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WaHadza Lake Eyasi Educational Hike


The Hadzapi are a hunter/gatherer tribe that have inhabited the Eastern Rift Valley for thousands of years. Their lifestyle is similar to the Twa, the San (or more commonly called the Bushmen of the Kalahari), and the Dorobo of Kenya.

There is a interesting description of life with the Hadzapi in the last chapter of Peter Matthiessen's The Tree Where Man Was Born (ISBN 0-330-28196-8). They live in communal camps that are temporary structures constructed in different locations depending on the season. Therefore, there are no set itineraries for this Hike - we descend down the western escarpment of the rift Wall into the Lake Eyasi region to ChemChem Village. From here we begin our search until we find a Hadzapi camp. Once there, we are quickly assimilated into the camp and can freely participate in the Hadzapi daily activities - including, mending of a bows (many local peoples visit to learn how to use the expert bows), collection of herbal poisons for the arrows, actual hunts, gathering of firewood, plants, and water, etc.

The Hike consists of 5 days and 4 nights. Additionally - a day Hike down to the kopjies around Lake Eyasi and exploration of the shores of the Lake can be arranged.

A general itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: Depart Arusha in the morning and arrive at ChemChem Village for lunch. Afternoon spent exploring the village and surrounding mountains. Accommodation will be camping.
Days 2,3,4: Leave ChemChem in search of a Wahadzapi camp. Set up camp near the Wahadzapi and remainder of time observing and participating in the tribe's daily activities.
Day 5: Say your farewells, and return to Arusha for dinner at Klub Afriko.

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