Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tanzania Preview, Part 2
As mentioned in the Part 1 post, the nights of June 3 and June 4 will be spent at Migunga Forest camp outside the village of Mto wa Mbu. Mto wa Mbu literally translates as "River of Mosquitos". The local chamber of commerce might want to consider a name change. After a morning game drive in Lake Manyara National Park on the morning of June 5, we depart Migunga Forest Camp for our second destination, Ngorongoro Crater. The world's largest intact volcanic caldera, Ngorongoro Crater is a highlight of our itinerary that we visit on two separate occasions. Our lodging for the first two night visit to this location will be Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, located on the eastern rim of the caldera with a virtually private road for accessing the caldera floor. It definitely appears to be a step up from Migunga Forest Camp, with full suites, restaurant, solarium, and pool. The nights of June 5 and 6 will be spent at Ngorongoro Sopa, with a full day game drive on the crater floor on June 6.
On the caldera floor we may encounter some of Africa's densest populations of large mammals, including the endangered black rhinoceros. Somewhere between 10 and 20 black rhinos inhabit Ngorongoro, and this likely represents are best chance to encounter one.
The crater is home to roughly 25,000 large mammals, including 7000 wildebeast, 4000 zebra, 4000 African buffalo, 3000 Grant's and Thomson's gazelles, and lesser numbers of eland, mountain reedbuck, elephants, lions, and hippos. The larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area is also home to Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world.
Vitelline Masked Weaver