Lake Eyasi is the home of an authentic Tanzania tribes, and a seasonal shallow salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau on south of the Serengeti National Park and southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Crater .
- Lake Eyasi is home to the Datoga, Hadzabe and bushmen (watindiga), some of the last remaining hunter-gatherers on the continent.
- The Hadzabe tribe is also known as bushmen (watindiga). They are a very prehistoric people, who have no fixed abode. They have their own language which consists of tongue clicking sounds. They are hunters and use bows and arrows to kill their food, their favorite being baboon. They make their bows and arrows from a native willow tree which grows in the bush where they live, the arrows have metal tips which they get from the Datoga tribe.
- The Datoga people also known as the Manga’ti in Swahili, are agro-pastoral nomadic Melodic speaking people and craftsmen (blacksmith). They are more sedentary and live in groups in mud huts. They grow their own food, keep cattle and the men craft earrings, bracelets, arrow heads, etc from metal melted on an open fire using hand bellows to stoke the fire. The Datoga consider themselves the oldest tribe in Tanzania and proud as first and foremost Faeroe warrior’s, known for their stealth ability to eliminate their enemy.
- A visit with the bushmen is worthwhile and they will graciously show you where and how they live and hunt. They subsist entirely off the bush and by bow hunting. Everything they use is made from local materials, including their bows which are strung with giraffe tendon and their arrows which are coated in lethal poison. Their language resembles that of Kalahari bushmen tribe (who were featured in the 1980 film ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’) with clicking noises used.
- The Datoga and Mbulu people are pastoralists, like the Masai people.
- The scenery of Lake Eyasi differs dramatically to that of the surrounding areas. Palm trees border the lake and make homes for birds such as Fischer’s lovebird. Other trees in this area include the umbrella thorn acacia and sand paper bush. The rift is thought to have opened over 65 million years ago, shortly after dinosaurs became extinct.
- Lake Eyasi water levels vary greatly between the rainy and dry seasons. During the dry season the lake is virtually nonexistent and animals are forced to share what water is left, which makes for easier wildlife viewing. The lake can get quite deep during the rainy season and it attracts hippos who like to cool off in its brackish waters.
- Bird lovers will be in paradise here, as the lake attracts vast numbers of birds of all sizes and colors. Include, Africa spoonbill, flamingos, gray headed gulls, great white pelicans, pied avocet and yellow-billed storks. The main fish found in the lake are catfish and lungfish.
- Lake Eyasi palm trees sunset this region is particularly suited for exploring on foot, and day or half day hikes are highly recommended.
- It is possible to go on a hunting trip with the Hadzabe, and visit the other tribes.
The best way to get to Lake Eyasi is by road from Kilimanjaro airport or Arusha town, by road from Kilimanjaro airport, Arusha town/airport, also as an option from Dodoma airport or as part of a bigger package, including a visit to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Manyara.
Good to Know
Best Time To Visit
Lake Eyasi is good all year round. Although the rainy season (March to May) might affect walking trails but still can be done.
o Birding Safari, Camping Safaris
o Biking tour, walking Safari, Canoeing Safari
o Sundowners, Bush Lunch and Dinner
o Culture and village tour (Datoga, Bushmen, Hadzabe, Blacksmith)
Lake Eyasi has only a few accommodations from budget to Semi-luxury Lodge, and nearby Karatu city from budget, Sem-luxury and Luxury lodges and camp.