Lake Ndutu

Name ID 707

See also

Lindblad, Lisa and Sven-Olof The Serengeti; Land of Endless Space
Extract Date: 1892

First German, Dr. Baumann, to reach Serengeti in 1882

First German, Dr. Baumann, to reach Serengeti in 1882, recorded first sightings of Lakes Eyasi, Manyara, and Ndutu. Took 23 days to cross Serengeti.

Extract ID: 106

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 249b
Extract Date: 1962

The herds?

Alan and Douglas came back after midday bewildered by the herd's behaviour. The animals had been thundering through the country near Lake Lagaja and moving very fast. The 30,000 of them were still together, but much more closely, and there was now nothing like 15 miles between the front and the back. Admittedly, any transect across the Serengeti would mean flying over animals, but it was imperative to go over a packed herd as well. We ate a meal, and then left camp with the essentials for one night's stop and with the balloon in its customary trailer. The two 5-tonners trundled along behind.

Alan made a detour on the way, to look for the herd again and was no less perplexed. It had entirely left Lake Lagaja. [Lake Ndutu] However, it was still moving in the same direction, and we chose a camp site 10 miles south of that 0l Doinyo Gol range. Four lions slunk away from the spot as we approached, and they did not wait to watch us start the preparations. We laid out the balloon on its tarpaulin, arranged it correctly, and attached the cords. The net was then draped over the fabric, pulled symmetrically, and finally anchored with one sandbag to every four meshes. We removed the cylinders from the trucks, unscrewed their caps, joined ten of them to the ten-way filler, and attached that to the inlet pipe. The balloon's valve was put in place, the basket was made ready, and for the last time it was only a matter of turning on the gas.

Extract ID: 3780

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 259
Extract Date: 1962

A last look

For the last few days of our stay in the Serengeti, and while completing the arrangements amongst ourselves, we camped by the edge of Lake Lagaja [Lake Ndutu]. It was probably the most beautiful camp-site of them all, and certainly the hardest to leave. The plan was that I should go ahead, while the others tidied up some loose Serengeti ends. So I drove out of camp alone and began the journey back to London. As was the custom, the zebras galloped alongside, the gazelles danced over the ground, and the front wheels unerringly sought out the hyena holes. I drove and drove past the animals, past a slovenly group of lions, and some hartebeest, and more big herds, and a cheetah, and the largest group of eland that I had ever seen. I then met the track that leads through the Serengeti. Resenting its forthright purposefulness, its clear indication of the way to go, I swerved on meeting it and turned round to have a last look at the world I was leaving.

Extract ID: 3791

See also

Pearson, John Hunters of the Plains
Page Number: 047
Extract Date: 17 April 1977

Mishaps and Maasai

Chapter 5

Wildlife filming is a business and the more you can organize yourself so that fewer problems arise, the more successful you will be. There are enough unknown factors built into the game about which you can't do anything very much, without creating any unnecessary difficulties.

There are two things, above all, that you need to keep an eye on around camp - fuel and food. In 17 April I was nearly out of both. I shouldn't have let myself get so low of course, but filming with the dogs was going well and when that happens the last thing you want to do is spoil your luck. So when I finally decided I couldn't hold on any longer, I did my best to minimize the departure from our normal routine.

`What we'll do', I said to my driver, David, `is this. On Sunday we'll get everything together. Fill the Range Rover. Load a 44 gallon drum in the back and tie it down. Tools, mail, anything to go to Ndutu we'll load on Sunday. Then on Monday we'll go out and film the early hunt. Once that's finished I'll come straight back, climb in the car and go. I'm not going to hang around Ndutu. I'll just load up, come straight back and we'll go out again and film in the evening.'

At first, all went well. The dogs performed on schedule and by 7.45 I was well on my way to Ndutu. Nothing of note happened crossing the plains. It took me an hour to reach the Park boundary, which was about average. Then I turned left and followed the track as far as the main Ngorongoro-Serona road. There were a few puddles along the way but nothing more. By the time I reached the woodland along the edge of the Olduvai, though, it was downright slippery and I began to remember the big black thunderclouds that had hidden the sun during the evening hunts over the past few days. But nothing prepared me for the Olduvai Gorge itself.

There is a causeway that runs through the bottom of the gorge between Lake Lgarya on your right and Lake Marzak on the left. Actually, you'd have to be told it was a causeway to recognize it as such because it only stands a couple of feet above the level of the ground, a fact that tells you all you need to know about the amount of water that normally lies in the gorge even after really heavy rain. Now there was no sign of any causeway. I stopped at the waters' edge and got out. It was like a sea. Clearly there was no point in even thinking about driving across. But was it worth trying to go round Marzak? My memories of that end of the valley were of swampy ground, so I climbed back into the car and set off round Lgarya instead.


Lake Lgarya is now called Lake Ndutu and Lake Marzak is more commonly spelt Lake Masek.

Extract ID: 4487

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See also

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

Rajabu the rhino

Rian tells me about Rajabu the rhino who decided one day to climb up the steep crater rim and walk to Lake Ndutu and then on to Moru kopjies. There are some wonderful names here: mto-wa-mbu means place of the mosquitoes, and koitoktok is a spring which means bubbling water. I get a brief tour of Rian's workshop behind his house. This is where Octa works. Octa is an Mbulu from the Ngorongoro plateau, and he is a mechanic who has never had any mechanical training. Rian shakes his head as he tells me how one day Octa can have a gearbox on the floor in hundreds of pieces, and a few days later it will be back together in one piece; and it will work. Rian writes me a letter to present to a conservation officer in Ndutu who can sometimes be difficult. Rian smiles and tells me that he and Octa keep his land rover running, so he shouldn't give me any trouble.

Extract ID: 3654