Nxt morning we enter Lk Manyara park at 8 am and leave at 2 pm, heading for Ngorongoro Crater about 4:30. From Lk Manyara to Ngo ngo the countryside is hilly, lush agricultural area, field upon field of corn & beans. Masai people use bicycles it seems(not the case in other areas eg. Few in Nairobi where the streets are jammed w/ cars). In this part of Tanzania the road is brand new, financed & constructed by Japanese. Arriving late in Ngo ngo(6 pm) we cannot do a rim walk as planned.
THE PARK: Just the immensity, the huge size and distances of the crater were impressive. Plus, the large #s of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, and hippos. It was really fun watching the hippos in the hippo pool flicking their tails to keep cool and rolling completely over in the water. We were close enuf to listen/hear the splash splash and constant swishing along with an accompanying roar as places shifted in the pool. The wildebeest were in midst of calving so we not only saw lots of young but were fortunate to come upon recent births (w/in 10 minutes) twice-the placenta not having been dropped yet...and then seeing the mother run after only 10-15 min. of birth to get the new born running for it's first time. We had just seen a lion not more than 15-20 minutes earlier and about one km. away so it is understandable how this immediacy has evolved for the young to be able to run!!!