LAKE EYASI , TANZANIA
“A Voyage Back in Time”
Cultural encounters with the hunter-gatherer bushmen of Hadzabe, Tindiga & Datooga.
A visit to Lake Eyasi can provide a firsthand cultural experience unlike any other you’re ever likely to encounter. This large saline lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley is the home of several bushmen tribes – one of the few places in Africa where traditional tribal life continues as it has for thousands of years.
Here you can meet and even follow along with the Hadzabe people, hunter-gatherers, who live by bow hunting and gathering local fruits and honey as they have in this region for 10,000 years. Lake Eyasi also supports other bushmen communities like the Tindiga, who have also lived off this land for centuries.
Another group you may meet, the Datooga, are excellent silversmiths and trade their crafted spears with the Hadazbe for animal skins and meat.
Like these traditional people, you can explore this region by foot, going on hikes and taking notice of Lake Eyasi’s incredible world of birdlife. A visit to this unusual area is the perfect complement to your safari.
Safari-goers are especially welcome to stay overnight in the area and be closely engaged in the Hadzabe’s daily life and rituals. They will graciously show you how they hunt – creating bows strung with giraffe tendon. You can accompany them as they track small game or join the women as they forage for fruit or collect honey.
Then enjoy their traditional dances, delving into a unique cultural experience, all happening along the shores of the beautiful lake.
A Birding Paradise
Unlike many of the surrounding regions, Lake Eyasi has a tropical climate, dotted with doum palms where you may see Fisher’s lovebirds nesting.
Other avian life to look for on the lake’s shores: flamingoes, gulls, white pelicans, yellow-billed storks, avocet, and African spoonbill.
Lake Eyasi Highlights
Cultural Encounters – The local Hadzabe bushpeople are welcoming and enjoy showing off their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Speaking a unique dialect with a distinct clicking sound, they will show you their cave homes and take you on a hunt. This is a rare window into a lifestyle that has existed for tens of thousands of years.
Hiking – The lake and its environs are very pretty and lend themselves to local hikes. Go for a guided full or half-day trek along its shores and you’ll come upon ancient rock art.
Local Villages – Take an easy stroll into the villages of the Hadzabe and Datooga tribes and meet these friendly people.
Birding – The lakeshore and surrounding areas are a haven for active and colorful birdlife.
Ghorofani Market – Just a few kilometers from the lake’s northeastern section, you’ll discover an active market on the 5th of every month. Stroll amongst the local shoppers and traders coming from all around the lake.
Lake Eyasi Facts & Figures
Seated on the floor of the Rift Valley, Lake Eyasi is a saline or soda lake, attracting a fascinating assortment of birdlife. The lake rises or falls depending on the rainy or dry seasons but it averages an area of about 1,050 sq km (400 sq mi).
The lake lies about 75 km (46 mi) southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater and 100 km (62 mi) south of Serengeti National Park.
Best safari lodges & tented camps at Lake Eyasi
This is Lake Esayi
On its own, the lake is a lovely respite from the busy safari action of Serengeti and Ngorongoro with its peaceful shores and colorful birdlife. But where else can you meet and go on a hunt with one of the world’s last active communities of hunter-gatherers? This is a unique adventure back in time not many can say they have experienced.
Here are some of our combined Kenya & Tanzania safaris
(With possible extension to Lake Eyasi)
4 parks: Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater & Lake Manyara
5 parks: Masai Mara, Lake Victoria/Serengeti/Ngorongoro, & Tarangire
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