The Ride to Ngorongoro Crater
Our safari trip was the most memorable trip of my entire life. Following the short plane ride into Kilimanjaro Airport, we visited Tuma and Emma’s families. They were so excited to see Tuma and it was really sweet to have Tuma show us his home and family.
After that we had a long car ride ahead of us to Rhino Lodge at Ngorongoro Crater. Our wonderful safari driver, Abbas, was in a hurry because we needed to be in the crater before the gates closed. It was dark when we arrived at the gates where we were greeted with guards carrying large rifles. I was very intimidated because I had never seen a gun so big in person before. We drove into the gates along the steep edges of the deep crater when all of the sudden the car stopped. So we were alone in a dark conservation area with no cell service in a broken car. We only had the security guard with the big gun, so that didn’t make me feel any better.
Abbas explained that the car was simply overheating and that he just needed to cool it down with some water. So he used Kristin’s pink bandana from 5th grade to open up the cap. Water shot back up and it was like there was a water fountain in the car. Abbas decided the car was okay and began to drive again without any headlights. I don’t know why but we were driving backwards really fast on the edge of a cliff. Because I had never been to a safari before, I wasn’t sure what kind of animals were in the crater and I was panicking that there would be a pack of lions right outside of our vehicle.
He had to stop and fill the car with water multiple times before we were finally able to make it to the lodge but when we finally got there I was so happy! The rest of the trip was fantastic and I am so glad that I got to go. That night is a memory I will never forget and despite the exhaustion and fears of falling off a cliff or getting eaten by lions, it was a funny moment and a great story to tell.b