Wilkies Point

Name ID 936

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 18
Extract Date: 1956 December 31

Monday

Filled up with petrol at Karatu. Off about 11.30. Took it slowly up to Ngorongoro Crater, stopping three times for engine to cool down. First at gate where we had lunch, then on way and at Wilkies Point. Arrived at camp about 3.30, and got unpacked and settled in two huts with good views. ... when we went to see if boys OK saw a buffalo under their window, and later saw him in car headlights.

Extract ID: 580

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 20b
Extract Date: 1957 January 1


Extract ID: 4086

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 20a
Extract Date: 1957 January 3


Extract ID: 4085

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 154a
Extract Date: 1962

Towards the Crater

Alan, Joan and Kiari travelled in the Land-Rover. Douglas and I followed in the Gipsy. We filled up at Mto-wa-Mbu, shook hands with the ground crew, talked with the two Indian storekeepers, and finally sped off up the escarpment road. We then drove over the Karatu plain, well stocked with Wambulu farmers, before accepting a lower gear, and driving up towards the crater area. Mosquito River was 2,000 feet above sea-level. The crater rim was nearer 7,000 and the two trucks pulled steeply up that twisty, well-surfaced road. At the so-called Wilkie's Point we had our first breath-taking view of the Ngorongoro Crater, and stopped at once.

Extract ID: 3745

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 171a
Extract Date: 1962

Roads round the rim

In good times the road round Ngorongoro's rim is usable for two-thirds of its circumference. Part of it is always satisfactory. This all-weather section runs from Wilkie's Point, where we had first looked down into the crater and were blind to the animals living there, round past the turn-off to the cliff road, past the village of Ngorongoro, past the Crater Lodge (which is a log cabin type of motel, superbly placed), and on to a spot known as Windy Gap. The road then leaves the crater rim and saunters down towards the huge plains of the Serengeti a couple of thousand feet below. The other portion of the rim road is by no means as reliable. From the junction at Wilkie's Point it travels north around the eastern side of the crater, and it eventually joins up with a minor village called Nainokanoka.

This perimeter system we surveyed, in so far as it was possible to do so. The wind had been blowing initially from the northeast, and therefore we paid most regard to that section up to Nainokanoka. The nearer we could get to that village, the longer the flight would be over the crater region. Unfortunately, no one had reached that village with a light lorry, let alone a heavy one, for several months, and the last heavy lorry to do the journey had left fearful ruts a foot or two deep along the track. We found these could normally be circumvented by driving into the surrounding jungle to make a detour round them; but 8 miles from Wilkie's Point a misguided river had been meandering along the route. This was of no great depth, but it had deposited far too much silt for us to negotiate and the ways round it were too steep. It formed the end of the line.

Extract ID: 3752

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 199a
Extract Date: 1962

Who had reported our explosion?

Alan and Joan were due back any day, but they had not arrived when I set off. Douglas took me to the crater top, and from there I got a ride into Arusha. The driver was in a hurry, and there was no time for stopping. We hurtled round the Wilkie's Point bend, neglecting the road to the rhino and the take-off site, and then twisted down the curves leading to the Karatu plain. On going through the scattered and drawn-out village of Karatu itself, I longed to know who it was that had reported our explosion. Was it that man wearing the bright blue track suit with a tie round the neck? Or that one wearing a sort of mustard coloured jacket with purple trousers, or him with a white toga, or that one just in a ragged pair of shorts? I longed to know. I swivelled round to have a last look at an exceedingly gaily dressed lot, but they gave me no due. In the dim distance, half hidden in the haze, was a thin blue line of hills cut out against the sky. How that man had picked out our balloon among those Crater Highlands I do not understand. Perhaps he imagined the whole thing! Perhaps a blob swam across his vision, as blobs sometimes do. Whatever it was, he had told his tale and, what is more, he had been believed. So good luck to him, whether his clothes are mustard or purple, white or ragged grey; I, at least, shall not forget him.

Extract ID: 3767
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