Tanzania 2016
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Yes, Tanzania is a feast for all senses. Safaris in Tanzania are some of the best in the world, with most of them never going without seeing one of the “Big 5” game animals: lions, leopards, rhinoceros’, elephants, and buffalo.
Despite the fact that in 2016, 1,284,279 tourists arrived at Tanzania's borders compared to 590,000 in 2005 and Travel and tourism contributed 17.5 percent of Tanzania's gross domestic product in 2016, safaris are still better than any visit ZOO. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Lake Manyara National Park, which encompasses an area of 330 sq.km, of which 200 sq km is lake, was proclaimed a game reserve in 1957 and registered three years later as a National Park. The park is situated between the 600 m high escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara.
After entering the gate, there is the lush forrest, home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys. In the picture is an olive (or yellow, I am not sure) baboon. Olive baboon is an omnivorous and actively hunts prey such as rodents and hares, but also foxes and other primates.
The blue monkeys live in female-philopatric social systems where females stay in their natal groups while males disperse once they reach adulthood. As a result, blue monkey groups usually consist of one male (poor guy) with several females and infants, giving rise to matrilinear societies. Photo - Lake Manyara NP.
Elephants are highly intelligent species that is thought to be equal with cetaceans, and primates. The government of Tanzania estimated that more than 85,000 elephants were lost to poaching in Tanzania between 2009 and 2014, representing a 60% loss. Photo - Lake Manyara NP.
One species of African elephant, the bush elephant, is the largest living terrestrial animal, while the forest elephant is the third-largest. Photo - Lake Manyara NP.
African elephants are elephants of the genus Loxodonta. The genus consists of two extant species: the African bush elephant and the smaller African forest elephant. The only elephants in Tanzania are the African bush elephants. Photo - Lake Manyara NP.
There were between 3 and 5 million African elephants as recently as the 1930s and 1940s. In 1989, CITES banned international trade in ivory. According to the World Wildlife Fund, in 2014 the total population of African elephants was estimated to be around 700,000. Photo - Lake Manyara NP.
Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline Lake Manyara, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.
Ernest Hemingway remarked that this park had the most beautiful lake in Africa.
Manyara Lake covers one-third of the park size, and despite its high salt content, it is safe for animals to drink so it remains an essential life source for many animals in the area.
Lake Manyara NP is the park, where it is possible to take not only common game viewing during the day but the nocturnal one as well. And even walking safari (currently - 2016 - three trails) and canoeing are available.
The African buffalo is not an ancestor of domestic cattle and is only distantly related to other larger bovines. Owing to its unpredictable nature, which makes it highly dangerous to humans, the African buffalo has never been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the water buffalo. Photo - Lake Manyara NP.
They are widely regarded as very dangerous animals, as according to some estimates they gore and kill over 200 people every year. One of the "big five" African game, it is known as "the Black Death" or "widowmaker". Cape buffalo or southern savanna buffalo is the typical subspecies in Tanzania. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Serengeti National Park - the parks name was given by the Maasai people, ‘serengit’, which means the land of endless plains.
There is an impressive array of animals taking up residence in the park including the “Big 5” and is one of the largest and only migration patterns of its kind uninterrupted by human contact. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Each year around the same time, the circular great wildebeest migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania. This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing. Photo - Serengeti NP.
There are 260,000 zebras that precede 1.7 million wildebeest and the following hundreds of thousands of other plains game, including around 470,000 gazelles during the migration. Photo - Serengeti NP.
About 250,000 wildebeest die during the journey from Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Wildebeests fighting is one of the most boring thing that can be seen in Africa. Wildebeest, however, are very strong, and can inflict considerable injury even to a lion. There are blue wildebeests present in Tanzania, black wildebeest are typical for South Africa. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the mountain zebra and the Grévy's zebra. Plus the very rare laughing zebra (right). Photo - Serengeti NP.
Plains zebra, typical for East Africa including Tanzania, has six subspecies. Together with wildebeest is zebra most common mammal in Tanzania´s national parks. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Zebras have excellent hearing and have larger, rounder ears than horses; like other ungulates, zebras can turn their ears in almost any direction. In addition to superb eyesight and hearing, zebras also have acute senses of smell and taste. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The soils of the Serengeti consist of volcanic rock and ash. Below it is older layer of metamorphic rock when magma leaked out of the earth’s crust where it settled and cooled to form giant granite. The softer and surface rocks eroded and the granite formations are kopjes today-piles of ancient rocks. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Lions regularly use the kopjes as vantage points, a place to bask in the sun as well as a place to hide their cubs. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Unique to Lake Manyara National Park but present in other parks as well (this picture was taken in NP Serengeti, few hundreds meters from camp site) are tree-climbing lions.
Researchers have still not come to a conclusion as to why these lions habitually laze among the treetops, but nevertheless, it is an extraordinary sight to see. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Tree climbing lions are not as rare and unusual as was initially thought, and there are increasingly more reports from various game reserves of lions climbing trees. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Banded mongooses are small carnivores, similar in look to a weasel or cat, mongooses have brown and gray fur. They live in mixed sex groups which average around 20 individuals, but groups may sometimes grow to more than 70 individuals. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Unusually, there is no reproductive suppression of subordinate females in this species, and most females breed in each breeding attempt. In around most breeding attempts all pregnant females give birth on exactly the same day. This level of birth synchrony is unique among mammals. Photo - Serengeti NP.
A highlight of any safari, the world’s tallest animal is suffering from a combination of habitat loss, illegal hunting and civil unrest. So much so that giraffes are now considered more endangered than the African elephant. Photo - Serengeti NP.
The giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania, which has introduced strict laws to protect this endangered creature. The Masai giraffe, the species typical for Serengeti NP, population declined 52% in recent decades due to poaching and habitat loss. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Giraffes are common in the Serengeti where they are sometimes spotted in groups of 40 or even more. Photo - Serengeti NP.
The most common in Serengeti NP is Masai giraffe, the largest subspecies of giraffe. Overall, the approximate number of all populations accumulate to 32,550 in the wild. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Elephant´s population in Serengeti is one point of view unique. Elephant numbers actually increased by 266% in the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem between 1986 and 2014. Photo - Serengeti NP.
Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, it is located in Manyara Region. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The Tarangire River is the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire Ecosystem during the annual dry season. Photo - Tarangire NP.
The antelope displays two characteristic leaps – it can jump up to 3 metres, over vegetation and even other impala, covering distances of up to 10 metres. Photo - Tarangire NP.
The other type of leap involves a series of jumps in which the animal lands on its forelegs, moves its hindlegs mid-air in a kicking fashion, lands on all fours and then rebounds. It leaps in either manner in different directions, probably to confuse predators., Photo - Tarangire NP.
Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama climbing on a toilet wall in camp site. Photo - Serengeti NP.
NP Ngorongoro - the most well-known crater in Africa, the Ngorongoro Crater, is one of the largest of its kind and a true marvel to behold. The landscape consists of a mix of lakes, grasslands, swamps and wooded areas where domesticated Maasai livestock graze beside wild animals. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers some 8,300 sq km. It boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa. Towered alongside Mount Kilimanjaro nearly three million years ago as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Since most of the Crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate: gnu, zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland, hartebees and warthogs. The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons and vervets. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
There are four subspecies of ostriches in Africa of which the Masai ostrich is most prevalent in Tanzania. These giant birds cannot fly, but to compensate they can run. Reaching speeds of over 70 km/h make them the fastest land birds in the world. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in sand to avoid danger. This myth likely began with Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), who wrote that ostriches "imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of their body is concealed." This may have been a misunderstanding of their sticking their heads in the sand to swallow sand and pebbles to help digest their fibrous food. Photo - Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Alongside with wild animals, the Maasai graze their livestock. Making themselves one of the few groups in the world to uphold their traditional, nomadic lifestyles in our modern times.
The Tanzanian government is putting foreign safari companies ahead of Maasai herding communities as environmental tensions grow on the fringes of the Serengeti national park.
Despite nomadic lifestyle, almost every village close to the national parks is ready to welcome tourist. Especially tourist with open wallets.
Dhows, a wooden built boat with a canvas sail, were originally introduced likely from Yemen hundreds of years ago. They are a truly important part of transportation and industry (still used for fishing) on the Zanzibar island.
Dhow is the generic name of a number of traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with settee or sometimes lateen sails, used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Historians are divided as to whether the dhow was invented by Arabs or Indians.
Since the dhows are made with wood or timber, they need maintenance every three months. Locals use a traditional method where they have to take them out of the water and put new cotton, a process they call ”kalafati”.
To prevent the boat from leaking, cotton mixed with coconut oil is stuffed between the timber.
Even to the present day, dhows make commercial journeys between the Persian Gulf and East Africa using sails as their only means of propulsion.
For celestial navigation, dhow sailors have traditionally used the kamal, an observation device that determines latitude by finding the angle of the Pole Star above the horizon.
Girls in school uniforms, dressed according to local Muslim custom, walk on the beach. However - Zanzibar is a fusion of Portuguese, Arab, Indian and East African customs and culture.
A young girls harvest seaweed, one of Zanzibar's key exports.
Fishing continues to employ many local men, and it's possible to watch the local fishing boats bobbing in the sparkling waves of the morning, and then set out to sea in the late afternoon. Notice the variety of hats and caps worn.
A bit stinky spectacle is the early morning fish market that takes place on a small beach near the port. It’s a busy jumble of people, boats, fish, more fish and the smell of fish. There’s a small harbour but the boats don't actually dock or reach the shore. Instead people swim out to the boats and swim back holding fish or large plastic containers filled with fish. It's well worth visiting and not on the usual tourist circuit.
Fishmongers are ready to wade into the water to bring fish from the boats to the market tables. Early in the morning, around 06.00, boats return with their catch to the harbour fish market.
A variety of marine animals (including a moray eel) are auctioned off inside the fish market. Local women are part of the bussiness as well, selling refreshment and simple food.
Zanzibar is full of friendly-looking people. Old Dhow Harbour fish market at Malindi, Stone Town.
The Hadza people, or Hadzabe, are an ethnic group in central Tanzania, living around Lake Eyasi in the central Rift Valley and in the neighboring Serengeti Plateau. The Hadza number just under 1000, some sources say up to 2000.
Some 300–400 Hadza live as hunter-gatherers, much as they have for thousands or even tens of thousands of years; they are the last functioning hunter-gatherers in Africa.
The Hadza are not closely related to any other people. While traditionally considered an East African branch of the Khoisan peoples, primarily because their language has clicks. Probably only irish english is harder to understand.
The Hadzabe language is a distinctive tongue of clicks that is similar to that of the famous Bushmen. Despite this and their similar physical appearances, DNA testing has shown no relation between the two groups.
The Tanzanian authorities recognise that the Hadza are a special case and do not enforce the regulations with them, just as the Hadza are the only people in Tanzania not taxed locally or by the national government. Well - I cannot imagine the authorities looking for Hadza in vast plains or deep caves.
A Hadzabe man cut wood to be used in the construction of spears, arrows etc.
Still leading the same hunter-gatherer lifestyle that has sustained their people for generations, the Hadzabe make use of locally made poisons and ingenious camouflage to hunt.
If they went to school, they'd never master the skills needed for survival.
Hadza can start a fire, twirling a stick between palms, in less than one minute.
Some Hadza have moved to the traditionally Hadza area of Mangola currently. In exchange for money they demonstrate their hunting skills to tourists. Another human ZOO and the end of real Hadza life.
The smoking material, tobacco or cannabis, is acquired from a neighboring group, usually the Datoga, in exchange for honey.
The men are particularly adept hunters, and their daring and inventive hunting style is a sight to behold. Using parts harvested from other animals, they cunningly lure and put down game. As this is their only source of food, they are the only tribe permitted to hunt in the Serengeti.
They grow no food, raise no livestock, and live without rules or calendars. They are living a hunter-gatherer existence that is little changed from 10,000 years ago.
Nighttime baboon stalking is a group affair, conducted only a handful of times each yea. They will eat almost anything they can kill, from birds to wildebeest to zebras to buffalo. They dine on warthog and bush pig and hyrax.
Traditionally, the Hadza do not make use of hunting dogs, although this custom has been recently borrowed from neighboring tribes to some degree. Most men (80%+) do not use dogs when foraging.
A journey into the "Gods must be crazy" movie. This is not a show or a "tourist put on". This is the real deal.
The Hadza do not engage in warfare. They've never lived densely enough to be seriously threatened by an infectious outbreak. They have no known history of famine; rather, there is evidence of people from a farming group coming to live with them during a time of crop failure. And over all these thousands of years, they've left hardly more than a footprint on the land.
The Hadza language doesn't have words for numbers past three or four. Making an appointment can be a tricky matter. As there is no water source (river, lake etc.) in some places, they use rain water from holes in trees or under the ground.
A natural water container in baobab tree.
Hadza love baboons. Baboon is one of the most common prey a one of the most beloved. Baboons have teeth designed for ripping flesh.
The Hadza are during a hunt armed with bows and arrows. I do not speak baboon, but it is not difficult to interpret their screaming - they do not like Hadza hunters and it does not sound friendly.
The Hadza are not sentimental. They don't do extended goodbyes. Even when one of their own dies, there is not a lot of fuss. They dig a hole and place the body inside. A generation ago, they didn't even do that—they simply left a body out on the ground to be eaten by hyenas.
The Datoga people live in the vicinity of Lake Eyasi in northern Tanzania in the Rift Valley. They are skilled farmers and craftsman.
Blacksmiths near Ghorofani. They are a part of the Datoga, but have broken off and lived and married independently for decades now. Their income source is forging knives, arrowheads and jewelry for the greater Datoga tribe and for the bushmen known as the Hadzabe.
The Datoga are proud people with a reputation as fierce warriors. Traditionally, young men had to prove themselves by killing an "enemy of the people," defined as any human being not a Datoga, or one of the dangerous wild animals, such as elephant, lion or buffalo.
The Datoga resemble the Maasai in culture. The meat, fat, blood, milk, hide, horns, tendons and cow dung of every animal have either practical or ritual purposes.
The Datoga keep goats, sheep, donkeys and a few chickens, but cattle are by far the most important domestic animal. They were formerly nomadic, depending largely on milk products for their diet, and moving whenever the needs of their cattle dictated. Now, however, many farm a plot of maize and sometimes beans and millet.
Their origin is to be traced back to the Ethiopian and South Sudanese highlands; it is believed their history dates back to 3,000 years ago. During the 18th century the Datoga occupied areas in Northern Tanzania, however, following the Maasai expansion, they gradually lost plots of land and found themselves confined closer and closer to Lake Eyasi.
After Tanzania´s independence in 1961, they settled in the area of Mangola, where the grazing spots are lush all year round. Unfortunately for the Datoga, that area was declared an “Ujamaa”, a kind of village created in order to achieve the realization of the socialistic policy of President Julius Nyerere. From then on, the Datoga saw the reduction of their grazing lands and retired along the shores of Lake Eyasi, where they currently live.
Other Tanzanians and outsiders consider the Datoga primitive, because they resist education and development. They live in low standards of hygiene, and have high infant mortality.