The Escarpment & Lake Eyasi

One of the attractions of Africa is the sheer scale and beauty of the scenery.  In east Africa this section of the Great Rift Valley covers some of the most dramatic scenery imaginable anywhere in the world.

After spending days out in the openness of the short grass plains, we headed southeast to our private camp and then still further east through the valleys and riverbeds, still low enough to cross due to unseasonal late rains, and up through the stands of massive umbrella thorn acacias that form many of the classic east African scenes portrayed in films and pictures.

Edging along seldom used tracks and game trails, we slowly bumped our way towards the edge of the woodlands that hid a view that not many in the group had expected. Once we were through the forests, the valley floor dropped away several thousand feet, giving us a clear view of the shallow soda lake known as Lake Eyasi. At just over 70km long and roughly 16km wide, this lake is one of the most important feeding grounds in Africa for the lesser flamingos.  At this distance they were hard to see, but flying over the lake at a later stage, we could see patches of off white-pink where some small flocks had gathered.

The lake and its surrounding wilderness is also the area which the Hadza Bushmen call home…existing by hunting and gathering on a daily basis.  We spent a few hours walking with them and being part of their morning hunting and gathering excursion.

For me what made this safari special was being able to be amongst the migration at the start of the safari and then move to an area on the same concession that provided a completely different experience in both wildlife and scenery without lengthy transfers between experiences.   This is a truly special area of Tanzania…

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