Thursday, October 26, 2017

An Adventure Begins -- on the Way to Arusha and the Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the African World (along with the Serengeti, the Red Sea Reef, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Sahara Desert, the Nile River and a delta in Botswana).  We have been lucky enough to see the Red Sea (we didn't see the reef but we saw the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba), also Mt. Kilimanjaro from the air, the Masai Mara which is connected to the Serengeti, the Sahara Desert around Cairo during our 1-day layover there in June and also the Nile River.  Now we've also seen the Ngorongoro Crater -- so 6 of the 7 Wonders if you can count the Red Sea and the Serengeti (via the Mara).  How lucky can we be?

The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest, intact, inactive, un-waterfilled (is that a word?) volcanic caldera in the world.  A huge volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two or three million years ago.  The crater that resulted is huge, covering 100 square miles and it is full of life.  About 2500 animals call it home -- buffalo, wildebeest, eland, gazelles, zebras, elephants, hippos, rhinos.  Not the giraffe, sadly.  Most animals have no need to leave the crater as food and water is plentiful (although we were there in the dry season and we wondered what they were eating).

We booked rooms at the Serena Ngorongoro, a resort that is on the edge of the crater.  At the hotel, we were also able to book a driver and a safari vehicle to take us into the crater for a day.  It was well worth the money.  At first, we were going to drive ourselves into the crater but we're glad we opted for a guide and a safari vehicle in which we could stand up and look out.  It was great.

An added bonus was that we were able to share the gospel with our guide.  We could see in his eyes that he felt the spirit as we talked with him and he promised he would go to church on Sunday -- and he did!!!  Not sure of the outcome but we were glad we had shared the gospel.  It's so easy to share the gospel here in Africa.  People love to talk about Jesus Christ and to learn more of him.

Here we are at the world-famous Kilimanjaro International Airport.  Not very big for the amount of tourists that pass through here on their way to climb the mountain or to go to the Serengeti.

The Munsons also flew into Kilimanjaro from Dar Es Salaam and we met up with them and drove together into Arusha.  I enjoyed the scenery from the airport into Arusha.  As always, Elder Torrie and I love looking at the farmland.

The Munsons were here for three months before being transferred to Dar Es Salaam and we enjoyed hearing them tell us about the beautiful land.

As we approached Arusha, the vegetation greened up and there were many banana plantations and other crops.

Can you imagine living in this paradise of green?

Love this sign in the elevator in the apartment building that houses the senior couple apartment.  Click to read but here are some of them:  The Don't Do's when Using the lift!  Do not write your stupid messages on the Walls.  Do Not Hug and Kiss in the Lift.  Do not use it for short calls when drunk.  We know when to clean it.  Thanks if you will behave!

Lovely little orchid.

Flowering foliage is so beautiful here.

African lily

Thatched huts.  When some of our friends knew we were assigned on a mission to Africa, they teased us that we would live in thatched huts, right Katia?

It's the dry season right now as you can see.  That's a huge dust devil.

A photo of villagers that I snapped out the truck window.

An absolutely huge (in width) baobab tree that we stopped to see.  Not too many baobabs around here but the ones we saw were incredible.

Not sure what this dainty flower is.  Google said that "best guess is vegetation."  So much for know-it-all google.

You can see the size of the baobab when you compare it to Elder Torrie and Elder Munson.

Elder Torrie and Elder Munson amazed at the size of this tree.

I didn't want to walk down through the brush so I'm quite a ways away from the tree.

Interesting gnarly bark of the baobab.

Elder and Sister Munson at our first view of the crater.  It goes on and on.
Elder and Sister Torrie at the first crater viewpoint.

This tree looks like it belongs in a Halloween movie!  I think it's just covered with moss.
Ah . . . first view of my lovely zebras.  This is still outside of the crater so these zebras are definitely roaming wild.

Elder Torrie says I have too many pictures of zebras, but honestly, you can't have enough.  Each zebra is unique and we've seen hundreds of them.

You can see how dry things are here.  Yet they're finding something to graze.

Wildebeest and zebras.  We must be inside the crater now.  Not sure.  I think my pictures are all mixed up.

Don't you love the way the stripes go across the legs and around the head?  And in another of my posts, I have video of a zebra rolling over and there's a black stripe down the middle of its belly.  So interesting.  Who knew?

Loving our safari ride!

1 comment:

  1. VEry cool! Can't have too many pictures of Old Faithful, right? Or Zebras.