To Die For

Linda Lou Burton posting from Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania– A promise kept. My room at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge has a splendid, to-die-for private balcony overlooking the Crater, just as promised. Nothing is visible from my own private balcony but the Crater. Just: CRATER. I am happy with that. It’s Rick’s view too, but he’s down IN Crater today, while I am sitting on my (at this moment) own private balcony, looking AT it. Kinda makes me feel like God or something. At worst, an eagle. I started looking at Crater at 5:50 AM; that’s when the sun’s rays pinked it to life. Rick was long gone by then, and it was chilly on the balcony, but I made myself a cup of tea, wrapped a blanket around, and just sat there looking. Then, my head filled with images of crater-from-my-own-balcony, I crawled back into bed, still hoping to catch up on desperately needed sleep.

We didn’t get to the Lodge until 7:30 last night; after check-in and dinner and everything else, lights out was way after 10. Our drive from the Visitor Center (where Ben pulled his double-cross) was like something from a Washington Irving tale; the Headless Horseman riding through the dark at break-neck speed? Instead of a horse, we were in a 4×4 on a winding, rocky, unlit stretch of road going up the side of a mountain. Willy did his best, God love his soul, driving fast; we were running two hours late. A safari driver expects to drive in daylight hours, stopping frequently to watch animals doing animal things, right? A frightened baby buffalo was the only thing we saw in that wild ride, caught in our headlights as we rounded a curve.

Later I’ll reflect on (and probably laugh about) all the things that have gone haywire in the first two days with Ben as our guide. But today, I have my balcony!

Look at what I looked at as the day progressed. All rooms in this two-story Lodge overlook the same awe-inspiring spectacle: The Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. It is 2,000 feet deep and its floor covers 100 square miles. Lake Magadi is the seasonal salt lake in the center of the crater; there are many springs and swamps on the crater floor, important water supplies for the animals and the local Maasai. Note in some photo zooms trees, swamps, vehicles, and animals.


Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Next Post: Rick’s Photos From In The Crater