Part of the thrill and challenge of this inventure was that we drove and subsequently hiked in some of the most remote areas of Tanzania. Dorobo Tours has exclusive relationships with the Hadzabe and Masai tribes on lands where no one else ventures without permission. Our learning experience was enhanced by tribal leaders who accompanied us at all camps, and who showed us how they hunt and gather food for survival. (The Hadzabe are hunter-gatherers, while the Masai are pastoral farmers who do not hunt.) In addition to small game and birds, there was one occasion where an elder shot an impala with his bow and poison arrow and quickly took its life for the nourishment of the tribe. While I am not one to enjoy a hunt, nor liked witnessing the killing of a beautiful wild animal, somehow this occasion seemed right. This is how they live, and they respect the balance of nature and what it provides when treated with respect and honor. They use all parts of what they catch and they only hunt for food, not for sport. As David Peterson said, this wild game is God’s meat…grazing on the best grasses for centuries with no pesticides or hormones. It is naturally delicious as well as nurturing to the people who live off this land.
Each night in our camps, we held a council circle around the fire. After an inspirational reading of a poem or short story, we each would share our current state of being, an emotional and spiritual check-in. Being totally unplugged from cell phones, television, computers and all other contact with the outside world along with immersion in the glorious landscape of Tanzania the emotions ran the gamut from joy to tears.
This safari was also a metaphorical safari of my internal landscape, an opportunity to slow down, to hear my footsteps in ancient grasses, to walk on rocks that are millions of years old, to view scenery that has not changed much in centuries. We drove up to 9 hours a day in Land Rovers over rutted roads, or simply over the grassland, making our own roads in the bush. We got stuck in the mud at least 4 times, and all had to grab hold of the tow strap. We used the strength of the team to pull the vehicle out. Sometimes the road had to be rebuilt a bit by the natives that were with us. On the days we did not drive, we went on long day hikes to see wildlife and to learn the ways of the villagers along the way.Download Article 1K Club