Archive for the ‘Nogorogoro and off Safari’ Category

Whats She Roaring at? (Nogorogoro)

Darren Writes 18.08.11 pics by Darren

Sunrise from the tent on our off road safari

I really couldn’t pass through Tanzania without seeing at least a couple of the big five and with the Serengeti virtually en route I was going to find it difficult to pass by without saying hello to a lion or two. Russ wasn’t too bothered about wildlife watching.. He prefers to see game on his plate but he was happy to come to Karatu, near Serengeti and wait a day or two and catch up on chillin’. 

Ahh... It's just a Hyene (Nogorogoro)

Of course things aren’t that easy. No motorbikes in the National parks! I would have to go ‘organised’ and that was something neither of us was very used to. We first arrived to Arusha which is the Capital of the north and though a few hours away from Serengeti, It’s the place to safari from! Straight to the tourist info office to discover it wasn’t going to be cheap.  I needed to share a vehicle with as many people as I could find. I did find a couple of polish girls but Serengeti wasn’t on their safari itinerary so after enjoying lunch with them, we continued to Karatu to try from there. From campsite to campsite we went but didn’t find luck. Eventually we set up our tents outside a bar and in that bar I met a South African who put me in touch with a company with whom I later joined and though not to the Serengeti, the Nogorogoro creator was soon to be proven to be something special. Nogorogoro is a large volcanic creator, steep and high walled and home to a dense ecosystem of African wild life! It was awesome with Lions, Buffalos, Leopolds, Hyenas and lots of herbivores all making appearances.

Wouldn't like to be between these two (Nogorogoro)

Just taking a stroll (Nogorogoro)

Nogorogoro, Serengeti or whichever park you go to, its great to see these wild animals but there’s something about it being organised that makes it just feel a bit tame and commercial! So we planned from there a bit of adventure and an off road route along the east of Serengeti and then east riding parallel to the Kenya border back to the main road linking Tanzania to Kenya. Didn’t have a clue what was ahead of us or what we would see or experience, but the not knowing bit, is the adventure.

Off roading it

Masai Herdsman (our off Road Safari)

140km in all and it all started on pretty rough track but it wasn’t long before I came skidding to a holt after seeing the heads of some Giraffes poking out of the bush. Camera in hand, into the bush I went and found a herd of a dozen of these strange ‘long necked deer’ (the Chinese translation apparently). Riding on, I almost lost control after my front tire blow out. The inner tube had moved around with ‘tire creep’ and ripped at the valve. Good job we carry spare tubes and after a quick fix, off we continued on our moto-safari. Herds of zebras grazed in the planes and impala bounced about as we passed. The odd Ostrich dotted the savannah and other antelope like Kudu graced us on our journey.

Long necked Deer (off road Safari)

We worked hard for our safari as the terrain became more and more difficult, riding through dry river beds, tufty grass and sections of dust as fine as talc and as much as a foot deep, sometimes disguising volcanic rocks beneath.  The first section led to a lake where a handful of tourists in 4×4’s would venture, but as we travelled east and through the plains and into mountains, signs of tourism were left behind. We passed through a couple of Masai Villages and greeted the odd Masai, herding cattle. The Masai are an incredibly decorated people and good to see were maintaining a traditional life. They were, however, not unaware of the outside world by any means but were still amazed by our motorcycles.

The Masai Hitch-Hiker (Off Road Safari)

After a night camping and waking up to the noise of galloping Zebras past our tents and peering out to antelope and ostrich, it wasn’t long before reaching a rough track and being stopped by a Masai woman. At first I didn’t understand what she wanted but eventually it seemed like she wanted a lift. I unstrapped the bag that straddled the back of my seat and Russ lashed it on top of his. It became obvious she was new to bikes in the beginning as she tried to climb aboard my Dakar like it was a pile of boulders.  The track was pretty rough and I really don’t think I was riding fast but could feel the fear of woman through her strong grip that tightened to my jacket pinching my waist more and more as we rode on. I couldn’t help chuckling to myself with this bizarre situation of a Masai woman chatting away on the back of my bike. I’m sure she got off before her destination, though, and left thinking she had an odd experience too!

No respect for the dead (Vervet monkey sat on Bufalo skull, Nogorogoro)

By early afternoon we arrived to the road 15km south of the Kenya border and back to normality. Normality continued with the normal border crossing with its touts and immigration/customs bureaucracy. A few hours later of steady riding brought us to the traffic jams of Nairobi and a world away from our off road safari and unique experience. We are now at a camp called Jungle Junction in Kenya’s  Capital with our kit and bikes in need of a good clean and some TLC.

Veiw from the other side of the tent (Off road Safari)

From here we will go north but which way, we are still not sure. But it is good to be back on the road and adventuring again!