Monday, October 21, 2013

Tanzania: Serengeti, Ngorongoro Farm House

I woke up earlier than I wanted to but I was duly rewarded with a comparably beautiful Serengeti sunrise. The sky was many shades of pink and blue. We had a great breakfast and off we went with our packed lunches which the staff had kindly prepared for us. We were supposed to go out on a game drive and come back to the camp for lunch but we opted to take a packed lunch so we could arrive at our next destination by mid to late afternoon and have some time to enjoy the grounds.

Serengeti sunrise

Tree with thistles as long as spikes

Today was the day to see elephants - small and large. There were not as many as I saw in the Okavanga but there were sufficient that we could get a close look at them.

And of course, a safari would not be complete without the graceful giraffes, a crocodile waiting for its next meal and a large crash (herd) of rhinoceroses. We even saw a group of striped mongoose and broke out in song singing Sly mongoose (for you Guyanese).  
Crocodile on the bank


Striped mongoose

Impala (with the M on its butt)

Acacia tree

Baby warthog

Look this beautiful face!

Sausage tree
Siesta time for lions and cubs (in tree)

We had our fill of the Serengeti and saw all the animals that we hoped to see including 3 cheetahs in the distance. It would have been great to see them up close but we had to make do with binoculars because unlike the Okavanga Delta, you cannot off road in the Serengeti so we could not get as close as we wanted to.
We arrived at the Ngorongoro Farm House and upon looking at our luggage which had travelled in our vehicle with us, it was covered with dust! I suppose the hotel staff must be used to this because in no time, they brought out brushes and started to brush off the dust before taking them to our chalets.

Dusty luggage

What a misnomer it is to call this a farm house. It is so far removed from what a farm house might look like, that it looked more like an optical illusion. It was such an oasis in the  otherwise dry and dusty almost desert like conditions of the last few days that we could just look somewhat awestruck. The jacaranda trees served as a splendid backdrop to the grounds and their fallen flowers on the grass made for a charming mauve and green carpet. The groundskeepers ought to be commended.  

I admired the lush flower gardens and Sunita and I spent some time walking around checking out the herbs, greens and coffee trees on the plantation. We met the owner's brother Crispin and when we told him how much we enjoyed the grounds, I could see how pleased he was. They are the owners of the Tanganyika Adventure Camps and provided the accommodations for the safari part of our trip. 
Grounds of Ngorongoro Farm House

Coffee plant

Massai sandals made from recycled tires

Then we waited around for the sun to set over the valley and it was off to dinner where the food was exceptional.

Ngorongoro sunset
We went back to our room to settle into our comfy beds for the night. The layout of the room was exactly the same as the one at the Tloma Lodge except that we entered from the other direction in this one rather than the veranda which overlooked a forest. Lovely place. I wish I was staying here for a few days. They grow and serve their own organic coffee. Tomorrow I must remember to buy some beans to take home. Good night from an enchanting "farm house."

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