of normal activity in the villages we pass. We had our first ¡§box¡¨ lunch¡K¡K..they should really change what they provide. How about a couple good items and not a dozen mediocre ones?
Arrive Lake Manyara Serena, check in and agree to go on a game drive at 3:00 PM. We now find out that Habib has eyes better than our binocs¡K¡Kƒº We see hippos galore, baboons, monkeys and our first leopard. Many, many ellies and different game that I cannot remember. We meet at 5:45 (we find out that this is a great time to meet and leave) for a game drive and then proceed to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
OK¡K¡K¡K..now how do you live at home without a butler¡K..decisions, decisions.
Arrive at NCL middle of the afternoon and are greeted by our butler, bathroom attendant and camp manager (we are staying at North Camp ¡V Room 3).
It is chilly (in the room). Outside is a comfortable 65F. At 4:00 PM we ask that our fire be started. We sit and enjoy the fire and have a few drinks¡K¡K¡K.ah the good life¡K. ƒº
We meet at 5:45 (the time we start most days) and proceed to the crater. It is dark and cloudy¡K..thank goodness we don¡¦t see much of the descent.
We see (no rhino¡¦s ¡V they are only 13 w/one baby left in the crater). We continue to look but alas, no rhino¡K. ƒ¼
We see male/female lion by the road mating. I couldn¡¦t keep up with him. Must be a lot younger. We see ellies, giraffes, zebra, etc. We finally see 2 cheetahs stalking some tommies and go in for the kill¡K¡K¡K¡Kthey get him/her. We finally see a kill after 2 complete safaris¡¦s¡K¡K.yea. We see various lions with kills that have been made earlier in the AM. Various birds¡K¡K¡Kwe will not name, because we cannot remember. We are not big birders.
The ascent: good thing we are only staying 2 nights because Laura would not go up the crater road more than once. In fact, once was enough for me. Thanbk goodness for 4 wheel drive¡K¡K¡K¡Kbut¡K¡K..they should have guard rails. I could not look down.
Back to NCL for the PM¡K¡K..light the fire early ¡V 3:00 PM to take the chill out of the room. Can we take the butler home¡K.????? After dinner¡K¡K.cognac in front of the fireplace. What can we say¡K¡K¡K.loved it.
Meals at NCL: We can only say¡K¡K¡K.5 star chef. The meals were fantasic and were the best of the trip.
Will finish later.
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Tanzania ¡V June ¡V 2007