Firstly id like to mention Lucy one of the staff at Kliens who gave me a present of a lovely massi bracelet with my name on it....I have worn it ever since:))))))))))))
Back to Manyara airstrip (again) and picked up by Azizi our guide for this park. Lovely drive through the villages...people everywhere..dressed up families going to church, donkeys and ox pulling carts, bicicles, children with goats, shop selling everything and cows cows cows everywhere!! Our guide in Kliens told me everyone dreams of a nice house, nice car, nice clothes etc., Massi dream of Cows!!
Azizi gets us to close our eyes and when we open them there in front of us is the Crater..a view to remember. Then we get our first view of Crater Lodge ..what can I say about this place....5 star luxury with a world class view from your own balcony.
Not surprisingly it is not quite so personal as the other lodges we stayed at but there is nothing you couldnt like about Crater Lodge (except probably the price) The staff can have their families stay here and go to the local village school. our guide Azizi whos husband was also a guide here was looking forward to her 4yo daughter joining them sortly, she missed her so much.
We shared our vehicle with two other couples at this lodge and joinly we chose to do the early morning drive to the crater the next day.
5.00am and George brought us Coffee and cookies we where first at the truck waiting to go (unbelievable as David is not a early bird to put it mildly) We were the second vehicle in the Crater and rewarded by a sighting of a large male Lion going for an early morning drink. We saw large herds of Zebra, Buffalo, and wildebeest. There were not many other vehicles in the Crater at this time. We come across three lioness all with cubs, there is a solitary male buffalo in then distance so we wait around to see what developes. The Buffalo slowly comes closer and closer to the lions who seem pretty chilled and disinterested. We continue to watch as the Buffalo gets closer and closer oblivious to the lions until he is only several metres away. By now the lions have spotted him and as he spots the lions they start the chase. He is a very large male and turns and stands his ground ,at one time he is totally surrounded, but astonishingly he made his escape and the lions turn and walk right past our truck back to their resting place! We have a great shot of the Buffalo running with one of the lions running along side with all her 4 feet off the ground.
Azizi spots a Black Rhino in the distance, he start to come closer but then changes direction. We also see another 2 Rhino later in the day.
We then go for breakfast by the Hippo pool.
Later we see many more lions some are lying across the road blocking the access for the vehicles ..by now there are many more in the crater but it is not as busy as I thought it would be. We eventually head back to the lodge around 2.00pm an 8 hour drive...I loved it but David was very tired.
Had a relaxing afternoon enjoying the lodge, great dinner with the staff entertaining us with singing and dancing round the dining room, then fell asleep in front of our log fire...what an end to an amazing day.
We leave in the morning, back to Manyara airstrip (again) and on to Zanzibar.........