Days 4 The OLDUPAI DIG and NDUTU on the SERENGETI

Leaving Lake Manyara, we take time for one last view of the lake with a huge candelabra cactus—really the succulent Euphorbia—as we head northwest for our next destination at the Ndutu Safari Lodge. 

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Along the way we see a klipspringer, like a mountain goat, in the rocks

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and a golden dwarf mongoose hiding among the brush.

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On the plains, we see beautiful silver-cheeked hornbills.

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The female (on the left) has red around her eyes.  They feed on fruits, insects, small birds, rodents and small reptiles. 

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Passing through Magatu, there are colorful kanga shops.  Some were decorated with Obama’s picture.These are the colorful cloth wraps worn over clothes.

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And we find the Hillary Clinton Shop.

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Stopping for a quick view on the Ngorongoro Crater Rim, 2,000 feet below, we see the wind whipping up salt by a lake.  We’ll spend more time here on the way back.

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In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we pass a Maasai Manyatta, a village of grass and stick huts ringed with sticks and thorn bush to keep out wild animals.

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Next to the village, we see women and children from the village drying clothes in the grass with the odd juxtaposition of a modern heavy-duty road roller machinery nearby.

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A bit farther we see some tribesmen in their red kangas herding their goats.  The Maasai are a complicated people.

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On the way to the Ndutu Safari Lodge, we take a looong and very bumpy road (aka an African massage) to the  paleoanthropological site in Oldupai.  The Oldupai Gorge Archeology Site, in the eastern Serengeti of Tanzania, is where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey found the earliest human remains and first evidence of hominis’ use of stone tools.  This was important information furthering understanding of human evolution.  This is a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.  Discoveries here support the concept that Africa is probably the “Cradle of Mankind.”  The remains of the earliest humans, from over 1.6 million years ago, were found in this gorge.

We look over the monolith in the heart of the gorge

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As we listen to a lecture.  Then we move to the dig site before heading off.

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As we arrive in Ndudu we are treated to a gorgeous sunset

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Followed by a full moon.  Beautiful. 

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During dinner at the lodge we have visitors—genet “cats” come each evening and perch on the rafters.  They are most closely related to the mongoose.

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During the night we hear hunting lions roaring all around us.  We’ll explore this amazing place for the next two days.

 

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