Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tanzania Safari: The Dotoga, Hadzabe and Maasai Tribes

During last summers safari in Tanzania we visited three indigenous tribes near the safari areas.  The following book was put together from the photographs made during our visits to the three villages.  Each tribe's way of life was markedly different:  

The Dotoga tribe had cattle and goat herds, some farming and an ongoing metallurgy activity producing arrow and spear points for other tribes and jewelry.  They could melt copper and aluminum, but not iron. They heated iron to a red hot temperature and then employed blacksmith techniques to shape the metal into useful items.

The Hadzabe were in a way the most interesting as they were hunter/gatherers as in pre farming and pre animal domestication times.  We were able to watch three of their young hunters go out to find some small animals.  They had killed a large animal recently so did not require food at the moment.

The Maasai are famous as cattle and goat herdsmen.  They range over a wide region of the Serengeti region and each man carries a spear by tradition for protection.  In past times they had the attitude that all cattle were given to them by God so they could take any cow they came across.  They have subsequently given up cattle rustling apparently. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tanzania Safari, Norongoro

Norongoro is a caldera (19km wide, 260 sq. miles) with stunning views from the crater rim and a super abundance of wildlife on the crater floor because of the the presence of water.  The caldera was formed two/three million years ago when a volcano exploded and collapsed on itself. Tanzania Safari, Norongoro Landscape

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tanzania Safari, Serengeti Landscape

The Serengeti is an enormous savannah with wetlands and ancient volcanic rock formations stretching as far as the eye can see.  We encountered cheetahs and lions close by, as well as elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, monkeys, hippos, topi and many birds.

Tanzania Safari, Serengeti Landscape

Tanzania Safari, Tarangire Landscape

Tarangire reportedly has the second largest concentration of wildlife in the world next to the Serengeti.  It also presents spectacular scenery, including large stands of Baobob trees.  The Tarangire river flows even in the dry season, providing attraction to wildlife of all sorts.  Spectacular birds were in abundance.  We also came across the Anaconda digesting his meal(see reptile post)
Tanzania Safari, Tarangire Landscape

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tanzania Safari, the Maasai

The Maasai heritage is famous for the view that God gave them all of the cattle in the world so they have a right to take any cattle they come across.  The rustling tendency apparently has now disappeared.  The Maasai maintain their herding way of life, with cattle, goats, and sheep in flocks over a large expanse of land near the safari areas.  The flocks are taken out for grazing and water during the day and then returned to the village and kept in protective pens (against predators).  It seems many of the herds were tended by children.  During our visit to a Maasai village all of the live stock was absent as were most of the older children.  The Maasai are known for their colorful dress, their dancing and high jumping(for men).

Tanzania Safari, Maasai

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tanzania Safari, Hadzabe tribe

Leaving very early from our hotel we traveled  by dirt/rock roads and then by dried up river bed to reach the site of a Hadzabe tribe camp.  The tribesmen were gathered around their campfire talking among themselves, having cooked their breakfast earlier.   The tribeswomen and their children were gathered around their own fire:  the children were eating a porridge like cereal.  After some time the men started another fire (to light their marijuana pipes) demonstrating a skilled fire by friction technique.  The Hadzabe is an aboriginal tribe, essentially hunter/gatherers, that have not changed their ways since pre-historic times it seems.  They total approximately 1000 members scattered over a wide area in Northeaster Tanzania. We went on a small hunt with them and they later performed a tribal dance, joined by the women and children.  We also tried out their bows for target practice.

Tanzania Safari, Hadzabe Tribe

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Tanzania Safari, the Datoga (or Tatoga) tribe

The Datoga tribe remains one of the tribes tenaciously holding to their tribal ways.  We visited a family compound to see their home, how they grind corn for polenta, how they work primitive metallurgy and their corral for their cattle/goat herds.  The cattle herd was just returning after a day of grazing and watering outside the compound.

Tanzania Safari, the Datoga (or Tatoga) Tribe