Day 7 – Ndutu and southern plains.

Back to Internet so I’ve caught up. This is the latest post but go back to day 5 to see them all.

Today’s blog is brought to you by Wildebeest. Tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of wildebeest.

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It is hard to appreciate just how many wildebeest there were. As far as the eye could see. To the horizon and beyond.
.

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There are about 1.5 million wildebeest in Tanzania. All of them are dumb. They run back and forth from one side to the other and just circle around. They had forgotten that they’d just been there.
Two wildebeest fighting.

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Then they suddenly stopped. I guess they forgot what they were fighting about. And went back to grazing.

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Hyena

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We did see a lioness earlier in the morning. Thirsty fresh from a kill.

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Lots of bugs on her.

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A few words about bugs. Lots of them here but mostly flies. The antelope, zebra, and wildebeest, and most other grazers are constantly swishing their tails to keep the bugs away from the anus and genitals. The bugs like to lay their eggs in those areas, so the constant swishing of the tails keeps them away.
We have not gotten bitten by any bugs. Lots of flies around – annoying but harmless. (No Mom, they’re not Tse-Tse flies.)

Then we went to see a Massai village. Really fascinating. They are a nomadic traditional tribe of shepherds. The keep goat, sheep, cattle and even a few camel (not native to here). They continue to live in this part, with their warriors keeping the dangerous animals away from their flocks. Their diet consists of meat, milk and blood. Nothin else. They greeted us with a traditional Massai welcome dance.

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Then our guide should us their houses and school. Most of them go to school for 3 years, from age 3-5 only. A few good students continue on to primary school. The boys begin tending the flocks by age 7-14, then train as warriors from 14-17. They marry at 18. Men have multiple wives.

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The Massai wear only blues and reds. The blue is to symbolize their believe in God with the blue heavens. Red serves 2 purposes: one is that many dangerous animals do not like red, so the flee, and the second is so that they can see each other from afar, when they are our in the pastures.

Then a brief stop at the Oldugapi Gorge where many hominids (early human ancestors) were discovered by the Leakys. Box lunch then a drive to the Ngoronvoro crater for a short scenic stop.

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Then on to the lodge which overlooks the crater. Stunning views. Here’s a view from the lounge where I am sitting having a beer and blogging.

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The room is stunning and the view from the room is beautiful.

More tomorrow. We go into the Ngorongoro crater which is teeming with wildlife including rhinos.

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