Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi is a salt lake situated between the Rift Valley's Eyasi escarpment and the Kidero Mountains, the lake stretches for about 31 miles to the southwest. To the northeast the horizon is dominated by the impressive Crater Highlands and to the north the plains of the Serengeti.

The area around Lake Eyasi is home to the Hadza and Watindiga bushmen, some of the last remaining hunter-gatherers on the continent. The bushman live in groups hunting with bow and arrows and gathering roots, tubers and wild fruits.

After over one hour of dusty driving south-west of Karate and the Ngorongoro Crater one arrives at the northern shore of Lake Eyasi, a mildly alkaline lake stretching for about 50km to the south-west. To the north-east the horizon is dominated by the Crater Highlands, to the north, beyond an escarpment the plains of the Serengeti. Over 100 years ago when the stronger Masaii tribes moved into the Ngorongoro and Serengeti, the Datoga and other indigenous bushmen living there were pushed south. Many made Lake Eyasi and its surrounding bush and forests their home.

Amongst the acacia and doom palm forests at the north-east end of the lake, by a small lava outcropping, is located Kisima Ngeda farm. This owes its survival to fresh water springs in the area that allow grass and vegetables to grow. The springs also sustain a small reservoir used as a small tilapia fish farm. The farm is owned by a German family whose main source of income is fresh milk produced from the cows they keep and sold in local villages.

The meadows along the shores of the lake and the forests are home to a wide variety of wildlife including leopard, hippo, a variety of monkeys, various birds, greater and lesser flamingos, storks and pelicans.

Several very pleasant, private campsites are located in the forest clearings by the lake, these provide grassy tent spaces, shower and toilet facilities made as far as possible from local materials. At night a cool breeze keeps away mosquitos. This is an ideal place for bird-watchers or those who just want to relax to spend two or three nights in total peace.