Name ID 442

See also

Hanby, Jeannette & Bygott, David Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Page Number: 08
Extract Date: - 2,500,000

Ngorongoro collapses

Ngorongoro perhaps as big as Kilimanjaro, and collapses inward

Extract ID: 840

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 119
Extract Date: 1870

The Wakefield Map

Paper IX: Early Maps of East Africa

The map was published in the journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. XL, 1870. Accompanying an article by the Rev. T. Wakefield, missionary of Mombasa, entitled "Routes of Native Caravans from the Coast to the interior of Eastern Africa."

It is the first known map to show either Ngorongoro or the Serengeti. A general concept of the country south east of Meru was beginning to emerge. The Rift Wall is shown running due North and South from Lake Baringo to Lake Manyara.

Along the line of the rift, on its western flank, running southward from Lengai, Serengeti is shown. A caravan route, distinct from the main routes to Lake Victoria detailed in the text, is shown running westward from the Pare Mountains, and terminating at Ngorongoro, rightly placed to the west of the rift and just north of the northern tip of Lake Manyara.

Original size 48cm x 39 cm. Photograph by Hugh von Larwick

Extract ID: 3216

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 025
Extract Date: 1870 & 1882

Early Map of Ngorongoro

map published by Royal Geographical Society, based on accounts of early Christian missionaries (mainly working on the coast, and with reports based on hearsay). Ngorongoro described as a thickly populated Masai district with many villages in a country full of big game.

Extract ID: 671

See also

Kjekshus, Helge Ecology Control and Economic Development in East African History

Farler describes the Ngorongoro Crater

Farler describes the Ngorongoro Crater as:

�a thickly populated Masai district with many villages. The country is full of big game, harboured in the neighbouring forest. A strong boma is made here, and the caravan remains about twenty days to trade and hunt....

There are several wells here, with good water and much cattle. The country is very open, with a good pasturage of short sweet grass, and no trees."

Extract ID: 672

See also

Matthiessen, Peter The Tree Where Man Was Born
Page Number: 161
Extract Date: 1972

Ngurdoto, like the famous Ngorongoro

Ngurdoto, like the famous Ngorongoro, is extinct, and both have the graduated bowl known as a caldera, which is formed when the molten core of a volcano subsides into the earth and the steep crater walls fall inward. Ngorongoro was unknown to the outside world until 1892, and not until early in this century did the white man find this smaller caldera to the east of Meru.

Extract ID: 77

See also

Matthiessen, Peter The Tree Where Man Was Born
Page Number: 161
Extract Date: 1972

Ngurdoto, like the famous Ngorongoro

Ngurdoto, like the famous Ngorongoro, is extinct, and both have the graduated bowl known as a caldera, which is formed when the molten core of a volcano subsides into the earth and the steep crater walls fall inward. Ngorongoro was unknown to the outside world until 1892, and not until early in this century did the white man find this smaller caldera to the east of Meru.

Extract ID: 77

See also

Kjekshus, Helge Ecology Control and Economic Development in East African History

By 1905 he [Siedentopf] held more than 2,000 head of . . .

By 1905 he [Siedentopf] held more than 2,000 head of cattle and had plans to expand up to 5,000. (Fuchs)

Extract ID: 674

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa
Page Number: 50
Extract Date: 1913

Ngorongoro Tombs

A Siedentopf, who had established a cattle ranch on the crater bottom, and his assistant Rothe discovered mounds near their homestead in 1912 and soon recognised them as burial cairns. They were later examined by Drs Reck (in 1913) and Arning (in 1915), who found in one of them the skeletons of a man, a woman and, lying between them, of a child.

.... Professor Ankermann - in an appendix to Reck's paper - states that the Ngorongoro tombs show several similarities with. but also contrasts to, those of Engaruka, but that both types prove Hamitic origin. He is unable to decide their age but doubts whether they should be ascribed to a Neolithic culture, as Reck does.

Extract ID: 1217

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 177
Extract Date: 1917

First record of British presence in Ngorongoro

First record of British presence in Ngorongoro is visit of military cattle buying party.

Mr. H.C. Allison, of Mumbwa Copper Mine in Zambia tells me [Fosbrooke] that he visited the crater with Lieutenant Middleton in 1917 to purchase cattle for the British troops.

Extract ID: 36

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 156b
Extract Date: 1962

a paradise of nature?

With the arrival of peace, and with the British taking over Tanganyika's affairs, there was a fresh chance of the crater being allowed to revert to its former role - a paradise of nature. It very nearly did nothing of the sort. The Germans had begun farming it, and therefore arrangements were made for British farmers to carry on with the work. The two houses, the one at Lerai, and the other to the north, were still standing; but for the time being there were more convenient agricultural pickings nearer to the towns and the railways. By the time people were beginning to look elsewhere, the crater was being regarded as a protected area, even though no legislation had been made to this effect. When a conservation law was eventually passed, the 130 square miles of the crater formed part of a huge national park collectively known as the Serengeti. This covered 7,500 square miles.

Extract ID: 3750

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 194a
Extract Date: 1921

First Game Laws introduced

First Game Laws introduced. Game Preservation Ordinance demanded that hunting should be on a licence for which fees were laid down: certain methods of hunting were prohibited, but no special regulations were applied to the Serengeti or Ngorongoro, which could be hunted over just as anywhere else. As lion were at that time classified as vermin, they could be shot without restriction.

Extract ID: 676

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 026

Clark's account of his first view of the crater

Clark's account of his first view of the crater is worth recording:

'Imagine yourself standing on the edge of a gigantic bowl twelve miles in diameter with huge sweeping walls rising to a wonderfully uniform height two thousand feet above the level of the bottom. One gazed down upon lakes and forests and plains that were so merged into uniformity by the distance as to seem like nothing more than a gigantic and amazingly smooth floor covered with a patchwork of different shades of green and tan, with here and there the sheen of sunlight on smooth water. I clung there gazing for minutes, making out this and that, and concious of wast numbers of black and white specks that looked very much as peper and salt might look scattered about the bottom of a bowl of dark green jade. I focused my glasses and to my amazement the specks came to life and resolved themselves into enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra. The brightly marked zebra were the tiny grains of salt. The dark wildebeest were the flakes of peper and even when my glasses had shown me positively what they were, I could hardly believe my eyes, so vast were their numbers.'

Extract ID: 678

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 122b
Extract Date: 1927

Hunting near the Crater

In 1927 Dick Cooper engaged Blixen for a three-month safari. Blixen was on hand to meet his client on the docks at Mombasa, and the safari was soon making its journey inland.

. . . . .

Blixen subsequently took Cooper into Tanganyika to hunt in the area surrounding Ngorongoro crater. In 1927 there were still no roads in the region, which teemed with an assortment of wildlife. Bror had engaged porters at Nganika Springs, northeast of the crater, and the safari had trekked up the steep slopes to the forested rim at eight thousand feet, then down the other side to the floor of the crater at six thousand feet.

Blixen had obtained permission to camp in the crater so that Cooper could obtain exotic wildlife films. Before the war two German brothers named Siedentopf had lived on the crater floor and killed thousands of wildebeest in order to can the tongues, which were carted out on the backs of porters all the way to Arusha.

One of the brothers, Adolf, wound up dead with a Masai spear through the abdomen. Arusha white hunter George W. Hurst was subsequently granted a 99-year lease on the crater.

When Hurst was later killed by an elephant, the lease passed to an Englishman [sic: he was Scottish] named Sir Charles Ross, manufacturer of the Ross bolt-action rifle, and its advanced .280 Ross cartridge (.280 nitro). Ross had first visited the crater on a foot safari during which numbers of rhino, lion, and other game were shot, but once he acquired a proprietary interest, his attitude changed, and he took measures to reduce hunting and protect the animals, many of which were migratory.

Extract ID: 3811

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 028a
Extract Date: 1928

Crater visitors

Norman B Livermore, American businessman, visited the Crater with Andrew Newbury, with J.A.Hunter as their professional Hunter, assisted by K.Fourie.

Extract ID: 656

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 175

A brief chronology

1892 Baumann visits Crater (March)

1899c. Siedentopf establishes himself in Crater

1908 Fourie visits Siedentopf

1913 Professor Reek's first visit

1916 Siedentopf departs (March)

1920 British mandate over Tanganyika

1921 Sir Charles Ross, Barns and Dugmore visit Crater: first Game Laws introduced

1922 Holmes' photographic expedition: Hurst living in Crater

1923 The Livermore safari

1926c Veterinary camp established at Lerai

1928 Crater declared Complete Reserve

1930 All Ngorongoro and Serengeti declared Closed Reserve

1932 First motor road to crater rim

1934 Author's first visit to Ngorongoro

1935 Building of first Lodge commenced

1940 East rim road to northern highlands: first National Parks legislation: unimplemented

1948 First National Parks Ordinance receives assent

1951 National Parks Ordinance comes into operation: boundaries of Serengeti gazetted (1 June)

1952 Park administration moves in (August)

1954 D-O. posted to Ngorongoro: cultivation prohibited by law: 'squatters' evicted

1956 Sessional Paper No. i publishes Government's proposals re Ngorongoro and the Serengeti

1957 Committee of Enquiry Report (October)

1958 Government Paper No. 5 announces Government's decision

1959 Conservation Area inaugurated (i July)

1961 Arusha Conference and Arusha Manifesto: author takes over as Chairman of Authority (September)

1963 Authority disbanded and Conservator appointed

1963 Catering first started at Lodge

1965 First Tanzanian Conservator appointed (September)

Extract ID: 2928

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 194
Extract Date: 1928

Ngorongoro Crater declared Complete Reserve

Ngorongoro Crater, bounded by the rim, declared Complete Reserve in which all hunting was prohibited. As about one third of the Crater floor was in private ownership - that of Sir Charles Ross - that area had to be excluded from the order, but there is no evidence that Sir Charles, or any of his friends ever took advantage of this position of privilege: on the contrary he was one of the earliest to regard the crater as a game sanctuary.

Extract ID: 680

See also

Arusha: A Brochure of the Northern Province and its Capital Town
Page Number: 13-15-17
Extract Date: 1929

The Hunter's Paradise

It is safe to say that Tanganyika holds a front place among our East African Colonies for the number and variety of its game animals. The belt from Tanga through to Lake Victoria is where game is most numerous. There is an abundance of the commoner antelope, and in certain parts the rarer species such as the Greater and Lesser Kudu, Gerenuk, etc., are still fairly plentiful. Big game like the Elephant, Rhinocerous, Lion and Buffalo, all of which hold for the hunter a new thrill and experience, are to be found in this area in such a variety of country and cover that the Hunting of no two animals is ever alike.

Here the hunter passes through most interesting country; Kilimanjaro with its snow-capped dome, running streams and dense forests, across the plains to the Natron Lakes and the Great Rift Wall with its volcanic formation and on to the great Crater, Ngorongoro. In his travels he will come into contact with some of the most interesting and picturesque tribes that inhabit Africa such as the Masai, Wambulu, etc., each with their own quaint customs and histories.

The Ngorongoro Crater, the greatest crater in the world, measuring approximately 12 miles in diameter, seen from the Mbulu side, is a delight to the eye with its teeming herds of game ; Wildebeest alone running into tens of thousands. This scene conveys to one the idea of a great National Park. Nature has provided the crater with a precipitous rock fence for tns most part and with lakes and streams to slake the thirst of the great game herds which inhabit it. The unalienated part of the crater is now a complete game reserve in which a great variety of game is to be found such as Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Lion, and all the smaller fry. The Elephant although not in the crater is to be found in the forests nearby.

The Serengetti Plains lying away to the northwest of the crater holds its full share of animal life and here the sportsman has the widest possible choice of trophies. The Lion in this area holds full sway and is still to be seen in troops of from ten to twenty. Recently, Serengetti and Lion pictures have become synonymous. The commoner species of game are here in abundance and the plains are second only to the crater for game concentration. The country lying between the Grumeti River - Orangi River and the Mbalangeti from Lake Victoria to the Mou-Kilimafetha Road has recently been declared a game reserve.

Game animals that inhabit the northern area are well protected an'd their existence is assured to posterity by the great game sanctuaries and regulations which govern the Hunting or photographing of game.

In the Northern area there are six complete reserves and two closed areas. These are as follows:

(1) Kilimanjaro.

(2) Mount Meru.

(3) Lake Natron

(4) Northern Railway.

(5) Ngorongoro.

(6). Serengetti.

The closed areas are :

Pienaar's Heights, near Babati and Sangessa Steppe in the Kondoa district. The boundaries for these are laid down in the Game Preservation Ordinance No. 41 of 1921. There are, however, vast areas open to the hunter and the abovementioned sanctuaries do not in any way detract from the available sport which the Northern Tanganyika has to offer.

The following game licences are now in force (Shillings)

:Visitor's Full Licence - 1500

Visitor's Temporary Licence (14 days) - 200

Resident's Full Licence - 300

Resident's Temporary Licence (14 days) - 60

Resident's Minor Licence - 80

Giraffe Licence - 150

Elephant Licence 1st. - 400

2nd. - 600

To hunt the Black Rhinoceros in the Northern Province it is now necessary to hold a Governor's Licence, the fee for which is 150/-. This entitles the holder to hunt one male Rhinoceros. Elephant, Giraffe, and Rhinoceros Licences may only be issued to holders of full game licences.

Now that the Railway is through to Arusha it is not too much to hope that with the assistance of a healthy public opinion the Sanya Plains may become restocked with game which would be a great source of interest and an attraction to the traveller visiting these parts.

Extract ID: 3404

See also

Hanby, Jeannette & Bygott, David Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Page Number: 13
Extract Date: 1930's


Road constructed through Ngorongoro

Extract ID: 682

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 178
Extract Date: 1932

Ngorongoro could only be reached by foot

Ngorongoro could only be reached by foot until the first road was constructed from Oldeani (Kampi Nyoka) to the Crater rim, and thence to Balbal and the Serengeti in about 1932.

Extract ID: 685

See also

Arusha for an African Holiday
Extract Date: 1936

Ngorongoro - the game filled crater World's most magnificent Natural Game . . .

World's most magnificent Natural Game Reserve - Home of Countless Herds.

The world to-day is, for the most part, settled and civilised. The jaded town-dweller,seeking relief from jangled nerves, looks in vain at the merits of this or that tourist playground whose attractions are so temptingly displayed in muli-coloured pamphlets. Everywhere he sees the same jostle of civilization, the same unending stream of motor traffic, the same crowded beaches.

What he longs for is to get off the beaten track, to find a place where life flows gently by, where he can combine the charm of the unkown with the comfort which modern travel can bring ; where he can revel in the joys of 'safari', or rest his eyes on the illimitable vastness and grandeur of Africa's horizons ; where he can enjoy the invigourating crispness of Africa's highlands, vivid with sunshine, and sense the glory of the African night.

To such a man East Africa makes its confident appeal, offering him all and more than his heart desires. And in no part of East Africa is there to be found, combined within such a short range, so many of the delights of an African holiday as at Arusha. Nestling in delightful surroundings at the foot of Mount Meru (14,995ft), cooled by breezes from the ice-packs of Kilimanjaro (19,300ft), the highest mountain in Africa, and within easy reach of the world's greatest big-game districts, it is an ideal centre from which to see the real Africa.

Extract ID: 24

See also

Arusha for an African Holiday
Page Number: Cover

Ngorongoro the Game Filled Crater

Extract ID: 1252

See also

Tanganyika Guide
Page Number: 069
Extract Date: 1948

Typical safari starting from Arusha

It would take a book to describe the variety of sport to be had in the areas where shooting is permissible, and there is only space here to give a brief sketch of a typical safari starting from Arusha by car and motoring by way of Engaruka, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti plains.

Arusha itself may be reached by air, by road or by railway. Ten miles out of the town antelope, giraffe and zebra can often be seen. Forty miles further comes the first view of the Rift Wall, that great crack in the Earth's surface which cuts through Africa almost from north to south. Lake Manyara can be seen under the dark shadow of the Rift. At seventy miles out the road turns northwards along the Rift Valley through great herds of game to Engaruka. On the left there is the great wall of the Rift Valley, and away on the right is open undulating country, with many herds of game and Masai cattle sharing the grazing and living in harmony.

The green swamp and forest belt at Kitete conceals many buffalo and rhinoceros, and elephant and hippopotamus occasionally visit the place. To the right the plains are covered with hundreds of termite hills. Grant's gazelle, ostrich and impala will be seen on the way as well as giraffe, accompanied often by their young, who gaze with soft eyes at the car and sometimes allow it to pass within a few yards of them.

At Engaruka there are stone ruins of a great village where the inhabitants were perhaps once concentrated for defence against the Masai. On a frontage of about three miles tier upon tier of terracing is still clearly visible and closer inspection shows the rock-built homes, the graves and the huge cairns of a vanished people. From Engaruka Masai bomas may also be visited without difficulty.

During a stay of a week in this neighbourhood lion, zebra, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, impala, wildebeest, rhinoceros, oryx and gerenuk may be obtained.

From here Maji Moto, sixty miles south along the Rift Wall, may be visited. The hot springs there seem to be a natural spa for wild life and there will be found spoor of elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and all kinds of smaller game. The place is a game photographer's paradise.

Lake Manyara, seen from the hot springs, has a great variety of birds, including thousands of flamingoes. On from here the route lies over the Rift Wall up steep slopes to the Ngorongoro Crater.

The first view of the crater is magnificent ; it is one of the greatest in the world, the floor, twelve miles across, lies 2,000 feet below the precipitous walls, covering an area of approximately 100 square miles. The drive along to the Ngorongoro Crater Rest Camp is one thrill after another, each succeeding view of the crater being more beautiful than the last. Suddenly the most delightful camp is sighted-a group of about twenty log cabins, in the most wonderful natural setting. A night or two may be spent here* and the great concentration of game on the crater floor may be watched with glasses. Thousands of animals make their home in the crater throughout the year.

Then the way leads into the Serengeti Plains which may one day become the greatest national park in the world. In a stay of a few days in the Serengeti great concentrations of game will be seen, It is not uncommon for visitors to photograph as many as fifty different lions in a stay of only a few days, and the masses of game have to be seen to be believed.

On the return route the visitor can go to Mongalla, west of Oldeani Mountain, where hippopotamus, rhinoceros and other big game may be hunted, then pass through Mbulu, camp in the game area at Basotu Lake, go past Hanang Mountain and Babati Lake and so back into Arusha. Such a trip gives a month of enjoyment . which for the lover of wild life cannot be surpassed, and it is only one of many that can be made in the game areas of Tanganyika Territory, the finest hunting ground in the world.

Extract ID: 4355

See also

Hanby, Jeannette & Bygott, David Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Page Number: 13
Extract Date: 1948

National Parks Ordinance

National Parks Ordinance

Extract ID: 688

See also

Ngorongoro and the Serengeti Plains

The road to the crater

From the turn off the Great North Road 50 miles south of Arusha, the route to Ngorongoro soon begins to lead down into the rift and a splendid view unfolds: the silver gleam of Lake Manyara to the left, the white encrusted cone of Ol Donyo Lengai ("Mountain of God"), a periodically active volcano, far away to the right and, beyond, the deep blue ridge of 9,000 ft hills, in which the Ngorongoro lies, forming the western wall of the Great Rift Valley. We cross the valley, here 20 miles wide, 3,500 ft above sea-level and sprinkled with giraffe, zebra, buck and other plains animals, including a few magnificent but seldom seen black-manned lion, and, unless we can spare the time for a visit to Lake Manyara where millions of rosy flamingos and pelicans vie for admiration with the elephant, buffalo and rhino which haunt its shores, pass through the little trading centre of Mto wa Mbu ("Mosquito River") and over the streams which give it its name, and climb out of the heat up the magnificent buttress of the west wall of the rift by a series of hairpin bends.

There follows a stretch of undulating park-like country and, just short of the European farming community of Oldeani, one turns right and one is almost immediately negotiating a mountain road twisting up the flank of thickly wooded gorges. Suddenly Ngorongoro bursts into view - there is no more apt phrase, for the road turns a corner and there at the side of the road the world end. At least so it seems until far below in a hazy golden glow, one sees the sunlit floor of the Crater or giant cauldron, and 15 miles away the pale mauve mountains of its further rim.

Extract ID: 3693

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 02
Extract Date: 1953 August 14


We awoke to a very misty morning - it was impossible to see even all the huts in the camp (there were a dozen or so). It was a bit damp and chilly, but we managed to produce a hot breakfast to help the day along. Last evening I had enquired about guides, and one turned up just before 10.

We were undecided as to what to do, so I went up to the office where the Game Warden had arrived. I discovered I had met him in Arusha, and we had a chat with him. He suggested that we went into the crater with a guide, (who thought it too much for the boys), where the weather would be better, then return in the afternoon and go out for a car ride after tea.

So we packed up sandwich lunch and set off with an African guide about 11am. It was still misty at the top, and for the first part, through long grasses, we could not see far. Eventually we came to a rough stony path going downhill all the time. To get into the crater meant going down about 2000 ft. Nearly half way down the mist began to clear and we could see into the Crater. The inside is about 15 miles x 20 miles, and is like a huge plain surrounded by hills. It seems strange to think that you are inside of a mountain. Big herds of game were roaming around on the plain and we were able to see lots of zebra and eland, some gazelle and rhino.

The boys found the going a bit difficult, so we stopped before the bottom for lunch. E. and the boys did not go any further, the last lap was hardest and D & P would have found it very difficult to get back. After lunch I went on further into the plain with the Guide and got fairly close to very large herds of zebra and eland - we hoped to see a rhino which had been around. But E. and the boys saw the rhino from where they were sitting.

When I returned with the Guide we all went up together and got back to the camp about 4.30. After a meal we went out in the car, along the road from the camp for about 7 miles. We thought we were not going to be lucky as on the way out we saw only one buffalo, but returning we saw 3 more fairly closely, then a large herd of them, a few zebras and some buck occasionally. There had been elephant about on previous evenings - but we saw none.

Extract ID: 568

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 041
Extract Date: 1954

Living in the Crater

Over 200 families, of which 82 were Masai, were established on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, growing maize and tobacco, diverting streams for irrigation and destroying vegetation. Apart from the Masai, none of these new arrivals could claim traditional rights of occupancy in the Park, and in 1954 their activities were banned. By the end of the year almost all the cultivation in the Park had ceased and most of the crop growers had been re-settled elsewhere.

Extract ID: 1325

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 196
Extract Date: 1954

50 cultivating households in the Crater

It is not generally realised that in 1954 there were about 50 cultivating households in the Crater, comprising 67 adult males, 57 females and 119 children.

In addition to the village clustered round the old Siedentopf farm at Lerai - where the remains of the sisal hedges surrounding their fields can still be seen - settlements had sprung up at Koitoktok and the Lonyuki stream. Homes for these people were found outside the area and they were assisted by the Government in their move.

Likewise Empakaai crater was inhabited by 50 families, who were similarly moved, but infiltrated back again and in the period 1961 to 1965 presented a difficult problem to the Conservator, eventually solved by my successor.

Extract ID: 692

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 197
Extract Date: 1954

Kimba Lodge


Assistant District Office posted to Ngorongoro: his house is now the Kimba Lodge.

Extract ID: 693

See also

Tanganyika Standard
Extract Date: 1954 May 22

Lease of Trading Rights - Serengeti National Park Tenders are invited . . .

Notice in The Tanganyika Standard

Lease of Trading Rights - Serengeti National Park

Tenders are invited for the lease of premises and the right to trade there from in the Serengeti National Park. The premises are:

1. Shop and living quarter at Ngorongoro Market

2. Shop and living quarter at Ondoldol

3. Shop and living quarter at Nainokanoka

The present Rights of Occupancy of Traders at the above mentioned places expire on 30th June 1954 and will not be renewed. The successful tenderer(s) will replace these Traders; and will be required to be ready to commence trading on 1st July 1954.

The subject of the Tender will be an annual renta Shs. 720/- per annum for the plot and premises thereon, together with an annual concession premium of Shs. 400/- payable quarterly in advance.

Copy of the relative form of Lease Agreement can be obtained from the Secretary P.O.Box 180, Arusha on payment of a fee of Shs. 5/-. Tenders in sealed envelopes clearly marked 'Tender for Trading Rights' must reach The Secretary, P.O.Box 180 Arusha not later than 5th June 1954.

G.H.Swynnerton, Chairman, Board of Management, Serengeti National Park. Arusha, 18th May 1954

Extract ID: 1326

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 09
Extract Date: 1955 August 1


We were up early on Sunday morning, and I decided to have breakfast first with the boys, and then leave them at the Rest House while I went out for the 8 am service. ...

then back to the Rest House for a quiet hour before packing up everything to go to the Ngorongoro Crater. Nothing had opened up for us to stay elsewhere in Oldeani, and as the Oldeani Rest House was only available for us up to Monday night, I decided to spend the next two nights up at the Crater, and come back to Oldeani district on Tuesday morning.

We left the Oldeani dukas about 4pm ... we had a good journey up to the Park entrance, and then got stuck with petrol trouble again at the gates where we stopped. This took a little time to clear so we were later getting up to the top than I had hoped. It was a fine afternoon, clear and sunny, so we had wonderful views of the Oldeani farms as we climbed the road up the crater hill taking us up to over 6,000 ft. We made all the hilliest part without any trouble, and the car pulled very well and rode very comfortably.

We stopped at the viewpoint looking down into the Crater, 7 miles from the camp - then had the old petrol trouble again. We were comforted this time by a passing car, whose occupants reported that they had had similar difficulties. We were helped a bit by them and then moved on, only to find our companions stuck within a hundred yards. They told us to carry on and when we saw them next morning they said that they took nearly two hours to get into the Camp and do the seven miles.

We arrived at the Camp site about 6.30 p.m. It was a fine evening and a moonlit night, which helped the atmosphere for settling in. We had a two bunk, single room to ourselves with a separate kitchen, not being shared while we were there. There was reasonably hot water on tap so we were glad to have a good bath. D & P were happy to play around for a while with a couple of other boys, which gave me a chance of getting unpacked and organising beds and a meal.

The Camp has grown since we were here last - more huts, including 'double-roomed, self contained' ones and a Club Room, with a lounge and bar! Also a large telescope to view the Crater from the doorway of the lounge. It's almost too comfortable for a camp. Needless to say once we got sorted out all we bothered about was baths, supper and bed. The boys thoroughly enjoyed safari camping and tackled all meals with great gusto, existing on cocoa with mixed milk powder as the chief drink! The evening was clear and we could see into the Crater from our hut, which was much further down than the one we had before. We were glad of the fire in the hut, as later on the night became very cold. The boys seem to have slept well and warm, but I found a camp-bed on the floor a bit draughty. Wooden logs huts usually have a few cracks somewhere or other.

Extract ID: 574

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 10
Extract Date: 1955 August 2


Monday morning David and Paul woke early and we were underway with a cooked breakfast by 7.30 am. It was the usual cold and misty morning of this time of the year at the Crater, though the mist often cleared and we got some good views of the Crater from 7 onward. The mist was moving all the time, but the whole of the camp site was always clear. ... Neither D nor P seemed concerned to go down into the Crater again, and David was anxious we should get out to see the Serengeti.

I saw the camp manager, Joe Salter, as we came in last night, and during the morning I saw Maj. Hewlett, the Game Warden. He said a trip along the road toward the Serengeti was possible and told me of a new track he was opening up into the crater, which we could take for about 4 miles. ...

We had a fairly substantial "elevenses" and then went out from the Camp along the road towards the Serengeti Plains which could be seen in the distance after about 5 miles. At 7 miles out there was a good view point (Windy Gap) into the crater from a point much further round from the Camp site. We saw some Maasai folk here and tried to get photos also of the Crater. Just past this point was the new track which ran off the road for about 4 miles and took us further round into the Crater so that we were looking at it from the other end from the Camp. We came back from here and went on further to about 12 miles to what I suppose might be called the edge of the Serengeti, where the road straightened out and dropped more steadily and obviously just went on and on into a typically dusty desert-like African Plain. There were no lions!

We returned straight back to camp by about 2.30 p.m. and had a late lunch which was tackled heartily by the boys. Then we went out again along the Crater road in the Oldeani direction. ... we all got to bed early. It was much colder during this second night at the Crater.

Extract ID: 575

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 11
Extract Date: 1955 August 3


It was fairly clear on Tuesday morning at the Camp. We had a good run down into Oldeani, misty in patches, though occasionally it cleared to give us views of the Oldeani farms. I found the turning off the crater road, which took us round the back of the farms on to the road that led down to the village shops. I reckon that I just about know my way around Oldeani now after about 6 or 7 visits though I still do not reckon to know who is on all the farms. From the Karatu end to the other end of the District well over 20 miles just along the road, and there are about 30 farms in the whole area. Many of them have their houses only a mile as the crow flies from their neighbour, but it is often more like 5 miles to get round by road and tracks.

We called at the Purchases ... after we left them, we stopped at the dukas for Lazaro's benefit, and he decided to stay there until we came back for him late in the afternoon. Then we went on to Mrs Ching's estate for lunch. .A new family has just come there, the Holton's, and their daughter aged nine who was very pleased to have the company of other children for half a day.

Mrs Ching and Mrs Holton are both interested in "improving" church servies when the new club is opened, and asked about making contributions of suitable items of furniture. They also asked if more regular servies might be provided in the future. I am wondering just how much they may be spurred on by the fact that the Afrikaans folk are having more regular visits from their minister now!

It was well on to 5 p.m. before we got away from here, and as I had decided to spend the next two nights at Karatu, we went straight over to there, there being as much as 20 miles to cover. The roads were pretty dusty especially around the farms, and some of the bends wanted watching. On one of them the dust was so thick that we practically skidded round an S-bend, and then the wind whipped up the dust we created and blew it right across the car so that it was literally falling down the front of the windscreen as if some one had emptied a bucket of dusty sand from the roof of the car.

We picked up Lazaro at the Oldeani dukas and then got over to Karatu after 6 - to find that the Rest House was deserted, and all locked-up, though fortunately the back door had been left unlocked. We were able to get in and unpack, but there was no boy around in charge, and so no "kuni" (wood) for fires, and then to our dismay not water from the taps. We scrounged round for a little wood to light the bath fire, as we were able to do the cooking on the primus. Fortunately I had a good supply of drinking water available in the car to eke out for supper and breakfast if necessary. Judging from the next day it would seem that the water supply is off here at night for the present.

However we managed to get settled in and had a cooked meal, some kind of wash and then eventually to bed. David and Paul were very good over all this kind of thing and I never had a grumble from them the whole safari; occasionally they got a bit silly in their ways, but accepted all that came. Jolly good for them!

Extract ID: 576

See also

Hanby, Jeannette & Bygott, David Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Page Number: 13
Extract Date: 1956

Conflict between Park Authorities and Maasai

Conflict between Park Authorities and Maasai caused park to be split up. Maasai moved out of Serengeti Park, but not excluded from Ngorongoro

these from the first edition

Extract ID: 695

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 197c
Extract Date: 1956

Sessional Paper No. 1

Sessional Paper No. 1 publishes Governments proposals re Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. This recommended the breakup of the Serengeti National Park into three smaller parks: Western Serengeti, Ngorongoro National Park, and Empakaai Crater Park.

Extract ID: 694

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 198
Extract Date: 1956 July

three man Committee of Enquiry set up.

three man Committee of Enquiry set up. Sir Ronald Sinclair (Chairman), Sir Landsborough Thomson, and Chief Humbi Ziota. In the event the Chairman was not available and replaced by Sir Barclay Nihill. Mr. F.J. Musthill also joined. Evidence from many people, including Prof Pearsall, commissioned by the Fauna Preservation Society to represent the British case. His report, based an a two month visit to the area in Nov-Dec 1956 in effect formed the scientific basis of the recommendations of the Committee.

Extract ID: 696

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 18
Extract Date: 1956 December 31


Filled up with petrol at Karatu. Off about 11.30. Took it slowly up to Ngorongoro Crater, stopping three times for engine to cool down. First at gate where we had lunch, then on way and at Wilkies Point. Arrived at camp about 3.30, and got unpacked and settled in two huts with good views. ... when we went to see if boys OK saw a buffalo under their window, and later saw him in car headlights.

Extract ID: 580

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 19
Extract Date: 1957 January 1


Trip to Ngorongoro Crater floor. Left camp 7.45. Drove 25 miles round rim of crater, wonderful scenery. In crater we saw hundreds of wildebeest and zebra, also baboons, hyenas, jackals, foxes, cheetahs, gazelle (all sorts), lioness and cubs which were driven out of cover and was most exciting - water buck. Lots of birds of all sorts and rhino. Back same way, leaving crater about 2 p.m. and getting to camp soon after 4.

Extract ID: 581

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 20
Extract Date: 1957 January 2


To see D.O. [District Officer] Mr and Mrs Ashby 4 miles on in lovely position on crater rim. ... went for a picnic to Windy Gap. On the way saw zebra and 12 ostriches who were most amusing. At gap we saw more zebra and wildebeest. Back, ... bed for Colin, and then for a drive with others along top - saw buffalo quite close.

Extract ID: 582

See also

Duncan, Brian Arusha Photographs
Extract Author: Brian Duncan
Page Number: 21b
Extract Date: 1958-1962

Local doctors house

African doctor near the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Extract ID: 5287

See also

Snelson, Deborah (Editor); Bygott, David (Illustrator) Serengeti National Park
Extract Date: 1959 July

Conservation Area

Eastern Serengeti, including Ngorongoro, made a conservation area. Extensions added to the Serengeti in the north and south

Extract ID: 919

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 202a
Extract Date: 1960 May 9

Authority ground to a halt

Authority ground to a halt - meetings suspended. Chairman (a young DO) was in no position to persuade either his technical colleagues to display more patience, or the Maasai to accept some small measure of change.

Extract ID: 702

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 203
Extract Date: 1961

Huxley, Sir Julian prepares a report to UNESCO

Huxley, Sir Julian prepares a report to UNESCO entitled The Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Habitats in Central and East Africa. Suggested establishment of an advisory board.

Extract ID: 703

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 203
Extract Date: 1961

Report to UNESCO

Report to UNESCO entitled The Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Habitats in Central and East Africa. Suggested establishment of an advisory board.

Extract ID: 704

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 154b
Extract Date: 1962

First impressions of the crater

First impressions are important. We were looking down the crater wall into the huge saucer-shaped dish before us, and Douglas voiced my own worry as well as his. 'But where are all the animals?'

Alan and Joan scoffed, and pointed them out. It was as if the focusing of our eyes had been at fault, and had then made the necessary correction. Quite suddenly, hundreds of dots became animals. The perspective of the crater had misled us. It was 12 miles across, capable of holding the bulk of London, and yet there was nothing in it to indicate this huge size. Admittedly, there were trees and a lake and steep walls at the edge, but nothing that immediately gave the dimensions away. I had encountered this difficulty in Africa before, of being presented with some vast view, and being given nothing with which to measure it, no road tapering into the distance, no house or village, no finite feature to make the rest comprehensible. At Ngorongoro this effect was most striking. Douglas and I floundered in our lack of judgment Were those bushes, or trees, on that slope? Was that wall 200 feet high, 1,200 feet, or 2,200 feet, or even more? It was quite remarkable how many illusions could exist when there was nothing really concrete on which to base one's estimations.

Extract ID: 3746

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 155a
Extract Date: 1962

Second impressions

Field-glasses are satisfactory when confronted by this kind of spectacle. not just because they bring everything nearer, but because they destroy all misconceptions. Douglas and I could not see those wildebeest to begin with because we were not looking for ants, and our eyes glanced fleetingly over them. Through fieldglasses one looks for shapes, and shapes are therefore recognized, irrespective of their size. Even so, that crater appeared a most remarkable phenomenon.

It is the largest crater in the world. Its walls are steep, between 2,000 and 3,000 feet high, and it encloses an area of some 130-140 square miles - according to where it is reckoned that the crater floor ends, and the walls begin. No one knows how it came to be, for normal craters do not approach this size. A strong theory is that it used to be a tall volcanic mountain, with the 12-mile diameter being the size of its base. Then, due to some collapse of the Earth beneath it, the whole top fell inwards to form the saucer-shaped structure of today. The surrounding area is still volcanic, and the many mountains near by such as Meru and Kilimanjaro are extinct volcanoes with their subsidiary blow holes dotted about them. There is also one active mountain, the conical 0l Doinyo L'Engai. This sprouts out of the Rift Valley to the north-east of Ngorongoro, and becomes active in a minor way once every seven years or so. All this volcanic activity was fairly recent, but Ngorongoro is as inactive as they come.

Extract ID: 3747

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 182
Extract Date: 1962

400 feet up, and quite motionless

'Hands off once more.'

The wind carried us, but parallel to the ground.

'On again,' and fifteen pairs of Wambulu hands brought the basket to a stop, which is more than happened to the Wambulu talk. The chatter, about whether or not, and why and how, the balloon would rise was no momentary curiosity. It had continued unceasingly since Douglas had turned on the gas, and was now reaching a fanatic crescendo. One man stopped, for a second or two, as I poured 5 Ib. of sand on to his feet, and then Bill shouted again.

'Toa mkono. Hands off.'

The 5 Ib. had been enough. We rose, almost vertically to begin with, and the trail rope uncoiled as we went. I remember seeing Bill's small child catching hold of a still dormant section of it. I shouted something, and then watched that same section flick mercifully out of his hands. By then we were out of shouting distance, and another flight had begun. It was at this sort of stage that Douglas would push whatsoever cap he had on further to the back of his head and make some general observational point, like: 'Well, we made it.'

Indeed, we had made it, but away from the crater. At the end of ten minutes we were about a mile from the crater's lip, and 400 feet up, and quite motionless.

Extract ID: 3754

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 183a
Extract Date: 1962

I threw out no sand

.. .. Despite that manoeuvre with the trail-rope and our initial stabilization at only 400 feet, we next began to rise quite steadily, though keeping station over one huge pillar tree all the while. Douglas was vexed at seeing the land recede further and further from him, and screwed longer and longer lenses to his cameras; but there was nothing else that could be done. Anyway, those clouds above us were moving in the right direction, crater-wards, and we would surely go that way once we had risen to then height. As I had no intention of going higher than need be and of making certain that we caught the very bottom of that airstream, I threw out no sand. The present tendency to rise would get us there in the end. This was inevitable, for the more we climbed that day, the more the sun shone upon us. There must have been a mist down there above the trees, or at least a greater and invisible humidity of the air, for as we rose the sun grew hotter and the air became brighter. The hydrogen responded to this increased radiation and expanded accordingly. So, with the launch site still in view, but becoming increasingly fuzzy as time ticked by, we rose with all the simplicity in the world above that incredible view.

Extract ID: 3755

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 183b
Extract Date: 1962

'Good view'

To one side, now appearing small for the first time in our experience, was the Ngorongoro Crater. North of it were the steep rolling areas of the Crater Highlands, peeked with volcanoes like Embagai, and rising to 10,000 feet or more. Appearing still higher even than our basket was the active L'Engai, not smoking but flecked with white at the summit as if it were the conical roosting place of some monstrous and productive form of bird. Some 40 miles to the east of us was the big cliff drop to the Rift Valley, the Manyara lake, and the wide traverse of our previous endeavour. To the south were just hills and a lake and more hills, and a promise of at least 3,000 more miles before the massive continent comes to an end at the Cape. I do not fully understand the desires involved and of wishing to be levitated above the face of the Earth, but up in that basket at 10,500 feet above sea-level I felt supremely content. I shifted my feet, gazed fondly at Loolmalasin and Oldeani and then looked round at the others.

'Good view,' said Douglas.

Extract ID: 3756

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 184a
Extract Date: 1962

We arrived over Ngorongoro

Down below, our dot of a shadow then began moving towards the crater. It danced over the big forest trees; it went more gently over the open grassy zones. Then it crossed that rugged rim road and took no time to cover the remaining stretch before the wall began. Down it slid, over trees, and rocky buttresses, and steep slopes. Down to the gentler gradients, and then more slowly over the crater floor itself. Without so much as a puff of wind on our faces, we had in ten minutes made in the air a journey that would have taken a mere pedestrian on the ground many hours. We had arrived over Ngorongoro.

It may have been like tobogganing for our shadow, but for us it was nothing of the sort. Our shadow had leapt down to the crater floor and had become even more of a pin-head in doing so, but we had continued at the same old height where we had met the airstream from the east. We were still 10,500 feet above sea level, while the shadow was now over a mile below.

This was aerial observation of animals to some degree, but not the one we wanted. It was like examining pond water before the days of the microscope. We had to take a rather closer look. Allowing for the direction of the sun, I waited until the shadow indicated we were some g miles within the crater. Then I pulled for three seconds on the valve line, and almost at once a breeze pushed past our faces. At 300 feet a minute we made our descent. It was fast, and roughly the speed of a parachutist, but we had plenty of time to watch the changing shapes of that remarkable piece of geography. The flatness beneath us became steadily less so, and the distant hills sank like so many setting suns behind the crater wall. After nearly 10 minutes, and when 1,000 feet above the ground, I threw out two hands of sand to break the fall. Later I threw out two more, and once again we were poised a mere 400 feet above the world.

We hovered momentarily over the general swampy area around the Goitokitok spring, and had a look at some hippos walking through the reeds. Over to the west and south were the main herds of animals, but over to the west and south we did not go. We stayed over those reeds for a very short time, and then retained in the general direction from whence we had come. The only difference was our height. This time the crater wall was not a diminutive thing thousands of feet below, but a huge tree covered mountain coming our way. It seemed that the arena all around us was being heated by the sun, and the air was expanding up its sides. We were certainly in an airstream that was moving up the wall, for shortly afterwards, with no sand-throwing by me, we were ascending that face like a funicular. The huge mossy trees were 50 feet below, and less than 50 feet to one side. John rattled off their names whenever the bigger ones bulged up towards us, and Douglas did what he could with a countryside that had suddenly stood on edge. I was not flying the balloon in any active sense. I was just bemused by watching a 2,000-foot wall disappear beneath us.

At the top, with the trail rope still searing at the trees which had just passed by, we slid over the rim and the rim road at a casual 20 miles an hour. Thereafter, never more than a hundred feet above the ground, we descended still eastwards over the gender slope that led away from the crater's edge. We were too low to see anything of the ground party, and so looked out instead for animal life. I think all of us saw the buffaloes at the same time, and all said 'Look!' together. I heard the camera click while they were still lolling on their backs, and then every one of them leapt to its feet. With a great crashing of the undergrowth and of everything standing in their way, they set off at a mild gallop.

For some reason, possibly because it was downhill, they ran directly beneath us. They were head to tail and, like so many express trains, moved through the tangle below. Each file of animals, each set of carriages, took its own independent path, but frequently the files converged upon each other. Fresh files formed, with nothing more than a rending and a breaking as bushes were swept before the chaise.

'Keep after them,' said Douglas, 'this is excellent stuff,' and we did, miraculously, keep after them for a full two minutes. Then they verged away, and we were left in silence once again.

Extract ID: 3757

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 186
Extract Date: 1962

We hit the ground

It was while we were thinking we would go directly over three elephants standing by a pool, and while still at 100 feet, that a powerful thermal took hold of the balloon with all its might Instantly, the trail rope was flicked up beneath us as we soared into the sky. This was no gentle rise, as we had known over Manyara. This was far more drastic. In perhaps a minute we were 3,000 feet above those trees and those now invisible elephants. Above us was the familiar base of a thunder-cloud, and this time there would be no dallying beneath it. This time we would be in it, if strong counter-measures were not taken.

I pulled for five seconds on the valve line. We still went up. I pulled for another five, and once again we heard the slight sucking sound as the gas went out. The balloon was now distinctly pouchy at the bottom, but we were still rising, and over 9,000 feet above sea-level. I pulled for another five, and watched the bottom panels withdraw inwards again as the gas rushed out of the top. At last the altimeter showed we were rising no more, but the air of the thermal still blew past us. I remember John taking some silver paper off a piece of chocolate, and then having that paper blown vertically out of his hand. All the time, for we were stationary in a strong current, we rocked about like any dinghy in a choppy sea.

'What happens when we get out of this thermal?' asked John, who hit nails on heads with disarming ease.

'We shall go down, fast,' I replied.

'Very fast,' I added, a few seconds later as the bucketing increased.

'Uh-huh,' said Douglas.

Sure enough, the thermal did move itself elsewhere. Then, dropping like any stone, we achieved a speed of descent I had never known before. There was no time to read an instrument. What did it matter if it were two or three thousand feet per minute? To hit the ground at either speed would be equally fatal. John and I bailed out sand in great dollops at a time. Then half sackfulls. Then more dollops, and more fumbling around in the bottom of the basket for more sacks. Our speed slackened slightly, but we couldn't just throw everything overboard. To have been excessive with that sand would surely have sent us up towards the thunder-cloud again, with every opportunity of repeating the episode, and with far less chance of having enough sand afterwards, to break the second plummet-like fall. Yet to be parsimonious with the sand was equally uncalled for. I think this will have to be the landing,' I said. 'Right,' said Douglas, and went on filming.

'More sand, John. Yes, that's right. Now more, yes the rest of that sack. Get up another. Now wait with it. Hold it ready. Yes, tip out half, and now the rest. Yes, this is the landing. Douglas, this is it.'

And down we went. This was no occasion for choosing a spot. The trail rope must have touched the ground just as we were reaching the tallest trees. I do not know how we missed them. We seemed to be going where a tree had fallen. I could see its long trunk lying there. And its upturned roots. And then it was time to rip. But there wasn't time. Because we hit the ground, and stayed there.

Extract ID: 3760

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 187b
Extract Date: 1962

Cassipourea elliottii. - no spikes

The balloon had not toppled over, and the three of us were standing there quite over-towered by plants. I pulled at the rip, but the rope just came down in my hands. Soon its end came, showing where it had torn free from the rubber fabric. Why, I had no idea. It meant we had a three-quarters full balloon, swaying back and forth at the branches above us, 'John, what's that tree? Is it spiky?'

'Oh, that! Good Lord, no! Not a spike on it. That's Cassipourea elliottii. Certainly no spikes.'

Puncture material or not, that tree was not doing the balloon any good as the two of them were blown at each other. So I attached a rope from the basket to the fallen tree beside it, and then felt everything was sufficiently safe for me to climb out. The other two stayed in as ballast while I had a look at the situation from somewhere better than the neck-creaking angle of the basket's viewpoint. A soup plate leaf touched my arm, and thousands of vegetative ampules injected their contents into me. It was a nettle patch of immense size in which we had landed. It was also a major highway for ants, and their formic acid produced its own even sharper sensation when they rammed it home. Consequently, John and Douglas did not see a man coolly taking stock of an awkward situation. Instead, they caught glimpses of flailing limbs which lashed out from the green depths of that poisonous neighbourhood.

At least I had seen that there was nothing else to be done except pull on the valve line. It was the only way of losing the gas. I had thought it might be possible to reach the valve itself from higher up the bank, but the ant-nettle combination had reduced enthusiasm for that plan. So we pulled on it steadily, and gradually Jambo began to sink towards the earth.

We were, when everything had been collapsed, spread out on one steep slope with an audible but invisible stream somewhere at the bottom. The three of us cut down clubs with which to clout those nettles, and folded up the balloon and net as best we could while suffering the various slings and arrows of the environment. It was a very real piece of forest. There were no animal tracks, and even the buffaloes had let it be. It was impossible to move without thwacking down everything that stood in the way. It was also fairly difficult even to stand up, for the earth that supported all this growth was a rich, humus-laden mud. In short, our cavortings in the air were as nothing compared with those manoeuvres on the ground. However, in the end, everything did get stacked inside the basket, and we were ready to leave. We had only a vague idea of our position, but we knew that the rim road was somewhere up the slope.

Extract ID: 3762

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 198
Extract Date: 1962

what had happened?

On the following day 3, passing truck brought us our mail. .. ..

The letters were far more disturbing. That one treasury clerk had a lot to answer for. The story of the crash, and then the customary newspaper practice of printing minute denials, had caused many repercussions. People wanted to know what had happened, why the gas had exploded, whether the balloon had been at fault, whether it was true that we were uninjured, and if this was some form of cover story to conceal the real one. There was also news from Nairobi that the compressor situation was not as well as it should be, and from Arusha that the transport firm would not be able to collect our cylinders from the Saleh site, now that rain had fallen there. In short, it was time that I paid another visit to town. It is excellent living under a fig-tree but, administratively, it has its drawbacks.

Extract ID: 3766

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 202
Extract Date: 1962

Nairobi to Ngorongoro

Hugh and I took off at 1 p.m. on the following day, and flew first over that Athi area. It was generally flat, but frequently there came deeply eroded gullies, exciting to look at, but depressing in their destruction. There was such a tenuous relationship between man, the animals and the rest of nature when nineteenth and twentieth-century man moved in to the area that disruption of the old order was inevitable. The great scars beneath us were the wounds of over-grazing. The red rivers were flowing with soil, and making this particular circle as vicious as any other.

Beyond the plains was the Rift Valley. There is nothing else like it on the surface of the Earth, but this section near Nairobi was different to the Manyara bit now indelibly engraved on at least three minds. Instead of one big cliff wall, there were many cliffs, each perpendicular, and each dropping the level of the land down another couple of hundred feet. Down in the bottom there was Lake Magadi, and then Lake Natron. Both are soda lakes, with the Magadi one being exploited. A special railway carries the soda away, and has a difficult time among those cliffs. No child ever takes his model railway up the stairs, but the Magadi track does just that, and must cover ten times the distance, from beginning to end, that actually separates the two points. It cannot emulate the crow, as we did, and as we began the long climb towards the Crater Highlands.

It was a most fantastic journey, for after the geological contortions of the Rift Valley, there came the 9443 feet peak of L'Engai, the area's active volcano. We edged noisily by its silent summit. The top looked something like the old glass type of orange squeezer, with a smaller pointed cone coming from the middle. Its sloping sides are as steep as its rocky lava will allow, and the way up is difficult. The mountain can be climbed but, like Mount Kilimanjaro which is not so far away, any climber has to take advantage of the chilliest hours when the loose and difficult scree is held together by frost. I think it important to see active volcanoes from time to time. They are most blatant reminders that we live our days on the thin crust of a planet which has by no means settled down from its fiery birth.

Shortly after nudging past L'Engai's cone, the Mountain of God according to the Masai, we were over the wide sweeps of the Crater Highlands. These link together several dead volcanoes, with Ngorongoro being one of them. Embagai is another, perhaps the most beautiful for it is well proportioned, with its woody sides leading down to a deep and permanent lake. And then we were over the final wall, and swooping about above Ngorongoro. We could see no sign of the others and, after buzzing the empty camp beneath the tree, landed near by. The animals had scattered on our first pass over the chosen area, and did not run in the way of the final touch down.

Hugh switched off the engine, and we climbed out into that remarkable place. I do not think one could ever cease to be amazed at it, but arriving in one hour and thirty minutes from Nairobi heightens its qualities most dramatically. Animals are all around, and beyond are the dots of countless more, and beyond them are those towering walls. At no time of the day does the crater look the same as at any other moment. Huge shadows retreat as the day advances, and then slink down again when the sun loses its power. It has all the symmetry of a perfect shape, and all the wonder of an untouched world. Like a ruin it combines the merits of having been created, and then having reverted to something finer still. It is a place of fabulous beauty.

Extract ID: 3770

See also

Hanby, Jeannette & Bygott, David Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Page Number: 38
Extract Date: 1962

plague of biting flies

Lions in Ngorongoro reduced to 15 by plague of biting flies

Extract ID: 705

See also

Huxley, Elspeth Forks and Hope
Extract Date: 1963

have your cake and eat it

A grant of "182,000 had been made from the Fund - it runs out in 1964 - to get the Conservation area going, and experts had drawn up a Management Plan. This aim of this is:

to conserve and develop the natural resources of the whole Area (including water, soil, flora and fauna) so as to provide a stable environment for the human occupants and the animal occupants, domestic and wild, thereby retaining the existing residents rights and promoting the national interest by conserving the Area's unique tourist attraction, aesthetic value and scientific interest.

An unimpeachable aim - more briefly to have your cake and eat it. The plan runs to 160 pages and is full of sound projects and useful information, not all of it reassuring. The success of any plan depends on the staff who will carry it out, and Ngorongoro staffing has never been adequate either in numbers or in quality. Good work has been done, bold projects launched, but in fits and starts. In other words, all has not been plain sailing. Nor has the conflict between the Masai on one hand, and wild life, forests, rivers and the outside world on the other, been resolved.

Extract ID: 706

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 206
Extract Date: 1963-66

I was resident at Ngorongoro

[Fosbrooke, Henry] For the next three years I was resident at Ngorongoro

Extract ID: 707

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 206b
Extract Date: 1963

residences of the senior officers were

By historical accident the residences of the senior officers were scattered over a distance of 17 miles along the rim:

The Assistant Conservator (Game) living in what is now Forest Resort (Dhillon's Lodge), and

The Assistant Conservator (Forests) having his dwelling and his nurseries at the Old Boma, now Kimba Lodge.

I had 'inherited' two permanent houses and a permanent office built for the Authority by the P.W.D. on the present headquarters site. ... Appreciating the fact that permanent building were undesirable near the road, I permitted no more in that vicinity, concentrating on timber structures which could be salvaged when replaced by other buildings on a new site

Extract ID: 708

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 339
Extract Date: 1963

Dian Fossey's first Safari

Alexander set up his safari operation at his home near Nanyuki. John was flexible enough to tailor safaris exactly to the needs and pockets of his clients. One of his clients was near stone broke Dian Fossey, who much later attained recognition as a gorilla expert. In 1963 Dian Fossey was staying at the Mount Kenya Safari Club at Nanyuki, and she introduced herself to one of the owners of the club, William Holden. Fossey told Holden she was looking for a white hunter to take her on a private safari through East Africa. Was there someone he might recommend? Holden knew a man on the mountain he thought might be suitable named John Alexander. Fossey talked John into a you-bring-the-coffee, I'll-bring-the-sandwiches low-budget outing. When starry-eyed Fossey first met Alexander, then fortyish, she was the ultimate naive greenhorn in the wilds of Africa.

John, his complexion now ruddy from years in the sun, and his fair hair by now receding, had always had an eye for the ladies. Recently divorced, he was not inclined to turn down any safari work. Even with Fossey's limited budget Alexander nevertheless consented to take her on a tour, and guided her on what is generally regarded as the East African "milk run," an easy route taken by package tourists on their first trip to Africa. John took Dian to see Tsavo park, Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti Plains, and Olduvai Gorge, where he introduced her to anthropologists Mary and Louis Leakey.

Alexander later recalled Fossey with considerable distaste, not just because she was a heavy smoker and drinker, which he considered none of his business, but because he thought Fossey "moody" and a "bit neurotic." Alexander claimed that at the time of their meeting Fossey had never before even heard of mountain gorillas'

Still, Alexander agreed to take Fossey on another safari, this time through Uganda and into the Congo to the Albert national park (now the Muhuavura national park). In neighboring Rwanda over this period, two tribes, the WaTutsi and the BaHutu, were killing each other in the thousands; the first years of genocide were barely reported to the international press. Zaire was also far from safe, with murderous soldiers roaming the countryside.

Despite the tribal unrest and general chaos then prevalent in Zaire, Alexander and Fossey continued with their safari into the eastern part of the country. At the village of Rumangabo they had hoped to pick up park rangers to act as guides. The only accommodation available was an old shed and it was here Fossey propositioned Alexander. "Here we've been three weeks on safari," she said. "We could have shacked up together and had a hell of a good time. "

Alexander apologetically turned her down explaining that he was already engaged. After being rebuffed Fossey despised Alexander, according to Harold T. P. Hayes, her biographer. Behind his back she began referring to John as "The Great White.""

Extract ID: 3841

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 202
Extract Date: 1964

grant of "182,000

... the grant of "182,000 had been made to Tanganyika to enable the country to put into effect the recommendations of the Serengeti Committee. ... Where the money was to come from beyond June 1964, when the grant expired, no one knew. ... In retrospect it was fortunate that my idea of a self-accounting Authority was turned down, [because the Park could not generate enough revenues for itself - much if the benefit is indirect, e.g. to hotels and tour operators] although at the time no alternative was proposed. We just drifted along, drawing our funds from Colonial [sic] Development and Welfare: but this scheme was due to close on 30 June 1994. When the deadline drew near, the Government of Tanzania (as it had then become) manfully accepted its responsibilities and agreed to carry the costs of the Conservation Unit.

Extract ID: 710

See also

Ngorongoro's Annual Report
Page Number: 20

Map of the NCA

Extract ID: 3953

See also

Ngorongoro's Annual Report
Page Number: 28b
Extract Date: 1966

Felicia engages the lion

While we can always guarantee that you will see thousands of animals, it is more a matter of luck to witness interesting game incidents or even to see some of the rarer species. For instance, the lion-and-Rhino battle on August Seventh, which was reported in detail in the October issue of Ngorongoro's Bulletin. For the benefit of those who did not read the bulletin this is what happened: on August Seventh, an extremely interesting incident concerning a Rhino and a lion was observed in the crater by Licenced Guide Shehe. At 10.30 a.m. a lion tried to kill a Rhino, Felicia's eleven-month-old calf. Felicia who lives to the north of Lake Makat is rather hostile normally, and when her off-spring was in danger she was quite fierce. The lion managed to separate the calf from the mother. The calf ran away and the lion gave chase, with Felicia lumbering behind in hot pursuit, bellowing loudly. The calf circled back towards its mother, and Felicia immediately engaged the lion. The lion grabbed her by the hind leg and clawed and chewed her thigh viciously. Felicia wheeled round and gored the lion twice in the centre of the ribs. The lion rolled over paralysed by the tremendous blows. She then gored him in the neck, in the head and trampled him to death in a matter of minutes. Two other lions had sat by during the entire incident and kept a respectable distance. Within forty minutes of the killing the carcass was eaten clean by hyaenas. It is understood that a party of visitors from West Germany was lucky enough to film or to photograph the whole act.

Extract ID: 3921

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 023
Extract Date: 1934

Ngorongoro was of course well known to the Germans

Ngorongoro was of course well known to the Germans prior to World War I, and to British officials, farmers and hunters in the early twenties. But the land through which the road runs from the top of the rift to the Crater was then uninhabited. In the mid-twenties German nationals were permitted to return to their previous colony, then a Mandate, but the previously German farms had been sold by the Custodian of Enemy Property, so that the returning Germans had to find somewhere new to live. Who the originator of the idea was will never be known, but a number of these people settled on the lower slopes of Oldeani and started carving out coffee farms for themselves.

One effect of this move was to encourage the Iraqw people to move up from their overcrowded country to the south, first as labourers on the farms, and then as settlers in their own right on the neighbouring uninhabited land. A specially appointed Land Commissioner, Mr Bageshaw, recommended - and the recommendation was accepted - that all the land lying to the south of the boundary of the Northern Highlands Forest Reserve, already demarcated by the German Government, should with the exception of the alienated farms, be developed as an expansion area for the Iraqw tribe. There were however three major deterrents to settlement; firstly the tsetse fly which prevented the keeping of cattle, then the lack of water, and finally the fear of Masai raids from Ngorongoro. But the tribal authorities, with the aid and advice of British officers, organised extensive self-help schemes whereby the empty lands were settled, slowly at first, but with increased impetus in the period following World War II.

When I first travelled along that road in 1934 there was not a sign of habitation from Mto-wa-Mbu to Karatu, whilst the big triangle of superb land lying between the rift and the forest edge, called Mbulumbulu, was entirely empty. With Government aid and encouragement the Iraqw folk were just beginning to trickle north, when World War II broke out. This involved the removal of German settlers to camps, but at the same time increased the need for self-sufficiency. The Oldeani-Karatu-Mbulumbulu area had proved itself particularly suitable for the production of wheat, and attracted the attention of the Custodian of Enemy Property (who was running the vacated farms in the interests of the Government), the non-German farmers in the area, and a specially organised official Wheat Scheme. In addition to encouraging production within the boundaries of the existing farms, the Government of the day permitted all these agencies to clear and plough on the land allocated by the Bageshawe Commission to the Iraqw people, on short term lease, the agreement being that the land should be handed back at the end of the war.

In spite of the pleas of those in occupation to retain the land, the Government honoured its pledge to the Iraqw people and put the land at their disposal. The result was that one had a number of wheat growers, with know-how and machinery at their disposal, but no land and a large number of Iraqw folk with a large area of ready cleared wheat land awaiting cultivation, but lacking machinery and know-how. Common interests brought the two parties together, the wheat growers working the land for the Iraqw and sharing the profits.

Extract ID: 1426

See also

A revised Development and Management Plan for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Extract ID: 2933

See also

Künkel, Reinhard Ngorongoro

the coldest months

With every passing day the dry season got drier. It was not even particularly warm. July and August being the coldest months in the crater. The equator heat had turned into the equator cold. When I left in the morning I made sure that there was a sweater in the Land-Rover and that my warm jacket was close by. During the weeks of our African "winter" this item was promoted to number one on the daily check-list. It pushed counting the film supply into second place, and the petrol check into third.

Extract ID: 3700

See also

Hoopoe Maps

Ngorongoro Crater

Extract ID: 3961

See also

Hoopoe Maps

Ngorongoro Crater - NCA

Extract ID: 3960

See also

Africa Online
Extract Date: 1996

Survival of the Maasai and Tatoga?

Features Africa Network All rights reserved Distributed by Africa Online, Inc.

The Tanzanian government has been called upon to ensure the survival of the Maasai and Tatoga Pastoralists residing in the Ngorongoro conservation area(NCA) in the northern part of the country.

The call was made in Arusha by an expert in pastoralism, Martin Loft, of the committee for pastoralist issues, an International Network based in Denmark.

Loft told reporters that the Maasai Pastoralists living in the area had the right to survive and should be helped by the government and the general public to ensure that famine does not enter their area of great wealth.

'The Pastoralists have experienced a dramatic decrease in their livelihood to the point where two thirds of the population have dropped below subsistence level,' Loft said.

About 24,000 people of the 42,000 Pastoralists residing in the area survive only due to the help given by their slightly more fortunate relatives.

The call came about in response to the government order that all agricultural activities in the NCA should stop by next January.

The government decreed in a cabinet paper of June, 1994 that the ban on cultivation in the NCA would be re-imposed in January, 1996, when it was expected that economic alternatives to agriculture should be in place.

So far, the expert said, no action had been taken by the responsible NCA authority (NCAA) to introduce alternative economic activities despite the government decree, threatening the lives of the people in the area with famine.

The 8,292-square kilometers NCA in Arusha region was established in 1959 as Africa's first multiple land use area, with the aim of perpetuating the harmonious coexistence between semi-nomadic Pastoralists and their herds on one hand and protection of wildlife and conservation of natural resources on the other.

All protected areas in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya were formerly pastoralist lands. However, Ngorongoro is the only place where men have been allowed to continue co-existing with wildlife in the natural surroundings.

Extract ID: 716

external link

See also

Claytor, Tom Bushpilot
Extract Author: Tom Claytor
Page Number: 18e
Extract Date: 1996 July 03

the 8th Wonder of the World

Ahead of me now is what some people consider to be the 8th Wonder of the World - the Ngorongoro Crater. The volcanic crater is a perfectly shaped bowl 19 kilometers across and it is teeming with wildlife. This crater used to be a mountain even higher than Kilimanjaro. When it erupted, it distributed its porphyritic ash far to the West. This is now the Serengeti - a treeless sea of grass with the largest ungulate (hoofed animal) migration on earth. I juggle my film cameras and follow the crater's rim around as my little plane struggles in the thin air. The crater is too big to fit into my lens. There seems to be no way to capture such a vast and enveloping place. I turn on my video camera mounted on the wing and start to dance along the edge. I play with the drama of trees moving swiftly beneath me, and then the sudden chilling emptiness as we spring from the edge and seem suspended above the crater floor. I am loving this moment, and for a while, I can imagine no better way to appreciate the grandness nor beauty of such a place.

Extract ID: 3649

external link

See also

Claytor, Tom Bushpilot
Extract Author: Tom Claytor
Page Number: 18f
Extract Date: 1996 July 03

Rian Labuschagne

On the southern edge or the crater rim sits the Ngorongoro airstrip. Landing here feels like coming in to land on an aircraft carrier. The wind currents flow up the inside face of the crater rim and push you up just when you want to come down. I touch down with my eyes peeled for any wildlife that might dart out in front of me at the last second. I am given a lift to Rian Labuschagne's house on the crater rim. Rian's address is Box 1, Ngorongoro, and he shares this with about 40,000 Maasai. The postcard that I sent him from Malawi said that I was coming 'anytime from now,' so he and his family are pleased to see me.

Rian and his wife Lorna are from South Africa. They live with their two young children here on the crater rim in a house called baridi (because it's cold). Previously, South Africans were not allowed in Tanzania, but now the Tanzanians are pleased to learn from their wildlife expertise. The first thing that struck Rian when he came here is that there are no fences. In South Africa, wildlife is over-managed. Here, there isn't much money, but there are wide open spaces. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is 8,300 square kilometers, and the Serengeti Park is 14,760 square kilometers. Rian is working as an advisor for the Ngorongoro Rhino Conservation Project.

When Rian first arrived here, he felt a little ignored and frustrated. No one really spoke English, and no rhino had been poached here for the last ten years; he felt that nothing was wrong. Then in April 1995, a rhino with a nine month old calf was poached. Its horn was cut off, and the carcass was cut open so the lions and hyenas could eat the evidence faster. Rian and his two children take me to a steep path over the edge of the crater rim. A few meters down the path, Rian is nearly finished constructing a blind. This structure is for watching the foot patrols and vehicles at night during their rounds on the crater floor. 'They can't get away with hacking around now,' Rian tells me. I recall some of the smart anti-poaching operations that I had worked on in Namibia which were run by South Africans, and I can't help but smile. Rian tells me that he has organized different group leaders who are only in for a week at a time. They draw coins with different numbers stamped on them to determine what duties they will have. This may seem extreme, but I also have come to learn that the rhino's biggest enemy in Africa has always been his askari (guard). In North Yemen, Rhino horns sold for $35 a kilo in 1970; nine years later, they were selling for $500 a kilo. The rhino population in the crater dropped from 78 in 1976 to 26 in 1978. The number of black rhino remaining today is kept secret. There were also a number of spearings by the Maasai. Between July 1959 and December 1960, the Maasai killed or wounded 31 rhino with spears; 8 of these were in the crater. This was primarily due to their resentment of being removed from the Serengeti Park. They knew this was a good way to get back at the government. Rian explains all sorts of population statistics to me from over the years, and I can see clearly how valuable all these statistics become through the course of time in trying to determine the best strategies for saving the rhino.

Extract ID: 3650

external link

See also

Claytor, Tom Bushpilot
Extract Author: Tom Claytor
Page Number: 18g
Extract Date: 1996 July 03


We drive down nearly 2,000 feet to the crater floor below. I feel like I am on a journey to the center of the earth. I have never been down here before. Rian explains that foot patrols are the most important defense to poaching. He says that a horse is good, like they use in Etosha Park (Namibia), but then you need backup. He says motorcycles are also good, like they use in Kruger Park (South Africa), but they give you away and you have to watch the road. 'There is no such thing as a bad field ranger,' Rian tells me, 'but they are only as good as their leader.' We arrive at the anti-poaching camp, and group leader Corporal Mbelwa assembles his men for me to inspect. There is a map of the area on the wall, and bunking quarters for the scouts. I like the scouts. These are the guys who make their living by trying to save rhinos. They are formal and disciplined on the outside, but behind all the guns and camouflage uniforms are the warm smiles of Africa. The thing Rian has learned the most since his arrival in Tanzania has been patience. It can cost up to $50 to send a one page fax or up to $100 to telephone his parents on a bad line, so communications are difficult. He also reminds me that he is just an advisor here, so all of his ideas and thoughts have taken time.

What I enjoy the most about Rian, is that he has been interested to learn the ways of the Maasai. He tells me that they are very proud people, but they are useless for manual work. The Maasai warrior has five different age groups, and the weapons carried by the different age groups are all different. They will also have two different leaders - a diplomatic leader and a war leader. Today, there is a certain amount of racism towards the Maasai. They are considered to be underdeveloped by other Africans. In the past, the Maasai used to raid cattle. They can't now; the times are changing. I find it interesting to see how a previously superior race is now becoming inferior to a modern day system. Now, when you steal a cow, you go to jail. Clement is a traditional Maasai, and he speaks English with an American accent. He spent some time assisting an American researcher studying baboons in the crater, and now he is Rian's advisor on traditions and practices here. He is 50 years old, and he explains to me that when he was 13 and the Maasai were living inside the crater, they used to play a children's game. One child would place something on a sleeping rhino, then the next child would have to take it off. The Maasai are fearless in the field; they have no problem with walking from here to Serengeti with just a blanket, even at night, and this is learned at an early age. Each day about 70 Maasai are permitted down into the crater with up to 1,000 cattle. They must have a permit to go down, and they must be out at night. There are 3 water holes down there, and it looks good to see the Maasai living as they must have for so very long - surrounded by wildlife. Time are changing though. In September 1992, the Maasai were allowed to cultivate inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This was an emergency measure due to the drought, but the Maasai are now demanding cultivation so that they can continue to grow their corn and potatoes to sell outside.

Extract ID: 3651

external link

See also

Busemeyer, Karl Ludwig (Mucky) Log-Book about an Airship-Expedition to Tanzania
Page Number: 11
Extract Date: 1 2 98

When roads turn into rivers

Up at five, quick breakfast and off. We didn't know that it would take such a long time getting from Monduli to the Ngorongoro crater. We'd heard that the roads were still very bad on the radio. From Royce Hall's place to Ngorongoro is just over 100km, but the journey took over twelve hours. Luckily we did not get stuck, but others did and that amounted to the same thing. For the first time in my life I saw two wheel-drive mini-buses equipped with snow chains in an attempt to keep going through the mud!

After a quick lunch on the road, Fred, our Tanzanian driver, decided to leave our truck and the second Land Rover to reach the Ngorongoro Gate on their own and the rest of us go on ahead to try and convince them to leave it open (the rangers closed it at 18.00) until they arrived, which we managed to do! Two hours later they arrived, just before closing time, having crossed rivers with no bridges and driven along rivers where roads should have been. What followed was sort of a welcoming party, before we rushed off through the darkness to find our crater lodge, finally getting there at 21.00. What a day! Looking back, 1 remembered my friend Wing Commander Gerry Turnbull's saying: "We'll cross those bridges when we come to them." Now I understand that it has a second meaning - Gerry uses it quite differently...

Extract ID: 5055

external link

See also

Busemeyer, Karl Ludwig (Mucky) Log-Book about an Airship-Expedition to Tanzania
Page Number: 12
Extract Date: 2 2 98

The Ngorongoro crater and the outstanding permit

Next morning, fog, mist and some light drizzle over the crater with light winds. Today's programme was to pay the chief conservationist of the area a visit and finally sort out payment for all our local flying and filming permits. We had already paid the Prime Minister's office and the Tanzanian CAA quite a lot of money but the local authorities wanted their share too. Mysteriously, the bill came to quite a few thousand US dollars, which was more than twice that negotiated from Germany. We knew that without payment we could not fly, and the officer knew that as well. It was left to J�rgen (in his first life a banker) to sit down with him and, after a few hours, come back with a satisfactory compromise.

The film team had already started off on a crater safari, and Fredie and I had driven to the little airstrip to check whether we could fly the airship from it. There were no problems, but the local heavier-than-air pilots warned to watch for strange gusts and thermals. It wasn't airship weather, and as the permits still hadn't been granted, we went to see the Grzimek monument a few kilometres off the airstrip at the edge of the crater. Father and son are both buried there. Michael was killed in an aeroplane accident early 1959 and his father, Bernhard, died in early 1987. His last will was to rest next to his son. I was filled with emotion, because I knew the whole story from the old book. We stood gazing out across the crater taking in the vastness of the scene; at 20km in diameter, the largest meteor crater in the world. Grzimek wrote about the Ngorongoro as the 'largest natural zoo in the world', and that is exactly what it seemed to me.

Extract ID: 5056

See also

Ngorongoro: Tourist Map & Guide
Page Number: 1

Ngorongoro: Tourist Map & Guide - Main Side

Extract ID: 3969

See also

Ngorongoro: Tourist Map & Guide
Page Number: 2

Ngorongoro: Tourist Map & Guide - Reverse Side

Extract ID: 3970

See also

Marks, Guy Five out of five for this lush slice of Africa
Extract Author: Guy Marks
Extract Date: 1999 September 4

TANZANIA: A lush slice of Africa

Guy Marks finds a wildlife wonderland in the vast basin of Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

The crater looked dark and mysterious in the early morning light. Grey clouds blotted the sky, but as they shifted, shafts of sun broke through and illuminated the shimmering surface of Lake Magadi on the crater floor. I was watching from the balcony of my room in the Serena Lodge, right on the edge of the crater rim.

This was the Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania. It is a haven, a hidden paradise protected within a volcanic caldera. It is a vast lush basin, 23km (15 miles) across, walled in by the steep slopes of the crater rim.

The grazing there is rich and the wildlife within this natural enclosure must know that it is on to a good thing. Unlike the migratory herds in other parks, here most stay all year round taking advantage of the constant water and food supplies. There is a resident population of 20,000 large animals in this relatively small space, making it one of the highest game densities anywhere in Africa. And that is the big attraction of the Ngorongoro, the certain knowledge that a day's game viewing will be rewarded. I only had a morning to spend here but, as it turned out, that was enough.

The sky was clearing and the day brightening as we descended the tortuous track, 600 metres down into the crater. The park is completely wild and natural and yet you do not have to go far in search of game. The plains animals, the grazing gazelle, zebra and wildebeest, were out in force.

Freddie, our guide, commented that we might even see the big five. This odd collection of elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard dates from a time when trophy hunting was the norm in colonial Africa and these were the trophies that were best prized. Thankfully most visitors nowadays only want to shoot with their cameras but the challenge of seeing the big five is as exciting as it ever was.

Within moments of entering the crater we saw several buffalo standing in the lush grass. They were shaking the flies from their heads and glaring at passers-by, barely tolerating the intrusion of Land Rovers.

We drove on past the lakes and waterholes where hippos wallowed in the mud and a plethora of flamingos and other birdlife was fishing in the shallows. We were heading for an area of woodland known as the Lerai forest, named after the Masai word for the yellow acacia, which is the dominant tree. We skirted the forest for a while, admiring these elegant trees and keeping a look out for leopards that might be resting in the branches. An elephant appeared from nowhere out of the shadows, and walked purposefully off across the grassland. He seemed to be on a mission, moving gracefully but steadily, disregarding the watchful gaze of onlookers.

It was mid-morning and the heat of the day was building. The cloud had cleared from above the crater floor but hung on the rim. The sky above us was blue and yet, in every direction, we were encircled by a dramatic backdrop of cloud-bathed peaks.

We followed the elephant where the track allowed us, but he was soon beyond our reach. It did not matter though, because as one subject went out of view another was guaranteed to be just around the corner. Sure enough we came across some zebra by a stream and sat and watched as they jumped the watery obstacle in single file or stopped to take a drink. They seemed a little nervous, perhaps wary of lurking lions.

Wherever there is prey there are predators and the Ngorongoro lions are never far away. They tend to hunt at night or in the early hours of the morning and then spend most of their days basking in the sun and posing for photographs. We got a radio call from another car directing us to the bearded one. That is what the guides call the lions so as not to spoil the surprise for the guests. By the time we got to the spot there were five Land Rovers vying for position to view three old males. One lay on his back, legs outstretched, exposing his crown jewels to the world, as our guide put it.

Well, that was three out of the big five and now, in this little meeting around the lions, the drivers were swapping stories of what they had seen and where. We were given a lead to the horned one, and continued our quest.

The grass was tall and in spite of the rhino's size, it was remarkably difficult to see. We could see something large and grey in the distance, though. We strained our eyes and could just make out that it was a group of three rhinos, two adults with a calf. It wasn't a good close-up sighting, but as we headed back to the lodge for lunch, I found it almost unbelievable that we had seen four out of five in just a morning.

There is so much to see in such a small area that the Ngorongoro runs the risk of spoiling your trip. If you came here first you might think that game was always this easy to see and then be disappointed with the other parks where there is a sense of excitement every time a big cat or a buffalo is spotted.

This extraordinary crater still had one last surprise for us. We left the lodge and headed towards the park gate at the boundary of the conservation area. We were on the main road, the dirt track that passes through the park on the slopes that form the outside of the crater. Suddenly the occupants who clung to the back of a matatu, a local bush-taxi, waved frantically at us as we followed them. We had no idea what was going on at first, but they shouted that they had seen the spotted one sitting in a tree as they passed.

Freddie clunked the Land Rover into reverse and we raced backwards around a corner. We were just in time to see the leopard jump from his tree and saunter up the road before he disappeared into the bushes. As safari venues go, I'd have to give the Ngorongoro Crater five out of five.

* Getting there: SA Alliance Air (0181-944 5012) flies from London to Dar es Salaam on Thursdays and Sundays. There are no direct flights from the US. Return prices from "425 low season to "707 high. Precisionair connects Dar es Salaam with Arusha airport where the safaris usually begin.

* The Safari: Guy Marks's trip was arranged by Hoopoe Adventure Tours Tanzania on +255 577011, which is represented in the UK by a specialist tour operators including: Art of Travel (0171-738 2038), Tribes Travel(01728-685971) and Wildlife Worldwide (0181-667 9158). In the US, call Explorers World Travel Inc on 847-295 7770 or e-mail:

Extract ID: 1461

external link

See also

The East African
Extract Author: Zephania Ubwani
Extract Date: October 15, 1999

Wildlife Information Centre for Arusha

Copyright (c) 1999 The East African. Distributed via Africa News Online (

A wildlife conservation information centre will be set up in Arusha for use by tourists, wildlife researchers and the public.

The centre, being established by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, is expected to be opened before the end of the year.

Nearly 20 per cent of the Tanzania's 880,000 sq km surface area is under some form of conservation.

The conservator of the Ngorongoro area, Mr. Emmanuel Chausi, said the Arusha centre would be stocked with brochures, books, magazines, maps as well as video-cassettes and photographs depicting aspects of wildlife conservation. It will also advise visitors on wildlife safaris within the East African region.

The Ngorongoro authority, which administers the 8,300 sq km Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Arusha region, has so far spent Tsh40 million ($50,000) renovating a building in downtown Arusha which will house the centre. However, the conservator said the cost of the setting up of the centre would be much higher.

Mr. Chausi said the move had been prompted by the sharp increase in tourists visiting Tanzania's northern wildlife parks and conservation areas that include the world renowned Ngorongoro Crater recently listed as a World Heritage Site.

"There have been many inquiries about Ngorongoro and other game attractions like the Serengeti park by tourists. This facility will provide tourists with prior information before visiting the sites," Mr. Chausi said.

With its finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, the pastoral Maasai and archaeological sites, Ngorongoro is one of the leading tourist's attractions in Tanzania where tourism has seen fastest growth in recent years.

The main attraction is the 250 sq-km Ngorongoro Crator spanning a 23-km radius located some 160 km west of Arusha - that constitutes a mountain formation Geographers describe as a huge caldera or collapsed volcano.

At the depth of 600 metres from rim to bottom, the crater is a spectacular scenery with an abundance of wildlife that combine to make it a wonder of the natural world. Adjacent to it is the Olduvai Gorge the site where the famous skull of the nutcracker man (Australopithecus boisei) was excavated in 1959 as well as the 3.6 million-year-old Laetoli footprints.

Wildlife experts say the crater alone has over 20,000 large animals including some of Tanzania's last remaining black rhino. Other large grazing animals include wildebeest, zebra, giraffes, buffalo and gazelles, and it is also home to lions

Figures released by the Tanzania Division in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism indicated that some 175,476 tourists visited NCA in 1998/99 earning the Authority some US$ 5.7 million (Tshs 3.9 billion).

That was an increase of 35.7 per cent in tourist flow compared to 155,289 tourists recorded in 1997/98 generating some $4.2 million (Tshs 2.9 billion). It is estimated that the Authority will collect some $6.85 million (Tshs 4.8 billion) during the 1999/2000 season.

The main competitor to NCA in tourist attraction in Tanzania is the 12 game parks of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), that dot the country. During 1998/99 TANAPA attracted 269,902 tourists in its parks earning it $13.1 million (Tshs 9.1 billion).

Extract ID: 3210

See also

Goring, Barry ON SAFARI: Spot the leopards in Tanzania
Extract Author: Barry Going
Extract Date: 2000 January 8

ON SAFARI: Spot the leopards in Tanzania

I've just spent three hours waiting for a leopard to appear. It was wonderful. This is what safaris should be about: the patient pursuit of quarry, camera in hand, not frantically barrelling around a game reserve ticking off sightings like a beginner. I did all that yesterday.

I was in Tanzania's Ngorongoro crater, a circle 10 miles across left by an imploding volcano billenniums ago. On the rim 500 yards above me I could just make out the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, a splendidly eccentric designer hotel made up of strings of circular chalets with big chimneys.

The lodge provided me with a van, for just me, Emanuel the driver, and his assistant George. So while other vans resounded to debate about whether to wait for a leopard or go in search of warthogs, we sat down to a picnic lunch - pasta, salad, home-made bread, cakes, fruit, cold drinks - and waited.

We knew the leopard was lying in the long grass in the shade under a tree; his tail occasionally waved lazily to chase flies away. Sooner or later the shade would have to move, and he with it.

In the event he held out quite a while before the sun became too warm. He looked up, yawned, stretched, and finally got to his feet, fit and muscular and indifferent to the cameras, and padded behind the tree to resume his nap.

Leopards are always worth seeing, if you manage it. They are tough, solitary hunters, flourishing from Cape Town to Siberia, and they did not earn their success as a species by being conspicuous. Definitely one to tick off - if you go in for that sort of thing.

There is plenty more to see in and around the crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was split from the Serengeti National Park in 1959. The Masai people, traditionally Pastoralists, were unwilling to be moved away from their grazing land around Ngorongoro to make way for animals, as they had been in the Serengeti, so the land is now used for both. They are not supposed to graze cattle in the crater itself, but the ones I saw had obviously not been told.

Ecologically, the crater has something for all its residents: savannah, woodland, marsh, lake, rainforest. There are no acacia trees, so no giraffes; and no female elephants, because the slopes of the crater wall are too steep to bring babies down. Lusty males living on the crater floor have to climb the hill to make conjugal visits.

But there are black rhinos and black-maned lions, and so many hyenas that, in a role reversal, they are reported to have taken up killing their own meals, which the lions then rob them of.

Pink and white flamingoes stand one-legged in the lakes while jackals wait for them on the shore, where they are reduced to little piles of feathers. Kites and vultures soar on thermals, then spiral down for lunch.

In pools under the noon heat, snorting hippos submerge to nostril level, flicking water over their backs with their tails and occasionally rolling over and waving their stubby legs in the air like puppies.

And all this against a background of golden grass, shady trees, and blue hills still licked by morning mist.

For a less enclosed safari, you can go to the tourist-free Serengeti nearby. I stayed at two of Crater Lodge's counterparts there: tented Grumeti River Camp (the river is so thickly covered with plants that I didn't spot it until a hippo's head poked up), and Klein's Camp, whose rondavels overlook a long valley leading north to Kenya.

These are great places to see the mass migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra north to the Masai Mara every June and back again in November in search of fresh grazing.

The travelling companions make a good double act: zebra eat the tall grass, discouraging the tsetse flies which torment the thin-skinned wildebeest and tourists. The wildebeest then eat the short grass. Zebra have good eyes, wildebeest good noses - and the sixth sense which tells them when to hit the road. This is the cue for the lions, crocodiles and other predators to look for vulnerable migrants.

Sadly for me, the migration always seemed set for yesterday, or tomorrow; I saw hundreds of animals milling around but not migrating. If you must see the migration and can come at short notice, register with the camps and they will let you know when it begins. Live coverage should eventually appear on their website,

The other place to visit, an hour north-west of Ngorongoro on a bumpy road (Tanzanian pot-holes could double as giraffe traps), is Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys and fellow palaeontologists have discovered some of the earliest human remains. Apart from a small but good museum, there is not much to see, but it's a pilgrimage any homesick hominid might make.

And after a dusty day in the gorge or with the wildlife, retreat to the comfort of the Crater Lodge. The rooms are strung along the rim, so you can see the crater from your bed, lavatory or bath.

The duties of Safari, my butler, included not only meeting me on my return with Emanuel, taking my order at dinner, lighting my fire and/or switching on my electric blanket, but also running hot baths and sprinkling them with rose petals.

I was lying back submerged to nostril level when it dawned on me: surly buffalo, pregnant rhino, somnolent lion, lonesome elephant, and of course the leopard: for the first time, I had seen the Big Five in one day. But don't think I go around ticking off lists.

Extract ID: 1472

See also

Sher, Antony The greatest show on earth
Extract Author: Antony Sher
Page Number: 1
Extract Date: 2002, Feb 18

The greatest show on earth - Ngorongoro

As our jeep starts up the steep slope, the terrain changes dramatically. For hours we've been rattling across the flat, dusty bushland of central Tanzania, but now, suddenly, there are towering forests of strangler figs and deep dark valleys. Jungle Africa. This is more like it.

I'm on holiday with my partner, RSC director Greg Doran, and our friend, the actor and director Richard Wilson. We reach the top, crest a rise, and stop. "Good heavens," Richard says quietly, while I inadvertently blurt out: "I don't believe it!" (The phrase is forbidden in his presence.) Greg's eyes are filling. "I've waited 35 years to see this," he says. Tanzania was his project at primary school, with special emphasis on the remarkable sunken landscape before us. The Ngorongoro Crater.

About two million years ago, the cone of this giant volcano fell away, creating a ridge of walls around 100 square miles of grassland. The great plains of Africa are legendary, but here, curiously, is one great plain all on its own. Perfectly outlined. An Eden, containing one of the best collections of game in the world. I never expected to see the entire cradle of land in one heart-stopping view. We stand there, hushed. The place holds power and tranquillity in equal measures.

Our hotel, the Crater Lodge, is situated high on the rim of the southern side. Created by an Italian designer, this is European camp meets African primitive, and surprisingly the mixture works. The rooms are wattle-and-daub huts with private verandas. Inside, chandeliers hang from the woven palm ceilings and luscious taffeta drapes adorn the French windows. These overlook the crater. As do the windows in the bathroom, and even in the toilet. A loo with a view.

Serious luxury is on offer here - good food, fine wines, a personal butler for each room - but the main focus is the daily game drive into Ngorongoro itself. Our guide is Haruna, a cheerful, grizzled character wearing a baseball cap. Down on the crater floor, the morning light has a rare, delicate quality which makes the walls seem to float around you. Incredible. But then you are inside a volcano that's blown its top. We have terrific sightings. A massive black-maned lion stalks towards us with what looks like deadly intent, then goes straight past and crosses the plain, clearing it in his stride - herds of zebra and wildebeest break into a run at the first sight of him. The flocks of flamingo look like a pink heat haze on the soda lake - Lake Magadi - and the scene is noisy with their buzzing, haw-hawing chatter. A huge troop of baboons process past our jeep - every shape and size from swaggering muscle-bound males to curious, stumbling babies - while we watch, beaming, cameras clicking away. Meanwhile, I notice some British tourists in another vehicle secretly photographing Richard. What entry will they make in the game book at the hotel? "Today saw lion, baboons and a telly star."

Lunch is alongside a water hole. A family of hippos lie half-submerged, occasionally rolling over in the mud, which acts as their sunblock. You're allowed out of your vehicles here, but Haruna warns it's best not to eat in the open. Kites can snatch the food from your hand, leaving ugly talon wounds. Wondering if he's exaggerating, I throw some bread on to the ground. Immediately there's a rushing noise. I look up to see an enormous black bird take aim, tuck in its wings, and dive - a terrifying funnel of energy - scooping up the prize. I stagger back. And now the whole sky is whirling with a mob of kites, their big shadows flashing over the grass. This makes The Birds look like a Disney film. I leap back into the jeep, saying: "I think Haruna's right - let's eat in here."

Before dinner one night, all the hotel guests assemble on the lawn for champagne. Then we're led round to the back where an extraordinary spectacle awaits us. Two hundred Masai warriors with flaming torches are lining a route to the South Lodge. As we walk between them, they chant a hypnotic, insistent song. Fairly sloshed by now, I wonder if I'm in a dream or movie. At the other end, the entire Masai village is present: women bobbing their multicoloured neckplates, youths performing the traditional bouncing dance, men rushing at one another in mock attacks, then falling to the side, corpsing like actors.

We've already noticed the Masai grazing their cattle and goats down in the crater, and it's an arresting sight: the herdsmen in red robes, armed with only spear and stick, guiding their livestock through herds of wild animals. So there are humans in this Eden, too. Haruna explains that lions wouldn't dare attack them. Time has taught both sides who's master here.

Extract ID: 3368

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Irene Mbakilwa
Page Number: 215
Extract Date: April 13, 2002

NCAA takes action to promote local tourism

In a bid to promote local tourism, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) has launched a bus service that will provide members of the public direct transport to the Ngorongoro Crater to view wildlife.

A custom made Mercedes Benz bus worth about shs. 90 million and with a capacity to carry 40 passengers departs Arusha every Saturday and Sunday mornings . The fare has been set at shs 20,000 round trip which also includes a lunch box and cold drinks. Entrance fee to the Ngorongoro Crater is shs. 1,500 for local residents and 25 US dollars for tourists.

Speaking during the launching ceremony at the Ngorongoro information center in the Arusha municipality, the chairman of the NCAA Board , Mr. Sam Laiser, (rtd major general ) said that the bus would enable many Tanzanians to visit one of the world's wonders in affordable costs.

Laiser said that Tanzanians had the notion that tourism was meant for foreigners and that natural attractions had nothing to do with them.

"Time has come for residents to realise the importance of local tourism which will help to boost the country's revenue,"Laiser said.

He was surprised that efforts had been made to publicize the country's national parks and conservation areas abroad but very little has been made to promote the attractions among local residents.

Earlier the chief Conservator of Ngorongoro , Emanuel Chausi said that statistics show that a large number of visitors to the Crater are foreigners. A total of 562,205 people toured the crater in a period of three years from 1998 to 2000. Out of them only 202,957 were locals.

The NCAA covers an area of 8292 sq km and about 25,000 animals live in the Crater throughout the year.

Extract ID: 3388

See also

Rhoda Kangero Time Tides and life in Ngorongoro Park
Extract Author: Rhoda Kangero - TSJ
Extract Date: 31 May 2002

Time Tides and life in Ngorongoro Park

About three million years ago, there was another, towering land feature, said to have been much taller than Mount Kilimanjaro, which currently, is Africa's highest peak.

This "Taller than Kilimanjaro" mountain later collapsed in great earth shaking movements to form a vast bowl (caldera) to form a crater that is now known as Ngorongoro Crater.

After being forged through the tumultuous birth of Rift Valley, today the once highest feature in Africa has now been transformed into the amazing great Ngorongoro Crater, 610 metres deep and 260 kilometres squared.

Engraved within the vast Ngorongoro National Reserve, which runs between the Rift Valley rim and Serengeti plains, the crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world.

It is also the biggest landmark cum trade mark, for the 8,300 square kilometres of Ngorongoro conservation Authority, a home of millions species of wild animals, various land features and forests.

Chief Conservator, Emmanuel Chausi reveals that the park was officially started in 1959 to be a tourist destination, natural resources conservation area and grazing space for over 42,000 Maasai pastoralists.

This also where human life allegedly began, at the Oldupai Gorge believed to have been a home of the first human being about 1.75 million years ago.

Henry Fosbrooke was the first founder of the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority (NCA) and being a devoted environmentalist, he became the chief conservator in between 1961 and 1965 before being appointed to be the presidential advisor in the land commission.

Fosbrooke died in April 25th, 1996 aged 87 years old. Solomon Saibul who used to be a Member of Parliament in the Arusha town constituency, became the second NCA conservator in 1980.

Coincidentally, Saibul who held the post for two years, died in October 1997, a year after the death of Fosbrooke.

Anthony Mgina, who was the third conservator previously worked as the authority administration officer in between 1964 and 1980. Mgina also died in August 1997 aged 67 years old.

Professor Bernard Grzimek, conducted the first survey in the park. The German born professor is the one who came up with the idea of terming the area as the 8th Wonder of the world.

His son, Michael Grzimek died in a plane crash in Serengeti alongside his favorite monkey. Michael and his father, wrote the all time classic "Serengeti Shall Not Die."

Ngorongoro boasts 1.5 million wildebeests, about 50,000 gazelles, 260,000 zebras, over 100 lions, 400 hyenas and a vast number of large mammals such as elephants, buffaloes, hippopotamus and rhinoceros.

The crater is reported to currently have about 100 lions after the animal's mass deaths in 1962 caused by the massive attacks of bitting flies known as Stomoxys Calcitrans. There was a repeated epidemic in the aftermath of El-Nino weather spell of 1997/1998.

Rhinoceros are apparent the fewest animals in Ngorongoro since their reproduction, according to an officer with NCA, takes rather long time.

Also, in between1970 and 1980, poachers wrecked havoc in the park by killing hundreds of rhinos, taking their tusks for sale in Asian markets.

As from 1998 to 2001, Ngorongoro National Park handled about 235,808 foreign visitors from United States of America, Spain, France, Germany and Scandinavian countries.

Local visitors, among them school pupils and students amounted to 196,368 in the four year period.

As from July this year, park fees will rise from US$ 25 charged now to US$ 30 per each foreign visitor to the park, with an additional US$ 15 to enter the crater.

However, the Tsh.1,500 fee to visit the park and Tsh.500 for the Crater, as charged to local tourists will remain constant probably due to the fact that, local people have been showing very little interest in visit the area.

Overall, NCA earns between Tsh.3 and 4 billion each year from the tourists visiting the park. The money is usually invested in repairing park facilities and roads plus providing salaries to NCA staff.

The park authority have also formed a non governmental organization known as Ereto, which deals in supporting the local communities within the conservation area by providing them with food and other social amenities, free of charge.

Ereto, also provide veterinary assistance to the Maasai pastoralists in the area most of whom are said to be so poor that they usually can not afford them on their own.

Ngorongoro National Park was declared the world's natural heritage area in 1978.

Extract ID: 3393

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Kaaya Shilia
Page Number: 233
Extract Date: 17 August 2002

The amazing Ngorongoro

Going down to the bowels of the earth

Down to the alkaline Malakat lake

The depression, the caldera

Nearer the colourful flamingos

The "big five"

Rhinos and lioness, the hunter

The hunters and the hunted

The coward hyena with iron teeth

The fat hippos, fearful of the scotching sun

What a treasure

What a gift to mankind

The amazing fauna

The virgin flora

The deep forest of variety

The beaded trees!

With long faces like

Of hidden eyes of

The Creator, the Maker

The stupid Rhino

Of the erotic love fantasies in Oriental

Of the magical armoury value

For the rich Arabs of the Emirates

With sickly memory

The splashing urinator

The black rhino, what an awesome sight!

What a heap of life

For admiration and wonder

Ngorongoro amazing

May you live and flourish

Conquering eternity

Stirring humanity to sense

For respect and perfect harmony

The cloud , the mist

The singing thorn birds

The deafening silence

The chilly morning

Of fog and darkness

Ngorongoro a marvel

The unparalleled wonder


The cradle of mankind

The stunning climax of creation

Where man and nature co-exist

With restrain and respect

The Maasai of flamboyant atire

Of relic, the jumping music and folklore

Ngorongoro unique

Ngorongoro amazing


By Kaaya Shilia


Extract ID: 3555

See also

Hoopoe Maps
Extract Date: 2003

New Map of Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Extract ID: 4907

external link

See also

BBC internet news
Extract Date: 4 August, 2004

Disease bouts knock crater lions

The research is detailed in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Numbers of lions in the Ngorongoro Crater have been knocked severely by several bouts of acute disease over the past 40 years.

Between 1994 and 2001, outbreaks of canine distemper virus have kept the Lion population low, with numbers dipping to just 29 individuals in 1998.

The scientists suggest that climate change, or an increasing local human population could be to blame.

The research is detailed in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is a truly unique place. The crater, which is 610m deep and 260km squared, is a microcosm of East African scenery and wildlife.

Many crater animals, like lions, live there and there alone, making it a near-contained mini biosphere.

For scientists that is very interesting, because it is easier for them to know exactly what pressures the creatures face. They can follow a population of animals over time, and record how changes in things like food supply, or competition, affect them.

The lions of the Ngorongoro Crater have been monitored closely since the 1960s. One question researchers wanted to answer was what regulated their population numbers.

In large carnivores like lions, one might expect food supply to be the main limiting factor. But in recent years, disease is a more likely restriction, according to Bernard Kissui and Craig Packer, of the University Minnesota, US.

There are probably enough prey animals like buffalo in the Ngorongoro Crater to support about 120 lions.

But at various times over the last 40 years Lion numbers have dropped well below that - and in the last 10 years there have rarely been more than 60 in the crater.

Kissui and Packer believe that disease is the biggest culprit in this population dip.

In 1962, the crater Lion population crashed from about 100 to 12, which coincided with an outbreak of blood-sucking stable flies.

After this severe knock, the population climbed again, to reach over 100 by 1975. Lion numbers then simmered away at fairly stable proportions until 1983, when they went into decline again - reaching a low point of 29 individuals in 1998.

"Disease appears to be the only factor that has held the crater Lion population below its carrying capacity for the past 10 years," Bernard Kissui and Craig Packer write in their research paper.

Although many diseases threaten lions, canine distemper virus (CDV), which normally affects dogs, has been a particular menace to the big cats.

Climate change?

The researchers are not entirely sure what has caused this increase in levels of disease.

They suggest it could be due to the fact that there are many more humans in the area now, and with them come domestic dogs - which carry CDV.

Or disease outbreaks could be exacerbated by climate change. In the last 10 years East Africa has suffered many more droughts and floods, which seem to coincide with bouts of disease.

"The weather in East Africa was more variable in the 1990s than in the 1970s and 1980s, and all four Lion die-offs coincided with drought and flood," write Kissui and Packer.

"The 1962 [stable fly] plague coincided with heavy floods that immediately followed a severe drought in 1961... and the 2001 CDV epidemic followed the drought of 2000."

Whatever the cause of the disease outbreaks, they put the fragile population of Ngorongoro Crater lions at serious risk.

Kissui and Packer concluded: "Endangered populations can remain at serious risk even with a large, stable food supply and no real threats from competing species."

Extract ID: 4726

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Matilda Kirenga
Page Number: 341
Extract Date: 9 Oct 2004

Lion wounds three in rare attack in the wild

Maasai warriors are usually known for their bravery in hunting and killing Lions that attack their cattle, but recently tables turned against them in Ngorongoro area, when a a Lion attacked three Maasai morans, hurting them badly.

The incident occurred last week within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where three Maasai youths identified as Moinga ole Kumbashi aged 25, Momboi ole Kisai (20) and Olenayeiyo aged (18) were grazing their cattle.

According to police reports, when the youths were taking care of their livestock, a ferocious animal jumped from a nearby bush and knocked the three onto the ground, ready to kill them.

Realizing that the animal was actually a Lion the youths decided to fight for their lives by unleashing counter attacks.

By the time the Lion was defeated and left the area, the three Morans were in bad condition, with Ole Kumbashi sustaining deep wounds on the chest, left arm and right leg.

Olenaneiyo suffered bad gushes on his right arm and both lower limbs, especially thighs, while the other warrior, Momboi Kisai had both his buttocks bitten off and right hand injured badly.

Regional Police commander, James Kombe said the three survivors of the Lion attack were taken to a Hospital in Loliondo where they were still being admitted by the time we went to press.

This one is a rare occurrence to happen in the local game parks as wild animals hardly attack human beings residing within or near the reserves.

Extract ID: 4870

external link

See also

Guardian (Tanzania)
Extract Author: By Guardian Reporter
Extract Date: 2005-03-14

30,000 Ngorongoro residents "face starvation"

The government has been asked to step in and urgently assist about 30,000 drought-stricken residents of Sale Division in Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region.

Oxfam International said in a statement that assessments carried out in the area the past few months indicate, the drought has already taken a heavy toll on children who are acutely malnourished.

According to the statement, unless the government immediately releases relief maize from Strategic Grain Reserve for the residents, acute starvation is imminent in the Division.

�The children, the elderly and HIV/Aids sufferers are the worst hit. Malambo, Piyaya, Sale, Oldonyo Sambu, Engaresero, Pinyiny and Digidigo areas within the division need immediate food aid," said the statement signed by Oxfam Country Programme Manager Mark Waite.

The telltale signs for the crisis have been there for several months.

The area has not received adequate rainfall for the last two years and large numbers of animals have been dying since last November, he says in the statement.

�This is always the most difficult time of the year for people in this area. However, this year is much worse than usual," Waite says in the statement.

Animals face a high risk of disease and death without adequate feeds.

To make matters worse, animal prices have plummeted dramatically.

�A cow is selling at 50,000/-, only a quarter of the normal cost," Waite says.

Currently, Oxfam is working with local communities in the affected areas to create self-sustainable food sufficiency in future.

The international NGO says it will support the government in logistics if it releases relief grain for the residents from its Strategic Reserve.

Extract ID: 5035

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Terri Rice
Page Number: 381
Extract Date: 6 Aug 2005

Yet another private theatre-of-nature

This week I would like to share another of my favourite memories with you. This story is about the week which I spent with my husband camping out in a wooden cabin on the floor of Ngorongoro Crater. Hugo needed more sound recordings and film footage for a documentary which he was completing about lions. We settled into the cabin with our gear and set off to search for the hunters. These we soon found in the form of two lionesses, one of whom had four small cubs in her den area. Every day, just before sunrise, they would make their leisurely way down to the river, where they knew that many zebra and wildebeeste would come to drink, and hid themselves from sight in the surrounding undergrowth. They were not disturbed by our escorting them; Hugo had a great love and respect for all wild creatures and never approached them directly, always following at a discrete distance. Unfortunately, some safari drivers had no such scruples and would make a lot of noise, trying to spot the "big cats" for their tourists' cameras. Invariably one of the lionesses would raise her head to see what had shattered the peace, the about-to-drink grazing animals would depart in great haste on flying hooves, the lionesses would lose their lunch and the tourists would get their lion shots (they never seemed to realize that a little more time, silence and patience would in all probability have rewarded them with much more exciting lion-kill photos). We tried hard not to attract these drivers' attention to the river, using the ploy of parking some distance away, pointedly fixing our binocular sights on the weavers and other birds chattering and warbling up in the trees and hoping to pass for a couple of avid ornithologists with no interest at all, thank you very much, in lions and such beasties.

This scenario was enacted daily and it was sad to follow our lovely lion ladies in the evening light as they wended their way home, disappointment and hunger almost palpable on the air. Especially sad was when the mother female reached her lair with nothing for the bounding-out, hoping-for-food, cubs. However, there was a happy ending (for the lions and me at any rate - if not for the photographer!). Let me digress first to the sound recording tale.

Just before sunset one day, we drove over to a small hill where 5 lions were wont to hang out, laze about and generally do the accepted male thing of waiting to spot one of their wives making a kill. When this happened they would lumber down from their watch-tower hill and take over the "lions share". They looked well-fed as we drove near and merely blinked the odd eye at us before dropping back off to sleep. Recording equipment at the ready, we sat silently and waited. Just as the sun was setting, painting its beautiful farewell colours across the sky, one of the lions awoke, yawned, stretched and ... began to roar. One by one, the others slowly followed his example. The sound was incredible, their roars seeming to echo back from the caldera walls. For me it was awesome and hair-raising; my knees somehow seemed to turn to jelly and the hairs rose up on the nape of my neck. I was no longer in a Land Rover but in some strange time warp, taken back to the beginning of time. The feeling of oneness with nature was indescribable.

Happy with his recordings, Hugo decided to give up on the lion kill shots and head back to his beloved Serengeti. Accordingly, we awoke early on our last Crater day, stowed everything away in the appropriate boxes in the back of our vehicle; mattresses, unused food supplies, rubbish to be disposed of later and (note this) cameras, lenses, etc. Have you guessed my ending? The sun was just rising as our route took us past the river. Hugo wanted to press on but agreed to stop for me to have one last long look at what was really one of the most beautiful sunrises I had so far seen. But somebody was there before us. Some bodies were already there before us. The quiet drinking of grazing animals suddenly shattered into panic as two lean yellow bodies erupted from their hiding place, leapt on a young wildebeeste and brought him down without further ado. It was very mean of me to grin at the expression on my husband's apoplectic face as he groped blindly around for a too late, too far, too boxed-up camera.

The lionesses then did some amazing things. They both ripped into the belly of their meal, covering their faces with blood but not really eating. The mother then took off at a trot, to return some small time later proudly leading her young ones to the spot where she had brought down their dinner. The look on her face was one of almost human dismay when it was - not there! The cubs repeatedly and excitedly leapt at her bloodied face; "where is it then? Where? A sudden low growl directed them to where the other lioness had dragged the kill into and under some bushes (to hide it from the menfolk of the pride?) and all ended well as they piled in and proceeded to stuff themselves silly.

My respect for the in-charge lioness knew no bounds; her self-control in refraining from eating until the others returned was truly amazing. We left them to it, and slowly drove towards the Crater exit road, reaching it just as the tourist vehicles started slowly winding their way down the entrance path. I hugged to myself the warm feeling of being blessed again with yet another private theatre-of-nature experience and kept smiling like an idiot all the way home. Have a good week!!

Extract ID: 5082

external link

See also

Jackman, Brian Safari haven faces new threat
Extract Author: Brian Jackman
Extract Date: 15 April 2006

Safari haven faces new threat

Plans to build a luxury 300-bed safari lodge on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania have dismayed conservationists and tour operators, who fear the area will be unable to cope with more tourist vehicles.

Encircled by walls 2,000ft high and measuring 11 miles in diameter, the crater is the floor of a collapsed volcano and home to animals that include rare black rhinos and lions.

In 1981 Unesco listed it as a World Heritage Site, with the adjoining Serengeti national park. In all, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers more than 300 square miles of forest and savannah, including Empakaai Crater and the active volcano of Ol Donyo Lengai.

There are already four large safari lodges around the crater rim, from which visitors are taken on daily game drives. In recent years, as tourism to Tanzania has grown, problems caused by the number of visitors have reached crisis point, with game-viewing tracks crumbling under the weight of four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Nigel Vere Nichol, the chief executive of the African Travel and Tourism Association, which represents most of Britain's safari holiday companies, said: "Tanzania has an impressive conservation record, and it would be a great shame if it strayed from this path. Ngorongoro Crater is already finding it hard to cope. Building yet another hotel can only make it worse. The infrastructure simply won't support it."

Tim Best, the managing director of Tim Best Travel, which specialises in holidays to Tanzania, added: "I haven't heard about this, but if it's true, I'm appalled. I wouldn't have thought it was sustainable at all. I can only hope the plans get rejected."

To date, pricing has proved the most effective means of controlling visitor numbers. This year the levy imposed on all vehicles entering the crater was raised tenfold, from $10 (�5.70) to $100. However, the only exit road is so badly eroded it is almost impassable.

Many game-viewing tracks have been closed in an attempt to protect animals from constant harassment, but this has forced more vehicles on to fewer roads, creating slow-moving convoys and causing the roads to deteriorate faster.

Another proposal to alleviate the pressure was to restrict visitors to half-day tours only. Tour operators overwhelmingly opposed this, saying it would only encourage drivers to rush around the crater.

Unesco, the organisation responsible for creating World Heritage Sites, is aware of the hotel proposals and is helping Dar es Salaam University to carry out an environmental impact assessment on behalf of the (unnamed) developers.

Last year the World Heritage Committee commended the Tanzanian government on its efforts to conserve the crater but expressed its concern over heavy tourist pressure and vehicle congestion.

Yusufu Kashangwa, director of the Tanzanian Tourist Board, when asked about the planned new lodge, said: "Any investment must abide by government policies, which have to take concerns for the environment and our national heritage into account. Ngorongoro is one of seven World Heritage Sites in Tanzania, and we have to abide by Unesco's guidelines if these sites are to retain their status."

In 1984 the crater was placed on Unesco's list of World Heritage Sites in Danger, owing to poaching and illegal agricultural encroachment.Crowded already: safari trucks at a watering hole in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Extract ID: 5129

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania


'Cold Place'

Extract ID: 2927

See also

Source Unknown


Of Kalenjin origin. Name of an age set known variously as Gorongoro, Kerongoro, or Korongoro which was defeated by the Masai about 150-200 years ago. The Kalenjin ethnic group includes the Tatog (Barabaig or Mangati) of Tanzania.

Extract ID: 670

See also

Source Unknown


'extra down' in Maasai (A Smith)

Extract ID: 669

See also

Source Unknown


Sound of the battle bells that the Maasai wore during the battle [with the Datong], that was supposed to have terrified their enemies into submission was 'koh- rohngroh' and it is from this that Ngorongoro comes

Extract ID: 668

See also

Source Unknown


Name of a grinding stone, which the caldera resembles

Extract ID: 667

See also

Source Unknown


Name of Maasai cattle bell maker who lived in the crater

Extract ID: 666

See also

Source Unknown


Maasai age set, called the Ilkorongoro, who wrested the highland from their previous occupants, the Datong.

Extract ID: 665

See also

Source Unknown


Name of an especially valiant group of Datogo warriors defeated by Maasai after battle in the Crater about 150 years ago

Extract ID: 664

See also

Source Unknown


Named after a type of Maasai bowl, which it resembles.

Extract ID: 661

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Page Number: 151


Named 'Winter Highlands' by the Germans

Extract ID: 663

external link

See also

Claytor, Tom Bushpilot
Extract Author: Tom Claytor
Page Number: 19a
Extract Date: 1996 08 Jul


All across this land remain the names of places that the Maasai have given them.

Ngorongoro means the place with mountains and gorges.

Oldupai is the wild sisal that grows in the Olduvai gorge, and Siringet is the Maasai word for a vast place.

From the northern edge of the Ngorongoro crater, I follow the 90 meter deep and 50 kilometer long Olduvai gorge west into the Serengeti. The first time I ever came here, I didn't have a map. A bush pilot and filmmaker named Alan Root drew me a map on a piece of scrap paper. There was a bump on the horizon and a line for a road. He put a dot where the road intersected a river, and that he said was where I would find the airstrip.

This place is not so different from his map. It is simple. There is a sea of yellow, and a sky of blue. Perhaps, it is because the colors are complimentary to each other that makes them so powerful together; the one magnifies the other in a surreal way that makes me feel like I am floating between heaven and earth. Amidst the endless tawny yellow below are the distinctive island kopjies of the Serengeti. These little rock islands are mini ecosystems with birds, lizards, hyraxes, and sometimes, a resident leopard. There are no trees, and you can see the wind flowing like waves across the grass.

Extract ID: 3656