Continuing on from Part 1… The day after we headed to Lake Manyara National Park which is famous for its Lions, Trees and Flamingo. We saw a lion pride resting by the Riverbank but not within the trees, although they are known to in that park. It was a phenomenal experience to see them very close. They didn’t seem bothered to see us. It looked like they had a busy night because they all seemed sleepy. Lake Manyara National Park is also well known for its birds. We drove down to the bird sanctuary. There were thousands of different species of birds living together in harmony. I cannot describe how stunning it was. It was definitely better than a post card. Towards the end of the day, we headed to our next destination in Lake Eyasi which is a seasonal shallow endorheic salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau. We had to wake up at 5 am the following day to be on time for the early hunt with the Bushmen, the Hadzabe Tribe. When we got there, they were still seating around the fire while sharpening their tools. They didn’t have a shelter. They were sleeping under the star. We went for 2 hours bird hunting with them. It was really phenomenal to see them running after their pride because it’s going to be their breakfast. The man who hunted the most is the chief in the tribe. We were lucky because we were hunting with the chief. He has proven his skills because he caught more birds than others and he was really fast. They taught us how use an arrow which was not easy at all.
We had picnic breakfast in the middle of the bush before heading to the Datoga tribe, called blacksmiths who have close relations with the Hadzabe Tribe. The blacksmiths have developed their trade over centuries and still practice it very much the same way today. We visited one blacksmiths family where the head of the family has his own forging workshop. It was great to see how he was forging. He made one bracelet for one of our clients in 10 minutes, which was impressive. From there we drove to one of the largest onion farms in Tanzania where they were busy harvesting and planting onions.
After spending 2 nights in Lake Eyasi we went back on road driving through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, towards Serengeti. We visited a Maasai Village for a cultural encounter of a lifetime. They welcomed us with a ceremonial song, while the women and the men took turns singing, dancing in a circle and jumping. They are the only tribe who is allowed to live within the national park because they can live in harmony with the wild animals without hunting them. We visited a Maasai primary school in the village where the students also sang for us and counted 1 to 50. From there we were invited to go inside one of their huts. It was pitch dark and hot inside because they cook inside and have no windows for ventilation.
On our way to the Camp we saw a pride of lions which had 2 adult males. It was unusual because usually one pride has only one male. They were seating next to each other which was priceless to see with naked eyes, only 2 meters away from our vehicle. I even took a selfie with lions as a background. We finally arrived to our Camp in Serengeti where we spent 3 nights. Every day we went for a full day safari in Serengeti National Park where we saw 30 lions in total. Every 15 minutes we could spot lions here and there. It was more than expected because they were supposed to follow the migration. I wasn’t complaining at all because that was one the reason I was in Tanzania. We also saw great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephants and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle. On our way back to the tent after a fully day safari, a heard of hippo were hanging on top of a massive rock exposed to the sun which was really unusual because they are supposed to stay under water during the day to protect their skin against the sun.
We left Serengeti and visited the Olduvai Gorge en-route to the Ngorongoro Crater. Before descending the Crater’s floor we had a panoramic view of the crater from the top of the mountain, a very nice spot for taking pictures. We did some game viewing on the crater’s flood where we saw herd of wildebeest, zebra and elephant sanctuary. We even witness a gazelle giving birth which was exceptional to witness.
When I left Jenman, I thought I would encounter a holiday filled with a lot of fun, great game viewing and a lot of memories. I didn’t realise that my heart would be affected like it was. To get so close to so many cultures, to experience the beauty of the Ngorongoro Crater and to see the wildlife of Africa unfold before you… it’s something that changes your spirit and is hard to put into words. I really had a great time. Thank you very much to our Jenman East African Safaris team who had organized everything for me and our clients.
Click here to view part 1