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The Baboon Bandits of Ngoroongoro and the Lions of Serengeti

Driving to Ronjo Camp


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2018 Tanzania on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

This was a tiring, but rewarding day. The Bashray Rift Wake-Up call came (that is men knocked on our door) but when we turned the key in the lock, we could not open the door. It was stuck. So the guys outside the door told my granddaughter to go out on the balcony (she used my cane to unlock the top of the door because she could not reach it) and throw them the key. Then they unlocked the door from the outside and let us out.

They make paths with rocks - not really flat rocks either, So the wheelchair has to go backward as the little front wheels don't cut it. We went up to breakfast, which was of course a buffet. But they had our table down in the bar, and they brought me food. My granddaughter went up to the buffet to get hers, and they brought me a big bowl of pineapple and watermelon. She really loves watermelon.
Breakfast

Breakfast


They also brought me bread and toast, and two fried eggs sunny side up. They brought some for my granddaughter too. She only eats the yolks.
Eggs Sunny Side Up with Tomato

Eggs Sunny Side Up with Tomato

We drove in dense fog up the Escarpment of the Ngorongoro Conservation area which is in a big old volcanic crater. I did not see how we were going to be able to see anything as we were in a cloud. When we stopped to pay the entrance fees, Jeremiah our guide warned us to keep the doors and windows of the vehicle closed because troops of baboons were waiting to enter the vehicles and take food. Jeremiah said that the baboons carry rabies so if they scratch you, you have to get treatment. So while we were waiting, a van of Indians (East Indians from India) came and parked and several of them got out and went in leaving the doors open.One of the men was standing around cluelessly in the parking lot as about 5 baboons raced over and jumped in the van.
Baboon Bandits in the van

Baboon Bandits in the van


Baboon Bandits approaching

Baboon Bandits approaching


There was some screaming from the people still in the van.
Baboon Bandit standoff

Baboon Bandit standoff


Baboon Bandits - those in the van have found something

Baboon Bandits - those in the van have found something


I opened the window and took photos
Baboon Bandits

Baboon Bandits

Baboon Bandits-escaping with their booty

Baboon Bandits-escaping with their booty


My granddaughter was yelling at me to close the window, but I didn't think she meant me
Baboon Bandits running away

Baboon Bandits running away


I thought she was yelling at the Indians. So I continued filming.
Our guide

Our guide


We continued driving in the fog and saw some elephants in the acacia forest.
Elephants in the forest

Elephants in the forest


We descended into the crater (it was sunny there) and the first animals that we saw were the buffalo and zebra.

Zebra

Zebra

Zebra

Zebra

Zebra

Zebra

zebra

zebra

Zebra butts

Zebra butts

zebra herds

zebra herds

Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo

Mad Buffalo

Mad Buffalo

Ox pecker birds

Ox pecker birds

We went farther and there was a pool with egrets in the bushes in the middle
egrets

egrets


Blacksmith Plover

Blacksmith Plover


and I saw some white pelicans swimming in formation,
white pelicans

white pelicans


and then we saw what everyone else was looking at--- hippos.
Hippos

Hippos


The pool was not deep enough for them - they kept flicking water up with their tails to keep their backs wet but the amount of water flicked with a tail was totally inadequate for the size of their bodies.
Hippos in a shallow pool

Hippos in a shallow pool

Egret on a Hippo's back

Egret on a Hippo's back


One of them rolled over to get his back wet.
Hippo belly- hippo has rolled on its back-muddy front feet

Hippo belly- hippo has rolled on its back-muddy front feet


Hippo mama

Hippo mama


A mother hippo and two babies which looked like twins swam down the pool and crossed the road. (Hippos do have twins, but it is rare)
Hippo mama and two babies

Hippo mama and two babies

Hippo mama

Hippo mama

Hippo mom

Hippo mom


Fields of flowers

Fields of flowers


Lions hanging out

Lions hanging out

Lions

Lions

Lions

Lions


After that we saw a big bull elephant
Old bull elephant like Babar

Old bull elephant like Babar

elephant

elephant

Elephant

Elephant


and a lake full of flamingos,
Flamingos

Flamingos

Flamingos

Flamingos


some gazelles (two kinds - one was Thompson's gazelle
Thompson's gazelle

Thompson's gazelle

Thompson's gazelle

Thompson's gazelle


gazelle

gazelle


and the other one was a bigger Grant's gazelle).

We saw some lions on the bank of the river. The lioness drank some water and then lay down as if she was exhausted.
Panting lioness

Panting lioness

Lioness

Lioness

Lioness drinking

Lioness drinking

Tired lioness

Tired lioness


I thought maybe she was sick or pregnant, but I guess she had just been running and was tired.
Group of lions with a kill?

Group of lions with a kill?


Then we saw an enormous herd of wildebeests. We watched them for a bit.
herds of wildebeests

herds of wildebeests

large_3f073850-7563-11e8-b4a6-e7ef3764cc79.JPG
I tried to take a movie with my cell phone.
Male lion

Male lion


Male lion

Male lion


We saw a hyena
Hyena

Hyena

Hyena

Hyena


and a jackal,
jackel

jackel


ostriches,
Ostrich

Ostrich


a secretary bird, and a
Bustard

Bustard


some
Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese


an African crane, and some sacred ibis.
African Crane

African Crane

Sacred ibis

Sacred ibis

Sacred ibis

Sacred ibis

Sacred ibis

Sacred ibis

Then it was time for lunch.
Lunch

Lunch


I had two cups of tea for breakfast so I really needed the bathroom. Jeremiah said that the regular women's bathroom was closer than the handicapped one (and it was), but those toilets were just holes in the ground. I managed.
Toilet

Toilet

Spakes's weaver bird

Spakes's weaver bird


Guides exchanging information

Guides exchanging information


After lunch we saw way in the distance a couple of black rhinos,
Two black rhino in the distance

Two black rhino in the distance

Mother and child black rhinos

Mother and child black rhinos

Muddy Buffalo

Muddy Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo

buffalo

buffalo

zebra

zebra

zebras

zebras


large_IMG_1593.JPG
Zebras crossing the road

Zebras crossing the road


and after we drove up out of the crater
Crater overlook

Crater overlook

crater overlook

crater overlook

Overlook leaving the crater

Overlook leaving the crater


-we saw some vultures
vultures

vultures


We had a long 4 hour drive to get to the camp in the Serengiti and most of it was over washboard roads. Jeremiah and my granddaughter can charge their phones in the van. I have not tried this yet, or needed to. As twilight approached, when we were close to the camp, we saw giraffes
Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffe


Giraffe eating acacia

Giraffe eating acacia

Giraffe

Giraffe


Giraffe looking down

Giraffe looking down


Giraffe in the afternoon

Giraffe in the afternoon


Giraffe at dusk

Giraffe at dusk

Beds

Beds


The Ronjo camp is tents- they have a flush toilet, and they bring water and put it in a container over the shower and you pull on a cord, and you have a nice shower with warm water. They brought me something to sit on in the shower, which was good. They have sink with a water pitcher to use to wash in.
Bathroom

Bathroom


The only 24 volt electricity is in the tent with the bar and there is no internet.

We had dinner with a couple from south of Denver who were here to do cervical cancer screening education. We had soup, and what they said was beef, but which really was sausage (my granddaughter ate one of mine) .

There are no paths at all in this camp, just dirt and I thought this would be a problem for the wheelchair, but really pushing the wheelchair here was easier than it was anywhere else because it was mostly level and the dirt was not as rocky as the paved paths. It could be done by one person. They have a little iron grid (kind of like a miniature cattle guard to wipe your feet on at the entrance to the tent.
large_IMG_1586.JPG
They said that the 12 volt lights in the tent could be on all night, but ours went off and did not come back on.

It was quite cold. I have not really been too hot, but I have had to put on all my clotting to keep from being too cold at night and in the morning. I have seen no swimming pools yet. I put several things out to be done in the laundry. This is a men only camp (for the workers) so one of the Maasai men did our laundry. He even did one of my shirts which was on the table that I had not put in the laundry basket.
Entrance to the tent (screened)

Entrance to the tent (screened)


We could hear the lions roaring at dinner and after we got into the tent, apparently a pride of 25 lions came into the camp and were quite close to our tent, My granddaughter said she could hear them breathing and they were roaring quite loud. We couldn't see anything of course - just hear them. I would have liked to see them. They got Jeremiah to get the truck and chase them away, but they came back several times. They wanted to spend the night on the warmer dirt and didn't want to be in the grass which would get dew and get their coats wet.

They had told us that if we had a problem, we should blow a whistle (provided) and my granddaughter slept with it in her hand. They found it under her mattress this morning.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:33 Archived in Tanzania Tagged pelicans elephant zebra buffalo giraffe flamingo ostrich black_rhino ngorongoro hyena egrets gnu hippos bustard jackel blacksmith_plover ronjo_camp lions_in_camp baboon_bandits thompsons_gazelle sacred_ibis standing_toilet weaver_bird Comments (6)

Breakfast Walk and Night Drive

June 8


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2018 Tanzania on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

My granddaughter was to go on a morning walk this morning and she set her phone to alarm at 6:00 so when it went off I woke her up. It was hard to get her started this morning. But eventually she was off-dressed and sun screened. She came running back for the camera. The walk took about an hour and she saw zebras, gazelles or antelopes etc. She took only 2 photos. There was another couple with her (French) and a guide and a ranger.
zebra

zebra


She said her feet weren't tired but she said she got into some acadia thorn/stickers. Then they had breakfast (table cloths and everything) right out there on the plain
.breakfast outside

breakfast outside

Land Cruiser and cooks

Land Cruiser and cooks


dove in an acacia tree

dove in an acacia tree


Meanwhile I was unable to find my inhaler. I had it in my pocketbook in the box but the box was empty. I guess I will use the rescue inhaler instead. I never thought they did much for me anyway. I went up to lodge and discussed the food problem. Finally found out that they cook with soy oil and my granddaughter has had a reaction to soy in the doctor's office. But my daughter said she can eat soy beans. Maybe the oil is more concentrated. Or maybe that's not it

I decided just to relax today and not go out again in the Land Cruiser. So after breakfast, I went and lay down and finished a book in my Kindle that I started on the plane. We are to go on a night drive tonight.

I came up for lunch and to use the internet. Lunch was strange - the bread is good. I had spinach soup and they brought my granddaughter fries and a salad. They said they would bring her pasta but they brought it to me (along with sausage which is another thing she likes). So I traded plates with her and made cucumber sandwiches from the salad with the bread.

We were to have a night drive tonight, so I thought that when I came up that I would do the internet up at the lodge, have dinner, and go on the night safari and they would not have to push me up and down the rock path but once. So I came up with the computer bag and sat on the couch and did the internet. I had some bathroom issues and I was trying to limit my fruit intake. I found that not only are there 7 steps up to the lodge headquarters, but there are steps down from there to the bathrooms. Definitely not handicapped accessible (although they do not say that they are) They do have some cabins with electricity for CPAP machines.

My granddaughter did go up to the lookout point without me to see the sunset
IMG_1712.JPGIMG_1714.JPGsunset

sunset


We had dinner and it was an "African dinner" but there wasn't much African about it. It was pork, rice, two kinds of potato and salad. My granddaughter tried each thing a small bite and waited for a reaction, and she got a mild one with the pumpkin.

We had an open air vehicle for the safari with just my granddaughter and me seated in it. There was also a driver, a man with a spotlight and a ranger. (The rangers have the guns) The other people had to stand in the vehicle that followed. Apparently in this area, off-roading is allowed. It is not allowed in the National Park.

We saw an aardvark, spring hares, white tailed mongoose, and dikdiks but didn't get a photo as they ran away too fast. It was tricky to take photos of animals which were moving and where the spotlight was also moving. Sometimes the spotlight made the place where the animal was too bright. My granddaughter got reasonably good photos of a rabbit, a Genet cat, jackal
rabbit

rabbit


IMG_2107.JPGGenet cat

Genet cat

large_IMG_2109.JPGGenet cat

Genet cat


Jackal

Jackal

Jackal

Jackal

jackal

jackal


and some of a family of hyenas.
hyena

hyena

hyena

hyena

hyena

hyena

hyena

hyena


hyena

hyena


hyenas

hyenas

hyenas

hyenas

The baby hyenas were really cute and completely unfazed by the spotlights. They came up and sniffed the tires of the vehicle and one of them even walked under it. I suspect that the guide knew approximately where this group could be found because a lady who did the drive the night before mentioned them.
baby hyena

baby hyena

baby hyena

baby hyena

baby hyena

baby hyena


hyena

hyena

hyena

hyena


hyena

hyena


I did a little better with the impalas, and the eagle
antelope

antelope

impalas

impalas

impala

impala

impala

impala

eagle

eagle

We went to bed before packing, but I found my inhaler in the bottom of my pocketbook. I read the directions about the morning walk and the night drive and found that they were extra, so I took the money for them out and put it where I could pay in the morning.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:08 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tanzania hyena jackel night_drive ardvark dikdik Comments (9)

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