Taking the Entara Cultural Safari option provides a privileged insight into how the Hadza, Datoga, and Maasai people continue living and adapting to a fast-changing world while following age-old practices in their wilderness home.
In the Lake Eyasi basin, Kisima Ngeda is situated near the ancestral lands of the hunter-gatherer Hadza people, with whom we have long-standing relationships. During a stay at Kisima Ngeda, we provide our guests with a distinctive fly camping experience; our Ombako fly camp offers a beautiful and secluded experience where we are hosted by Hadza hunter-gatherers, surrounded by a landscape of rocky outcrops, water, and the distant Alipi escarpment. The immersive experience offers an intriguing glimpse into the lifestyle of these communities. On our walks with our Hadza guides, we stop to marvel at ancient rock paintings, massive Baobab trees, and rocky ravines.
We explore the surrounding hills, escorted by our guides to visit encampments and to go hunting, gathering, and foraging. This isn’t scripted – the season’s bounty and our interests dictate our activities and interests.
For a short while, we see as our Hadza guides do. Some of us go foraging with the women, dig for roots and tubers, collect berries, and try to trap rodents. Others range out with the men through the wildlife-rich woodland between towering Baobabs and gnarled acacias, looking for birds and wildlife to hunt.
The women are equipped with digging sticks, while the men are armed with longbows with poison-tipped arrows and homemade axes to excavate honey hives. A successful forage and hunt means being invited to share in the feast (but you can politely decline!).
We can also visit the pastoral Datoga people to engage in grazing cattle and goats, spending time with the elders, and being immersed in their unique way of life. Fierce warriors, the Datoga were nomadic, depending mainly on milk products for their diet and moving to meet grazing needs. These days, the Datoga move less, and some grow maize to bolster their income.
Being within the community of these very proud and private people, one can only marvel at their beadwork, brass bracelets and necklaces, and their unique facial tattoos.
For visitors staying at our Olkeri Camp in the Randilen Wildlife Management Area, there is also the chance to experience traditional Maasai culture.
Entara employs trainee guides from the local Maasai community. While they are learning how to be a guide, we have the pleasure of learning from them as they take us to their family boma, where we meet their family and spend the morning experiencing the Maasai way of life.
We try our hand at milking the cows and goats, saddling up the donkeys to fetch water, and sitting down with the elders and little ones. It is an immersive cultural experience that is highly recommended.
Safaris are generally regarded as about animals, birds, and remote regions. But Entara Safaris’ ethos is to showcase, protect and sustain the total environment … to tell the whole story with a complete cast of characters – which means starring the Maasai, Datoga, and Hadza people too! A fully immersive, meaningful, and sensitive cultural experience plays a pivotal role in the financial independence of these communities.