THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT PART TWO
Visiting Serengeti is a life experience, one of those you will keep in your heart forever. Try the hot-air balloon trip: quite expensive, but worthwhile. Animals in the wild seen by a privileged position while you graze the top of the thorn acacia trees.
You need a few days for covering this park, but sooner or later you must leave it. Your heart bleeding, your memories still lively. You are thinking that nothing else will ever astonish you. You sit quitely into the Land Cruiser in tears when suddenly you realize that the guides are parking the car in a strange place. A canyon. The name is The Olduvai Gorge. It is a gorge 48 kilometers long and 90/100 metres deep. Here Louis Leakey and his wife Mary found the remains of the Australopithecus Boisei and of other hominids. The discovery has been a big step in understanding human evolution. You can visit the museum if you want to examine closely the development of this research before sitting on the terrace that looks on the gorge. It is an enchanting place.
It is not difficult to understand why our ancestors settled here and eventually learnt how to walk on two feet.
This little jump into our origins reconciles you with life and you are ready to continue your trip and go downhill into Ngorongoro Crater.
This enormous caldera originated 2.5 millions of years ago. The volcanoes that used to stand up in this area collapsed after an incredible explosion and created three calderas which we are now able to admire: Ngorongoro, the biggest, Olmoti and Empakaai. The consequence was the birth of a unique ecosystem. An Eden for vegetation and animals, present in astonishing numbers.
The Land Cruisers can stay inside the crater only for 6 hours to avoid overcrowding.
In the centre of Ngorongoro Crater there is Lake Magadi, a real paradise for birdwatching. South of the lake you can find the Lerai Forest, with its typical yellow barked acacias, or fever trees.
The last stop to complete this adventure in the Northern Circuit parks is Tarangire National Park.
It is located in the centre of the Eastern part of the Rift Valley and its name comes from the Mbugwe tribe language: tara, which means ‘river’, and ngire which means ‘warthog’. The river, that cuts this park in the middle, is the witness of a ‘little’ migration of wildebeests and zebras: they move near the river-banks during the dry season in order to find water.
This park is also famous for the big number of baobab trees and elephants, more than 500 species of birds and pythons that stop on trees branches after having eaten their prey.
The safari of the Northern parks is finished. Tarangire National Park is 120 kilometers far from Arusha: this means that the holiday is coming to its end. Quite sad, but Tanzania is not finished. There is a lot more to discover. Plan another trip, plan another circuit, and, even if the magic of what you saw will never abandon you, you will take the chance of living another dream.