Sunday, August 21, 2016
Norongoro is a caldera (19km wide, 260 sq. miles) with stunning views from the crater rim and a super abundance of wildlife on the crater floor because of the the presence of water. The caldera was formed two/three million years ago when a volcano exploded and collapsed on itself.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
The Serengeti is an enormous savannah with wetlands and ancient volcanic rock formations stretching as far as the eye can see. We encountered cheetahs and lions close by, as well as elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, monkeys, hippos, topi and many birds.
Tarangire reportedly has the second largest concentration of wildlife in the world next to the Serengeti. It also presents spectacular scenery, including large stands of Baobob trees. The Tarangire river flows even in the dry season, providing attraction to wildlife of all sorts. Spectacular birds were in abundance. We also came across the Anaconda digesting his meal(see reptile post)
Thursday, August 18, 2016
The Maasai heritage is famous for the view that God gave them all of the cattle in the world so they have a right to take any cattle they come across. The rustling tendency apparently has now disappeared. The Maasai maintain their herding way of life, with cattle, goats, and sheep in flocks over a large expanse of land near the safari areas. The flocks are taken out for grazing and water during the day and then returned to the village and kept in protective pens (against predators). It seems many of the herds were tended by children. During our visit to a Maasai village all of the live stock was absent as were most of the older children. The Maasai are known for their colorful dress, their dancing and high jumping(for men).
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Leaving very early from our hotel we traveled by dirt/rock roads and then by dried up river bed to reach the site of a Hadzabe tribe camp. The tribesmen were gathered around their campfire talking among themselves, having cooked their breakfast earlier. The tribeswomen and their children were gathered around their own fire: the children were eating a porridge like cereal. After some time the men started another fire (to light their marijuana pipes) demonstrating a skilled fire by friction technique. The Hadzabe is an aboriginal tribe, essentially hunter/gatherers, that have not changed their ways since pre-historic times it seems. They total approximately 1000 members scattered over a wide area in Northeaster Tanzania. We went on a small hunt with them and they later performed a tribal dance, joined by the women and children. We also tried out their bows for target practice.
Saturday, August 6, 2016
The Datoga tribe remains one of the tribes tenaciously holding to their tribal ways. We visited a family compound to see their home, how they grind corn for polenta, how they work primitive metallurgy and their corral for their cattle/goat herds. The cattle herd was just returning after a day of grazing and watering outside the compound.
Friday, August 5, 2016
A python was curled in the tall grass digesting a recent meal, apparent from it's very enlarged body. The snake was not fully visible but obviously formidable. A puff adder was seen crossing the road, rather small but reportedly very dangerous. An alligator was seen in a river in the Serengeti. And then we marveled at the Pink and Blue Agama seen at the Serengeti entrance.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
There are a large (very, very large) number of weird and wonderful birds in the savannah. This album presents the "snap shots" made during our safari. A trip specifically looking for birds is warranted to capture the true grandeur and variety.