Friday, June 15, 2007

Ngorongoro Crater

Spent the day yesterday in the famous Ngorongoro Crater, home to all kinds of wildlife in a 300 sq km area.  Saw almost every animal I ever wanted to see, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Jackal, Hyena, Lion, Cheetah, a million Wildebeast and Zebras, Warthogs, Gazelles, and so many bids, all amidst the stunning backdrop of the crater. 

Had a great time, but the tour itself was a huge rip-off and all 6 of us who went are pretty pissed about it.  We paid our tour company $160 for a tour described as 1 night 2 days Serengeti and crater tour.  Originally we were to drive through the Serengeti then camp the night at the rim of the crater.  Next day take a long game drive in the crater itself.  Then right before we paid, we found out we don't go near the Serengeti, but that was ok b/c i only wanted to see the crater.  So the 6 people who wanted this option (the other option was 2 nights 3 days Serengeti and crater tour for !!$330!!) all paid expecting to camp on the rim of the crater. 

We leave the next day at 2pm, drive 2hrs to a camp site 30km away from the crater and have to camp there.  They sold us on camping at the crater, but we couldn't even see it from our campsite.  We might as well have woken up early at the campsite we were already at then driven up to the crater directly.  We basically paid $160 for a 1 day game drive and 3hr trip to the crater ($50 were park fees, so a $110 per person game drive).  Everyone was really upset we didn't camp at the crater as described...we're trying to get some kind kind of refund but it's being sorted by our tour group company Nomad Overland and i have 0 faith anything will happen.

Brings me to Nomad...I would recommend people traveling africa go on one of these overland tours but I would never recommend Nomad...our first week was good, but everything since then has been horribly disorganized.  Overall the trip was great, but almost everyone in the group is upset about how poorly organized the trip was and how many delays and easily avoidable annoyances we had to endure due to Nomad.

Very happy to be setting off with Stacey on our own tomorrow.  I just booked a bus from here to Kahama, will spend a night there then take a bus from Kahama to Rwanda.  We'll spend a week or so in Rwanda then go to Uganda before crossing Kenya to Ethiopia.  That's the plan so far, might change any day.


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