We woke up by the alarms, and it was rather chilly outside of the bed, I’m very happy I brought my fleece jacket and the bush babies were still lukewarm. We had a nice breakfast with Matthew and were then just to get our gear from the tent before heading towards Empakai crater. This proved to be a challenge now in the daylight and no local to guide us like last night. After returning and asking for assistance I’m quite sure we made a great impression as tourists who got lost within the camp area.
We picked up a ranger who would do the actual trek with us and started the decent through a winding path. The views were marvelous and after some 326 meters lower down (meaning on 3200m altitude) we walked out through the forest on the slope of the crater and saw the salt water lake in the bottom of the crater. Masais were herding their cattle and flamingos and other wildlife completed the scenery. By now it was a good time to remove the fleece jacked since it was getting warmer. We walked perhaps a quarter around the lake and back before starting the ascent, and when we got up one of us were rather flustered. We headed back for a lovely hot lunch at Ang’ata and some slacking before doing the afternoon crater rim walk along the Ngorogoro crater.
We were on time but Matthew was nowhere to be seen and after some time we were informed that he was on his way, 45 minutes late they arrived at the camp, or Matthew at least – the ranger had done an AWOL but Matthew had found a replacement from the ranger station. Unfortunately this ranger did not speak English and seemed to have little clue of what the rim walk would consist of, after some 30 minutes he wanted to turn back while we tried to explain we expected a walk along the rim for quite some time. In the end he pulled the safety card (well ahead of dusk) and we were back after perhaps 90 minutes. Not so worth it and Matthew was very apologetic for this, which I guess he couldn’t do much about. The camp staff stated that now and then rangers do a no-show – TIA.
We had a hot shower before dinner today and indeed it was more pleasant getting dressed before the temperature dropped to the low 10’s. Dinner was really nice today as well, and since the other couple had left during the day we were the only guests which meant impressive service and staff to guest ratio. We packed for an early morning departure towards Ngorogoro crater the next day.