Duniart – Photography and Blog by Toine IJsseldijk

Lake Eyasi

Tanzania, July 2015

Day 4 – 16-Jul: Tarangire – Lake Eyasi (Tindiga Camp)

We drove via Makayuni and then over an excellent sealed road towards Manyara, at the foot of the Rift Escarpment. We passed the market town of Mto Wa Mbu (River Of Mosquitoes), before making a picnic lunch at a view point overlooking the lake. The shallow and alkaline Lake Manyara is particularly famous for its large herds of flamingoes and pelicans.
After lunch we continued to Karatu, and from there we left the sealed road and into real countryside over a dirt road, with scattered mud-houses along the way.
We arrived at our camp in the early afternoon and decided to take it easy and just walk around a bit in the neighbourhood, before calling it a day. Tomorrow was going to be a full day of tribal culture..!

Tindiga Camp

An excellent camp set in a well-maintained garden, with each tent having its own private area and little garden as well.

Day 5 – 17-Jul: Lake Eyasi

The Hadzabe

We woke up very early, as we wanted to visit a Hadzabe family, living nearby. The Hadzabe are descendants of Tanzania’s aboriginal people and are still leading the same hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The Hadzabe men make use of locally made poisons to hunt, while women and children gather fruits, berries, and roots with which to supplement their diet. As hunting is their main source of food, the Hadzabe are the only tribe permitted to hunt in the Serengeti. Our guide had made arrangements for us to join a traditional hunt. He drove us to the end of a dirt road, and then called out loud. From the bushes came a young Hadzabe man, who told us to follow him, into the bush… And so we did. We walked half an hour and arrived at a group of men, warming up around a little fire, preparing for a sunrise hunt…! How cool was that! 

The Datoga

The Datoga people are skilled farmers and craftsman. The Datoga’s origins are rooted in Southern Sudan or in the western Ethiopia highlands. Around 3,000 years ago they migrated southwards and settled in Kenya and Tanzania. They are traditional sheep and cattle farmers, but eventually became agriculturalists. The Datoga dress in reddish brown coloured soil and leather patched dresses worn by Datoga women. They also wear bead work, brass bracelets, and necklaces. The Datoga are also distinguishable by their decorative tattooing in circular patterns around their eyes.

Lake Eyasi – Karatu – Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge

After our visit to the Datoga we drove back to Karatu and onwards to our next camp, at the foot of the Ngorongoro caldera, the Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge. The drive took only a few hours and we enjoyed some typical African rural scenery along the way.

Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge

Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge is perched high on a hill overlooking a green valley of local farms and the seasonal Rhotia River. It’s strategically located for an early start to the Ngorongoro Crater. It’s a charming and cozy resort, with only 15 tents and a rustic central building housing a restaurant, lounge and deck overlooking the valley.
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