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Entries about ecotourism

Day 10 - Ngorongoro Crater

Tanzania safari with rhinos

sunny 80 °F

The Ngorongoro Crater is basically a self-contained ecosystem, so the wildlife here is dense all year round. Because of the steep walls of the crater, you won't find any giraffes here, but this is one place where you are likely to see the rhino.

You have to pay national park fees every time you enter the crater, so everybody takes a box lunch to enjoy the day inside the crater. There are two lunch spots inside: one has monkeys that steal your food, and the other has kites (birds) that steal your food. We like the one with kites the best because it is an open area right by the hippo pool. On a windy day, it's fun to pull out our own kite to fly!

I have been to the Ngorongoro Crater twice before, and we have seen a rhino every time, but unluckily for us, they have always been a speck far in the distance. Today, we were luckier, and a mama rhino with her baby walked very near the road. We were the first car to see them, and it was amazing to watch how quickly the other safari vehicles piled up around us.

We were on a busy schedule, so we left the crater mid-afternoon. It's about a one-hour drive to the Olduvai Gorge, and I always enjoy the museum there. They also provide a talk, but I have never found it very interesting.

It's another half hour to the Serengeti park entrance, and another half hour or so to the Seronera Wildlife Lodge (depending on how many stops you make to see animals).

Posted by bolderwork 13:18 Archived in Tanzania Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Day 9 - E Unoto Retreat Luxury Lodge and Shalom Orphanage

There's more to a safari than watching the animals!

sunny 80 °F


There are a number of activities at the E Unoto Retreat Luxury Lodge to make for a nice break from watching animals all day on your safari.

The hike to the beautiful waterfalls takes about 2 hours round-trip and is a great way to stretch your legs.

There are a number of Maasai villages surrounding E Unoto, none of them touristy like you find in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is best to get up early and visit the village when they are moving the cattle out to the "fields". They will show you inside a house, talk about their lifestyle, do a little song and dance, and yes, sell you some jewelry. This is a great opportunity for pictures!

E Unoto has a few bicycles, and it is safe to bike around the roads surrounding the lodge.

The afternoon can be spent relaxing by the swimming pool with a good book.

The rooms are large and absolutely gorgeous. Much nicer than the Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, which is one of my favorite hotels. The service was also great, but the food was not quite what it used to be. Hopefully, they will improve on this to make the lodge really top notch.

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The Shalom Orphanage is located in Karatu, a town between Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro. It is about 1 mile off the main road, and Karatu is a relatively small town, so the orphanage does not get as much attention or help as some others.

It houses about 40 kids between 1 and 13 years old. They were evicted from their last home, but luckily were able to move into their new facility, which they built and own. The new orphanage is not quite complete, and they can use a lot of help to complete the construction, and of course, with the daily care of the children.

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This was my first visit to the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, and I must say that I do in fact like it better that the Ngorongoro Serena for a few reasons: the gorgeous sunsets, the large rooms with enclosed viewing porch, and the only swimming pool at the Crater. I am sure the pool is quite chilly, but kids don't care, do they?!

I had heard that the food was not so good at the Sopa, but I thought it was absolutely fantastic. The Internet is painfully slow -- just like at every other hotel at the Crater. The only thing I miss from the Serena Lodge is the morning mimosas!

Posted by bolderwork 08:21 Archived in Tanzania Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Day 4 - Amboseli to Moshi

Transferring from Kenya to Tanzani via Namanga

sunny 87 °F

After two days of elephants and other incredible wildlife, the highlight on this morning was the giraffe-necked gazelle, which I have never seen before.

The drive to Moshi - even from Amboseli - is not a short one. However, even if you fly from Amboseli (via Nairobi), you spend nearly the same amount of time traveling and three times the money....

It is an interesting drive -- the first time. Now on my fourth time, it's just a long drive -- even with the beautiful views of the countryside, Mt. Meru, and Arusha.

We stopped at the Arusha Game Lodge, which is very nice for lunch or an overnight. The monkeys clamber loudly over the metal roofs to the trees right above your lunch table. There are also zebras, waterbuck, ostriches, and large birds just past the lodge rooms.

Posted by bolderwork 05:16 Archived in Kenya Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

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