Best of Northern Tanzania with Jody Macdonald, January 2022.

Best of Northern Tanzania with Jody Macdonald, January 2022.

On the 16 of January 4 photographers embarked on the incredible journey, touring the most amazing places in northern Tanzania. The trip was divided into 3 parts: cultures, wildlife and landscapes. We would like to take a chance and present a summary of the trip with photos and testimonials from the participants.

It was the first time I had spent the night in an indigenous village. I felt in every place that I connected in a meaningful way with at least one person. And that felt very rewarding.” Alexandra Lexton. 

During the trip the group visited villages of the Maasai, Iraqw and Hadzabe tribes and spent the nights in the last two. We believe that camping in tribal villages is the best way to get to know the cultures and share the experience. In this tour the diversity of the indigenous peoples of Tanzania became evident. For example, the Hadzabe are the last hunter-gatherers in East Africa. They don’t own material goods, don’t cultivate crops, and don’t keep livestock like their neighbors. Instead, they use their ancestral knowledge to obtain from nature what is necessary for them to live. They speak a language of "clicks", they are nomads and are genetically related to the first human beings. On the other hand, the Iraqw are pastoralists and have developed a really complex farming system that adapts to their environment. Today the majority of Iraqws practice Christianity, however, the characteristics of their pre-christian culture are more than present in their daily lives and can be seen in their chants, ceremonies and stories. The Iraqw is one of the largest tribes in Tanzania with approximately one million members in contrast to the Hadzabe hunter-gatherers with less than one thousand people.

Northern Tanzania is home to a great diversity in terms of animal life and ecosystems. The group led by Jody Macdonald began their first day of travel in Arusha National Park at the foot ​​Mount Meru - The second highest peak in Africa. The Park has a wide variety of landscapes, ranging from savannah to the rainforest and the alpine formations. After the cultural visits, the route took the group to spend a few days in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where there are 9 volcanoes (only one of them active) and where the Ngorongoro crater is located. Ngorongoro crater is one of the 8th Wonders of the World, the crater is a very important refuge for a variety of wildlife. Most commonly seen are big bulls of elephants and the vulnerable species of black rhinos. The crater is also home to big herds of wildebeest and zebras, Thomson and grant gazelles, hippopotamus, African cape buffaloes, pride of lions, hyenas, several cats, golden and black-backed jackals, and close to 400 species of bird. The group visited South and Central Serengeti. This large National Park is an emblem of the African continent; it hosts a huge biodiversity and is the scene of the great migration, which at this time of the year is concentrated in the South of the park.

Northern Tanzania has terrific and various landscapes - from plain savannahs to alpine peaks, Volcanoes, rivers, lakes, gorges and craters, each one with its unique ecosystem. The group hiked into the Empakaai Crater - an off-the-beaten-path route that offers a dramatic landscape with a soda lake on the crater floor. To end the trip, the guests spent two nights at Lake Natron - a spectacular site and the hidden gem of East Africa located in the middle of a desert. The site is home to a still active volcano OI Doinyo Lengai. Travelers had an incredible opportunity to enjoy a scenic flight over Lake Natron and the volcano. The flight was an unforgettable end of the trip.