Day 46 – 48: Amboseli to Ngorongoro Crater


390 km to Ngorongoro Crater

10 239 km trip to date

The trip back to Tanzania was through the border posts where we passed three days before. We drove around Kilimanjaro for approx 240 degrees and apart from the views we had in Kenya, we did not know we drove around Kilimanjaro. One goes to the Kilimanjaro base camp in TZN to climb Kili, but nowhere in TZN is an unobstructed view of the mountain.

Lush vegetation around Kilimanjaro

We decided not to visit Tarangire NP and camped two nights at a brand new camp – Micombane camp – on the escarpment overlooking Lake Manyara on the way to the crater.

Migombane camp with Lake Manyara in the background

One of the reasons was to give me some time to re-emerge to the land of the living after a week of severe malaria. It gave me 48 hours of uninterrupted sleeping only to wake up to take Coartem tablets and sleep again. At least we know now that we do not have to be afraid of malaria as long as we have Coartem with us.

The next day we departed from this camp only after lunch, as the crater was only 60 km away and as all the other TZN parks the permit is valid for 24 hours. We entered at 15h30 and had to exit the NCA (crater conservation area) before 15h30 the following day, otherwise we have to pay for another day park fees. The trip within the NCA from the crater to Serengeti entrance gate is a 3 hour trip on a terribly corrugated gravel road and we wanted to descend into the crater early in the morning, to go back to camp, fetch the Cruizer and Cobus’s trailer and proceed to the Serengeti, all within the allowed 24 hours.

Olive baboon at the Ngorongoro Crater entrance gate

Again the fees were exorbitant! Park entry fees for 4 persons, camping for one night, 2 vehicles park fees and going down the crater in one vehicle set us back by USD815. To descent into the crater is USD295 per vehicle limited to a six hour trip.

Ngorongoro crater from the lookout point on the way to Simba A camp

We camped on the rim of the crater at the Simba A public campsite in bitter cold weather at an elevation of more than 2350 m.  Some buffalo and waterbuck shared the camp lawn with us.

Where we are now…

Next: down into the crater and onwards to Serengeti


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