Tanzania

Introduction

My brother, Felix, works as a wildlife vet in Africa. He lives on the slopes of Mt Meru. It's a tough life!

Wherever he goes I am not too far behind - sniffing out great trips using his insider knowledge. 

When he announced that he was going to work in the Serengeti I had mixed feelings. Joy for him as I knew how landscapes and wildlife in this part of Africa are hard to beat.

But would there be much of an opening for my sort of trips? Loads of travel companies operate in East Africa - it conforms to what our image of Africa is - wide open landscapes and wild animals.

I like people, and its African culture that fascinates me. The landscapes and the wildlife to me are a fabulous backdrop to the intriguing story of the African people.

Knowing this, Felix suggested that rather than taking the normal route into the Serengeti I go round the National Park edges, along the Rift Valley escarpment and enter the Serengeti from the back.

"The edges of the Serengeti contain one of the world’s greatest and most unique conservation experiments. It is here that the pristine natural world of the Serengeti begins to co-exist with the pastoralist world of the Maasai and the hunter-gather Hadzabe bushmen. This dynamic goes back thousands and thousands of years."

So off I went. I found Hadzabe bushmen - related to the bushmen of the Kalahari all the way south in Botswana - living as they have done for thousands of years near Lake Eyasi, Maasai cattle herders living the pastoral nomadic life along the great Rift Valley escarpment.

I camped near Maasai villages, bathed in waterfalls, climbed volcanoes, hunted with the Hadzabe without seeing another tourist.

When I then entered the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater regions for their unsurpassable wildlife experience, the beauty and exhilaration of the natural world now had a human and geographical context.

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