An eclectic mix of wildlife and rich cultures in the heart of East Africa. Understand and be immersed in the cultures and heavy traditions of Tanzania’s hunter-gatherer tribes.
Learn their secrets and appreciate their hunting skills and ability to read the wildlife. Stay in an authentic boma and soak up stories told under the Tanzanian night skies. Prepare traps, understand poisoned arrows and learn to live from the land as these tribes people have done for over 10,000 years. The Ngorongoro Crater features at the end of your educational journey providing you with a burst of wildlife within the worlds largest caldera. Home to highest density of lions and filled with herbivores, you are sure to witness some exciting game encounters on your safari.
Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport, you will be met and transferred to Olpopongi Maasai Cultural Village. After a refreshing welcome drink, you will be checked into your rooms (traditional boma’s) which will be followed with a traditional lunch. This afternoon, enjoy your time at the Maasai Village.
The Olpopongi Maasai Cultural Village and Museum is the first authentic Maasai Boma with a Masai Museum and overnight facilities within Tanzania. The village is dominated by more than 50 Maasai women and men from the nearby Tinga-Tinga Maasai Village. All the homes here are built the traditional way with local and natural materials only. The only difference in Olpopongi to the Maasai village nearby, is the addition of exterior washrooms and a kitchen which have been added for hygienic safety.
This afternoon, learn in depth about the Maasai culture, their traditions, their dress, religion and way of life. You will begin to learn and understand the various stages of life within the Maasai world. From Boyhood, to Warriorhood, to Manhood to Elderhood.
You will then depart on a walking tour into Maasai land. Here you will learn the hunting technique of the Maasai people as well as their traditional and natural Maasai bush medicine. Life on the land is truly fascinating and you will be amazed at their sharp eyesight for hunting and their incredibly practical mindset.
Your visit here also supports local Maasai families with water, food, employment, medical treatments and education. This evening enjoy a unique and unforgettable evening under the Tanzanian starry sky with a BBQ and a Maasai traditional ceremony before you find yourself sleeping on a comfortable cow hide bed in your private boma. (L,D)
Overnight Olpopongi Maasai Centre
Distances and journey time: Kilimanjaro Airport – Olpopongi (90km): 1.5hrs
Following breakfast, enjoy your last few hours with the Maasai as you learn to make fire and have your last chance to mingle with the local women. From here, you will transfer to Arusha where the afternoon is free for you to enjoy a cycle tour, village walk or even canoeing. (B,L,D)
Overnight Rivertrees Country Lodge or similar
Enjoy breakfast at the Masai Centre this morning before be transferred to Lake Eyasi in time for lunch. This afternoon, you will visit the Datoga Tribe. Lake Eyasi is a very scenic soda lake found on the southern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This lesser visited lake lies at the base of the Eyasi escarpment on the western Great Rift Valley Wall.
It is a hot dry area around which live the Hadzabe and the Datoga tribes. The Niloticspeaking Datonga Tribe, who are pastoralists, live close to the shores of Lake Eyasi. Whilst spending time with the tribe, you will learn about their general lifestyle, the history of polygamy in the Datoga tribe as well as how their huts are constructed from mud and cow dung by women. The boma cattle fence is something which also fascinates many people. It looks like a tangled mess but is extremely effective. Learn how they are prepared and raised.
The costumes of these tribe people are beautiful. You will spend time learning the way men and women dress, understanding the art of jewellery making with beads as well as spending time gaining knowledge about the blacksmiths and how weapons are constructed.
The milking of cows and preparation of local butter, flour grinding with the women using grinding stones and the preparation of ‘gissuda’, a local beer, for ceremonies such as weddings, prayers to gods and ancestors will also be shared with you. The type of honey used in this production is absolutely natural and women are not allowed to drink this local beer made from honey and some natural tubers. (B,L)
Overnight Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge
Distances and journey time: Olpopongi – Lake Eyasi (350km): 4.5hrs
This morning you will spend time with the Hadzabe Tribe. The Hadzabe people, also known as Tindiga, are believed to have lived in the area for almost 10,000 years and still today, follow their hunting and gathering traditions. Today you will visit their homesteads, learn of their way of life, medicinal plants and even animal tracking with bows and arrows alongside the Hadzabe hunters.
Whilst with the Hadzabe hunters, you will receive training and exercise in arrow shooting and targeting, understand the different materials that are used for the construction of the arrows as well as the preparation of poison and how to tip the arrow with poison.
The hunters will explain to you how to source the poison from the correct trees, as well as how to hunt and gather fruit, root tubers and honey. There are shallow wells prepared by women for water collection from the ground for home use which you will see as well as some culturally traditional dancing.
If this week has been a lucky week of hunting, then lunch may be a barbeque preparation of fresh meat. The tribe usually achieve 2-3 days of large kills per week, but small kills are regular and more common
The Hadzabe will teach you how to make fire the traditional way, in the ancient handdrill method using the palms of their hands and two pieces of sticks and wood.
The lives of these hunters is intriguing. The women prepare the huts with the branches of trees and their homes are very simple. In the dry season, sometimes their homes are literally under tree branches. During the rainy season, they live in caves. Hear their amazing stories on such a ‘wild’ life.
The Hadzabe will explain to you their practices of monogamy in preparation for marriage, how they train their youngsters in hunting and targeting as well as most importantly, studying the availability of animals for hunting and timing too. Hunting is usually done in the early mornings and in the evening. Learn how they trap baboons and their more common animals such as monkeys, dikdiks, kudu, impala and guinea fowl. After lunch and this exciting experience, you will be transferred to Karatu. (B,L)
Overnight Bougainvillea Lodge or similar
Distances and journey time: Lake Eyasi – Karatu (90km): 1.5hrs
Following breakfast this morning you will be driven to the Ngorongoro Crater where you will enjoy a picnic lunch. Descend into the crater for a game drive. Ngorongoro is like a crown. It is a deep, volcanic crater, the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world. It is home to world’s highest density of lions. Due to the enclosed nature of the Crater it has virtually formed its own ecosystem. Besides the stunning scenery, one of the main attractions of this area is the variety of flora and fauna found in a remarkably compact area all year round. In the South west corner there is the Lerai Forest, which is mainly comprised of yellow fever trees (a member of the acacia family). To the north of the forest is a shallow soda lake called Lake Magadi and to the east you will find Gorigor Swamp and the Ngoitokitok Springs where pods of hippo are to be found. The north of the Crater is, on the whole, much drier and consists of the open grasslands which characterises the Crater floor; this is where the majority of the resident game resides
You are guaranteed to see large concentrations of game on any Ngorongoro safari. The mineral-rich floor of this spectacular bowl is largely flat, open and covered in nutritious grasses – much to the liking of large herds of zebra and wildebeest, which graze here. These extensive open plains are also home to herds of buffalo, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle and tsessebe (often called topi). You’ll also find East Africa’s best population of black rhino here, which are often seen in open grasslands. Breeding herds of elephant pass through the Ngorongoro Crater itself only rarely, but you will see a scattering of old bulls, including some of the biggest tuskers left alive in Africa today. The only surprising absentees from the Crater are Impala and Giraffe; it is thought that this is perhaps because of the lack of open woodlands and browsing species of trees which these two tend to thrive on.
The high numbers of herbivores supports the densest populations of predators found anywhere in Africa. The reliable presence of these predators has helped to make an Ngorongoro safari so popular. The Crater’s lion population varies significantly over time, the one constant being their complete disregard of vehicles; they will hunt within yards of a vehicle, and when exhausted even seek shade beside them. Spotted hyenas are even more common here, often competing with the lion, and there’s are a small but growing number of cheetah. Leopards are around, especially in the vicinity of the Lerai Forest. Side-striped and the lovely golden jackal are often seen skulking around, whilst bat-eared foxes are a rarer sight
In the afternoon, you will return to your lodge in Karatu. (B,L)
Overnight Bougainvillea Lodge or similar
Distances and journey time: Karatu – Crater (45km): 1hrs
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast today, before be transferred to Arusha. Lunch today will be in a local restaurant where you can taste the local Tanzanian cuisine. Following lunch, you will be dropped to the airport for your onward flight. (B,L)
Distances and journey time: Karatu – Arusha (170km): 3.5hrs
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**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.