I am an American technology worker who just moved to Taiwan.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Two days on safari

December 25, 2012

Saw a Cheetah close to the end of the day in Ngorongoro
Safari day 2 almost felt like cheating; it was like fishing in a barrel. I don't understand how Ngorongoro Crater attracts animals in, and then keeps them in, but apparently it does. There is a somewhat isolated ecosystem inside this crater that creates and environment for abundant animal spotting, even with quite a few tour groups in there, hundreds of tour jeeps, but there is a surprising amount of sprawling real estate to spread out into. It was still difficult to find the more elusive animals so it still had a bit of sporting sense to it. We only planned two days of safari on the advice of a friend and it was good advice. I'm not sure we could take another day of animal spotting as it became quite repetitive.

Christmas dinner was turkey and ham and an amazing stuffing which I think was loaded with...more ham. All the food at the lodge was tasted and only once included rice which was a welcomed change of pace from life in Taiwan where every lunch meal at work includes a scoop of rice.

After breakfast we started the trip down to Arusha to transfer to our climbing guide. The Mt. Meru lodge again served as the rendez-vous point. On the first day the tour operator who gave us the overall rundown mentioned that there was a guy from Scotland who would be on the climb with us. Shirley started to get nervous thinking that he would be some super mountain climber born in the Highlands who's veins flow single malt. We met him at the rendez-vous. She might be right.

Masai villages dot the savannah 
On the ride from Arusha out to the safari and back we travel through countryside inhabited by the Masai, the men recognised as being covered in a red cloth carrying a stick, typically herding cattle. They live in round huts with a thatched roof. I wanted to take more pictures but Shirley brought up this idea about cameras stealing their souls. I thought that was the Zulu but I didn't have internet access available to be able to debunk her theory so I just tried to be discreet. I wonder if anyone ever really believed that or if it is just myth.

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