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Day 8 - Discovering the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem: Wildlife viewing and Maasai culture

  • Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem (map)

Rise at dawn and take to the savannah on foot for a thrilling morning bush walk. Together with our guides, we will see plenty of wildlife, identify footprints and learn about some of the symbiotic relationships that bind life together on the plains.

We will spend some time at the Enjipai Women’s Group, formed by a small group of Maasai women with a great entrepreneurial spirit. They paired their skills as artisans and homemakers with their desire to help their own families, as well as the community in general. Now numbering over 100 members, the collaborative already has several successful projects underway. A recently donated maize grinding machine provides a much-needed service to women who previously had to walk great distances to have their grains milled. The women of the collaborative sell their intricately beaded crafts to visitors. While each member makes an individual profit, a portion of all sales also goes into a community fund which was established for education and healthcare initiatives.

Our group will wander back to our campsite for a hearty home-cooked lunch set against an amazing backdrop of wildlife, acacia trees and endless plains. After a much-needed catnap, we will explore the extraordinary semi-nomadic culture of the Maasai.  Many Maasai still roam the plains of northern Tanzania with their herds of cattle, maintaining their traditions while adapting to new ways of life. We have invited a group of local Maasai warriors to visit the camp this evening and perform a traditional rhythmical dance. The group chose to name themselves for the word "unity" in the Maa language. They are a fine example of Maasai who are successfully bridging two worlds--showing their entrepreneurial spirit and motivation, yet staying true to their chosen lifestyle and traditions. We have also invited a leader and elder in the women’s community to discuss gender issues and the changing role of women in the community.  This is a great opportunity to exchange ideas and ask questions; nothing is scripted or planned so enjoy the twists and turns this conversation may take!

After dinner, take to the plains and wilds for a night drive in the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem. Night drives offer thrills and possible sightings of nocturnal creatures, such as spring hares, aardvarks, and porcupines. More than anything, the night drive offers an adventure few travelers in Tanzania have the chance to experience.