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Imagine being able to go on a hunt with Tanzania's last nomadic hunter gatherer tribe!
If you are heading on safari to Tanzania's Northern Circuit (Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire & Ngorongoro) then you are only a couple of hours drive from the region of Lake Eyasi where the Hadzabe and their neighbours the Datoga live. This cultural experience is often neglected by many tourists, but those you dedicate the extra few days to make this journey will be well rewarded.
We currently recommend this as a add-on to your safari since you are already in the neighbourhood!
Lake Eyasi the home of these tribes is located South West of the Ngorongoro Crater and conservation area. Its a bumby, dusty ride of around 1.5-2 hours but well worth the effort.
Who are the Hadzabe or Hadza?
This small tribe of nomadic hunter, gatherers are thought to be the earliest primitive inhabitants of Tropical Africa. They have distant links to the Bushmen of the Kalahari and belong to the Khoisan people – those who speak in clicks.
They currently live around the Lake Eyasi basin and live purely off the land – hunting wild animals and eating berries, roots, honey and baobab fruit. They own no cattle and no do they do any agriculture, they depend solely on the bush.
Who are the Datoga?
These pastoralists are also skilled silversmith's who live near the Hadza and supply them with iron tips, knives and spears in exchange for honey and fruits. Their origins are the Horn of Africa thought to have immigrated some 3,000 years ago. They wear traditional dress decorated in coloured beads and the women often have facial scarification for beauty.
The best time to visit this region is during the dry seasons and peak tourist months of June – September and December – March. Whilst it is possible to visit the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes during the rainy season the roads are very muddy making it a long, boggy journey.
We suggest you add the follow to your safari itinerary either before you enter or after you leave the Ngorongoro Crater:
Mid to late afternoon arrival at Lake Eyasi. O/nite accommodation
Early morning start to hunt with Hadzabe bushmen
Visit to the Hadza family camp
Visit to Datoga homestead and iron smith
Lunch at lodge/camp
Depart Lake Eyasi and continue scheduled itinerary
There are limited options in Lake Eyasi with only a few premium lodges and basic camps.
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What dates you are considering?
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World Fusion Tours also recommends some of the following options as add-on's to your safari experience:
• Mt Kilimanjaro climb
• Mt Meru climb
• Lake Natron add-on
• Old Doinyo Lengai add-on
• Zanzibar add-on
If this may be your only chance to visit East Africa and you are not constrained by budget or time – what about popping across to Rwanda for a Gorilla trek?