Close encounters with lions and very early man

Friday, March 01, 2013
Ngorongoro, Arusha Region, Tanzania
The first hours game drive did not feature any game and then we came across a pack of safari vehicles surrounding a lion. It was so crowded we didn't bother and went to another area, on our return suddenly all the vehicles vanished so we drove up and saw a pride of 10 or more lions a few feet away. No sooner had we taken photos when a land rover pulled up and we were told off for being “off road” that is why the safari vehicles vanished, they heard on the radio that the ranger was on his way. We ate humble pie and no action seemed to be taken. The safari drivers are more vulnerable as their licences can be revoked.  The rangers did not have a uniform, nor was the vehicle marked.
The main road through the Serengeti is awful. It is corrugated earth and restricts your speed to less than 20mph. If you go any faster the back of the car seems to become predominant and you start to spin. The safari drivers hurtle past at 50mph. On quizzing them I discovered their vehicles are 2 wheel drive with an option to engage 4 wheels if needed. Once I discovered this we noticed that all permanent 4 wheel drive vehicles (Land Rovers and Land Cruisers) were struggling whilst all the others bowled along.
Our next hotel was Olduvai Camp, we arrived at 3.40, there was no one around, the bar was fully stocked but no barman, there was no evidence of a reception, we walked right round the place and it was deserted. Eventually someone turned up and we were welcomed and shown our tent. Much like all the up market permanent tent hotels. Before dinner we had a walk with a “Massi Warrior” with his motor cycle tyre shoes and traditional mobile phone holder to the nearest hill where we watched the sun go down and I took a few sunset pictures.
Next day we visited the Oldivai gorge museum. This is the place where the Leaky's discovered the missing link between ape and man, in fact they found two branches of man, the smaller one became extinct.We then intended to do a circular drive on the roads shown on the map however it seems these roads are a figment of the cartographers imagination. To go into the gorge you need a guide, the other roads don't exist. Eventually we gave up and spent the afternoon in the camp.
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