We drove around the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater early this morning, and as we lost elevation on the way down to the Serengeti plains we lost the green vegetation and cool highlands air. There is a section of whistling thorn acacia bushes that routinely have grazing giraffes, and today had a very nice congregation of them on both sides of the road. As a side note, I love shooting them in this area, as I am able to put the Serengeti plains as the backdrop.
We had some water on some of the roads heading down, and I can definitely feel that the long rains are almost here. It did rain both evenings when we were at Gibbs Farm, and it rained when we were in Ngorongoro, and now signs of recent rain in the southeastern Serengeti. Good news, for sure.
We made it to the Ndutu area in the late morning, and we ate a picnic lunch under a large acacia tree, which overlooked Lake Masek and its flamingos. After lunch the cyclone of water began. I mean really began. We had a solid wall of water around the swamps west of Ndutu, and our vehicles were sliding sideways because of the heavy rain and mud. I haven’t been in a rain like that in many years, and it was awesome.
The drive from Ndutu to Kusini was, well, interesting. The solid wall of rain and wind followed us almost the entire way, and I wasn’t able to take a single image today. Not a single image. The rain was so hard it would have ruined all of my gear, so it wasn’t worth it.
The Kusini area has some amazing granite kopjes, and the Kusini Camp is settled on top of one. We arrived around 5pm, as we couldn’t continue our game drive any longer due to the rain. Since arrived before sunset, we all showered and came and enjoyed one of the most amazing sundowner dinks on top of their central kopje. The staff placed large pillows near top for each of us to sit on, and hoisted up a drink cart for the serving of drinks. It is the small touches that matter in the hospitality industry, and the staff here have it nailed to a ‘T’.
After our gorgeous sunset, we had appetizers around the fire, and finished with dinner in the dining room. Not much else to add, other than today was a great day, even though I didn’t take a single photograph.