About us!

We are Amisadai and Louisa Monger (aged 12 and 10). In 2010, we moved to Tanzania in Africa - look at the map below to see if you can find it! We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures and looking at our photos! Please don't forget to send us a message too!



Sunday, 26 June 2016

Serengeti to Home (Part 3)

Waking up on Day 4 to the sunrise of the Serengeti, we all washed, dressed and ate, and we were soon on our way back through the Serengeti again. On our last game drive we saw more and more animals, including a very well camouflaged leopard! We drove through a huge herd of zebras and wildebeest and made our way back to the Serengeti gate. We quickly stopped for lunch before returning home to Mwanza, full of happy memories … and looking forward to seeing our families again!

We had a lot of fun during the trip! It was funny when someone’s hat blew off his head, out the open-top roof and landed on the road behind us. The car behind picked it up for us! We had a lot of chatter and giggling on the long car journeys. But after many hours on the road with one girl in particular, one boy said that she needed to “talk MODERATELY!” It was fun sleeping in tents but the food wasn’t as good as home food. I enjoyed a chance to be with different friends. I loved seeing all the animals and the new beautiful landscapes. I can’t wait to take my family there!
Tenting Fun

So, as you can see it was a good, educational and very fun trip! I hope you have learnt something too about Ngorongoro Crater and Oldupai Gorge and can picture the wonderful time we had there.

Glossary
Fossil: a bone that has been preserved for a long period of time.

Ngorongoro: the sound of the cow and donkey bells as they walk down into the crater.
Serengeti: this word comes from the Masai word “Serengiti” which means “endless plains”.

Oldupai: a word from the Masai language for a certain plant called Sisal which grows plentifully in and around Oldupai Gorge. It is used by the Masai to make ropes, baskets and mats. Cows chew it when there is little water around as the plant absorbs water. It is also used in medicine as it is a painkiller.
Sisal
Total List of Animals Seen
Elephant
Giraffe
Impala
Thompson’s gazelle
Topi
Black rhino
Cheetah
Lion
Leopard
Warthog
Hyenas
Wildebeest
Buffalo
Ostrich
Dik dik
Zebra
Vultures
Guinea fowl
Baboon
Monkey
Jackal
 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Oldupai Gorge (Part 2)

Amisadai's Year 7 School Trip: Part 2

On day three of our Year 7 School Trip, we set off early from Ngorongoro to go to Oldupai Gorge, which was about an hour’s drive away from Nyani Campsite.
Oldupai Gorge
Shortly after we arrived, a man named Marafu gave us a lecture about Oldupai Gorge, an archaeological site, measuring about 20.2 square kilometres. Oldupai’s unique feature is that it is the only place in the world which contains remains of “homo habilis”, which evolutionists believe is an early forerunner of human beings. The gorge has three other discoveries for which it is famous:
  • The discovery of stone tools
  • The discovery of animal bones and fossils
  • The discovery of early human bones and fossils
Also discovered at Oldupai were the Laoteli footprints preserved in volcanic tuff. They were discovered in 1977 and believed to be 3.6 million years old and are said to be most important discovery of the history of human palaeontology.

Oldupai Gorge was first reported during the year 1911 by a German archaeologist named Wilhelm Catwinkle. Research was started in 1913 by the Germans. But the team failed to continue their research due to the First World War. After the First World War, the Germans lost their colony and further research was started by Louis and Mary Leakey, who were English. (Interestingly, their son Richard Leakey, who is 72 and Head of Wildlife Conservation in Kenya, has been in the news recently with all the wildlife poaching). Today there are three different groups of researchers from Spain, USA and Tanzania.
People believe that 2 million years ago there was a lake that attracted many living creatures such as birds, animals, reptiles, insects and fish. The circumference of the lake is thought to be 5 to 8 km wide. But due to the volcanic eruption of Mount Olmot, the lake disappeared. When the eruption occurred, it killed many of the creatures. The volcanic urge contained many minerals such as phosphorus, sodium, potassium and silicate. Those minerals fossilized the bones. Oldupai Gorge was then naturally formed due to water erosion.
Oldupai Gorge has 5 geological layers which are:
  • Layer 1: contains basalt and volcanic ash. Dated 2 million years ago
  • Layer 2: contains volcanic ash. Dated 1.75 million years ago
  • Layer 3: contains red soil (iron oxide). Dated 1.2million years ago
  • Layer 4: contains volcanic ash. Dated 800,000 years ago (this is the layer that caused the lake to disappear)
  • Layer 5: contains magma. Dated 150,000 years ago
Five layers seen in the gorge
In the research of the Gorge, scientists identified what they believe are four different species of Hominid discovered at Oldupai:
  • Australopithecus Bosei/ zinjanthropus
  • Homo habilis
  • Homo Erectus
  • Homo Sapiens

After spending the morning at Oldupai Gorge, we went to see “shifting sand,” not far from the Gorge. The shifting sand is greyish black sand which is moving all the time. It moves 100m in 6 years! It was burning hot to walk on and was very fine and smooth. But after a quick walk about on the sand, we had to leave and drive off very quickly because the Masai came with their spears and didn’t want us to be there! They even threw their spears at the car as we drove off!


 
 
I will give you the final instalment of our trip on the next blog post!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Ngorongoro Crater (Part 1)

Over the next couple of blog posts I (Amisadai) will tell you about my Year 7 school trip. With photos I will tell you about the adventures we had on our four day trip to Ngorongoro Crater and Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania.
Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater
In March, I went with my class to Ngorongoro. We left early and travelled from the noise and buildings of Mwanza to the endless plains of the Serengeti and passed many animals along the way.  After driving on the tarmac road through the buildings and business of Mwanza, we then continued on a dirt road past the herds of thousands of wildebeest on the Serengeti plains and finally came to the lush green grass in the Ngorongoro conservational park. Masai were shepherding their cattle, camels and goats kept safe in very small fenced areas. We reached Nyani Campsite at 5pm, and later watched as a beautiful red sunset settled down over the crater.
 

On the Road

Masai on the road

Our Campsite

The next morning it was so cold! After breakfast we set off to drive down into the Crater. It is 610m in depth and 250 square kilometres inside. Ngorongoro Crater is now the only place left in Tanzania to see the big five (lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard and elephant) and also the only place left to see rhinos in Tanzania.

 
In the Crater, it was fairly green. It was not flat on the bottom, as many of us had expected, but had a hill on the western side. There was a lake in the middle too. Ngorongoro Crater is considered paradise for creatures, and is known as the eighth wonder of the world.
Here are my photos of some animals we saw! Which is your favourite?