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A return - 35 years later

In 2004, Clarissa and I made a short camping safari to Ngorongoro. We camped at Simba A, a large and noisy public campsite on the rim of the crater. What a difference this was from the school holiday I had enjoyed four decades before at the original log cabins! This newer public campsite was disapointing. The restrooms and showers were filthy and in the late afternoon the large open area rapidly filled up mobile safari vehicles filled with eager passengers. By evening the campsite resembled a music festival - very noisy with hundreds of tents pitched alongside each other - but with no music!
However beyond the campsite the slope quickly falls away into the vastness of the Ngorongoro Crater. What a fantastic view! Despite the difficult camping conditions and even though definately not the pure wilderness experience that Clarissa and I normally search for, nonetheless we had a tremendous few days wandering about the floor of the crater looking for material for paintings, marveling at the scenery, and absolutely blown away by sightings of mega-tusked elephants.

1/8 : The last time I stood here had been 38 years earlier.
An image of  Paul Augustinus standing on the rim of the crater. In the background,  ahd hundreds of feet below is the vast flat plain that covers most of the floor of the crater.
2/8 : Seen from a rim viewpoint.
An image of  the floor of the crater, far below showing wildlife as microscopic black dots scattered about on a yellow plain
3/8 : Midday - before the crowds arrive.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus setting up camp in the large central open area of the public campsite. In the background mist obscures the view of the crater.
4/8 : This was interesting. However the the Simba A camp attendant didn't think so.
An image of  a curious elephant bull wandering by a few feet away from the tent and vehicle belonging to Paul and Clarissa Augustinus. Its head is cocked and so the elephant knows it is encroaching on some one elses territory. Nonetheless it is still curious and possibly attracted by the fruit and vegetable supplies it can smell are in our vehicle.
5/8 : Simba A is more interesting before the crowds arrive.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus watching an elephant wander by in the distance, beyond which is a hazy view of the distant Crater floor.
6/8 : Down in the Crater.
A view from the rear seat  looking forward of Paul Augustinus at the wheel of his 4x4 Prado, driving along one of the tracks through the nondescript bush at the foot of the crater walls.
7/8 : All the elephants in the crater are bulls.
An image out the side of the vehicle window, showing the (obligitary) guide looking at an elephant browsing in thornscrub at the foot of the crater walls.
8/8 : It's worth going to Ngorongoro just to see this particular elephant!
An image of a spectacularly tusked elephantslowly walking away in a tree fringed clearing. The tusks are of a size that puts them somewhere in the top 5 for the whole of Africa. Possibly the largest!

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