The last three days of our tour through East Africa were a constant up and down. From the rim of Ngorongoro Crater (2,300 m) we rode down to Arusha (1,400 m), then continued to the desert in the lowlands of Tanzania (400 m). For the night we went up again, to Irente Cliff (1400 m), only to come back down the next day and drop all the way to sea level.
We could tell that we were reaching the lowlands when we spottet the first Baobab trees. They are massive and during the dry season they don't have leaves, but they are alive!
Upon arrival at our lodge we had to have some boot beer, of course.
The Irente Cliff towers 1000 meters above the valley. The views are just awesome!!!
What a spectacular sunset!
Close to the equator the sun goes down quickly. This one should have lastet much, much longer!
Next morning: sunrise, as seen from the room
High above the clouds
Lunch in Tanga: lamb or fish and chips or rice. A real African no-frills meal!
The fish tasted much better than it looked...
Martin, Ali, José, Adolfo, Teiga and Jim at the border, waiting for the bikes to be processed by customs. The guides greased a little, so it took us less than two hours to cross.
From Amboseli we crossed the border today and entered Tanzania. Our destination was Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest unflooded volcanic caldera, which is filled instead with wildlife.
A last glimpse of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro before we left our lodge.
On our way to Ngorongoro we could enjoy this amazing panorama of Lake Manyara
At Grzimek's View the group cought the first glimpse of the crater
Upon arrival at our lodge we had a welcome drink: Kilimanjaro beer!
On our rest day game drive we first went to Oldupai Gorge, where some of the world's oldest hominid bones have been found. The ranger's lecture offered lots of interesting information.
Panorama of Oldupai Gorge, the cradle of mankind.
Not only hominid bones were found here, this skull once belonged to a relative of the modern rhino, now extinct.
This is the view of Ngorongoro Crater from the terrace of our lodge. You have to see it to believe it!
Here are some of the animals that we could see during our game drive through Ngorongoro Conservation Area:
A lizard couple
Zebras and hyenas
A sleeping lioness
And a male lion, also fast asleep.
We got very, very close to him!
Teiga, pointing his camera towards Alex. The Alex.
The exit road out of the crater, now paved.
It is quite a long ride from Lake Naivasha to Amboseli, and it took as a while as we had to ride through the outskirts of Nairobi, where traffic is heavy. But is was a very interesting ride, we enjoyed the view down to the Rift Valley and the presence of some Rothschild giraffe at the Giraffe Center in Karen. We also experience some very bumpy roads and a flat tire on our shuttle jeep that brought us to our lodge in Amboseli.
The views of the Rift Valley from the escarpment, almost 2700 meters above sea level, are stunning.
Ron, Teiga, Ali, Martin, Thomas, Adolfo, Steve, Todd, Jim, and Jose
At the Giraffe Center the highly endangered Rothschild giraffe are bred and later released into the wild. This is Helen, you can feed her, but you better don't mistake her for a pet!
On the way to our lodge our shuttle jeep had a puncture (thanks, Teiga!). Benjamin, our driver, swapped the tire within a few minutes...
... which gave us time to marvel at the gorgeous sunset.
A group of elephants passing by Ol Tukai Lodge
Here you don't even need a game drive, you can just look at the wildlife from the pool or the bar. Just incredible!
There's a reason why Maasai Mara is the most popular game park in Kenya. Every animal species that Africa is famous for lives in this park, and in large numbers. The huge herds of zebra and wildebeest are a sight to behold, but of course most visitors are after the more elusive lions and especially leopards. We went out for a game drive in the afternoon, and guess what? We were more than lucky!
There was a massive downpour as we were about to leave for the game drive, so we waited a few minutes...
... and were rewarded with this beautiful rainbow, an unusual sight over the dry savanna.
And it wasn't only the sun that came back out!
We were barely 3 meters away from this cute little cub!
Video: playing lions
Of all the big animals in Africa leopards are the ones most difficult to spot. Not everybody gets to see one while on safari, but we even got to see two of them, lazing around on a rock.
It was almost dark when we spotted the cheetah in the bushes on the side of the road. Jose, Todd and Adolfo tried hard to take a picture...
From the Mara we rode to Lake Naivasha to spend the night in another beautiful lodge.
Naivasha Sopa Lodge
Lake Naivasha is a paradise for birds: the African kingfisher
... and a pelican.
The lodge is a paradise for us. For Teiga, Todd, Jose and Ron it is just another day at the office...
Adolfo and his favorite drink...
After four days of riding we arrived at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve yesterday. Kenya's most famous game park welcomed us with some rain, but today the sky is clear and everybody's enjoying the rest day here.
Uncle Ron and his long lost sons Steve and Ali
Kiboko Bay Resort, right on the shore of Lake Victoria. What a beautiful place!
Adolfo and Jose, boarding the hippo boat for a little expedition on the world's second largest freshwater lake.
A massive storm coming in from the north. Time to head back to shore...
The next day we rode to the Maasai Mara. On the way we had a short break for cold drinks, and Todd, with his huge Adventure GS, was the superstar.
It's nice to feel like Brad Pitt for a few minutes, right?
Interacting with the locals wore him out, so the massive portion of chicken and chips came in handy...
This is the pool of the Sarova Mara Game Camp. Not a bad place to spend a rest day!
While the rest of the group went on a balloon ride, Jose enjoyed a private game drive. And man, he was lucky: a lioness with fresh kill...
... that she dragged across the road right in front of the car!
A cute lion cub
A male ostrich running after his lady...
An elephant family
And a cheetah, resting in the bush.
Day 2 of our ride through Kenya saw us crossing the equator twice, descending down into the Great Rift Valley and entering our first national park, Lake Nakuru. This park may be small, but its wealth of wildlife is just amazing, on a 3,5 hour game drive we got to see lions, white and black rhinos and a hippo mom with her young along with numerous zebras, buffalo, baboons, giraffe, waterbucks, impalas, warthogs, hyenas and countless birds. Stunning!!!
Visiting the Great Rift Valley
Lake Nakuru National Park
Teiga, Martin, Adolfo and Jose, getting ready for the game drive
White rhinos can weigh up to 3500 kg!
Todd from Canada
Teiga from Brazil
A giraffe, obviously...
Panoramic view of Lake Nakuru from Baboon Cliff Lookout
8 beautiful BMW motorcycles were delivered to our Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, from Johannesburg, South Africa, a mere 4000 km away. Edelweiss has been touring East Africa for 5 years now, and this year 7 guys from Canada, Ecuador and Brazil came together to circle around Mount Kilimanjaro.
A trailer full of shiny BMWs, isn't that a spectacular sight?