Day 3 and 4: Lake Natron – Maasai People!

This post will be the last one about lake Natron. I’ll show you some photos of Maasai people. I’m not going to tell you about them, there is lots of info available. I just say that they are very very different from all the people I’ve ever met in their way of thinking and mentality. They are really very proud and have their dignity. They don’t try to please you as a visitor or whatever. But if they sort of like you 🙂 they treat you with an extra respect and curiosity 🙂 Again, I loved being there and if you have a chance to stay at lake Natron for a few days to get this amazing atmosphere, do this!

Since they live very poorly, it would be nice if you bring something for the kids like sweets, cookies, pens, pencils, copybooks and some clothes would work as well. Honestly, it’s a bit hard to do, when you travel. But try at least to bring a little bit of presents 🙂 They’ll be happy about it! Don’t give them dollars or euros, they won’t have any chance to change it to their schillings.

They all have two names: “western” (or Christian-like) for tourists and their own Maasai name. It was always interesting to know their beautiful true names.

1. This young Maasai man Bronson (western names, of course) was our guide.
Maasai warrior portrait

2. Every man wears weapon and some decoration. Well, they all wear decoration made from glass beads. Before, they wore some decoration made from seeds.
Maasai man portrait at lake Natron

3. For their culture it’s quite unusual to smile at you. But since we became very friendly to each other, Bronson is smiling here 🙂
Maasai man and white girl

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Day 3 and 4: Flamingos Paradise at Lake Natron!

Continuing with Lake Natron, you can find there one of the most beautiful creatures – flamingos. After I saw these amazing pictures by photographer Nick Brandt, I so badly wanted to go there and just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Lots of flamingos around you, beautiful landscape, what else one would need?

The reality turned to be a bit different, though as always 🙂 Flamingos are very shy birds. So as long as you try to sneak around, they’re slowly moving away from you or simply fly away! They’re very hard to photograph… On top of that, they basically stay in a very muddy area, which is very wet and slippery. So be prepared to get really dirty 🙂 Anyway, they are truly beautiful creatures and I really enjoyed walking around. Hope, you’ll like some of my photos.

0. If you want to see these “frozen” dead birds, like Nick Brandt did, you should go there in April. We were there in September, so I found only a baby bird.

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Days 3 and 4: Lake Natron

So far, so good! Hope you’re enjoying my Tanzanian experience and maybe consider similar trip for yourself 🙂

Our next stop after Tarangire NP and Lake Manyara was Lake Natron. On the way to this conservation area we observed amazing landscapes. Some of them were really like from another planet.

1. On the way to Lake Natron
On the way to Lake Natron

2. Giraffes on the way to Lake Natron
On the way to Lake Natron

3. On the way to Lake Natron
On the way to Lake Natron

4. Entrance to the park
Entrance

This area belongs to the Maasai tribe, so there are basically two accommodation options: campsite near village on the hill (about 15 minutes to the lake by jeep) and a luxury lodge right at the lake. Both have some pros and cons. The second option allows you to get to the lake when you want to and just spend more time there, though it’s more expensive. The second option is nicer in a sense that you live in a close proximity to the village, so you can talk to locals, talk to the kids and just walk around on your own. We didn’t know about the second option so we stayed at the campsite. The atmosphere was really amazing: very quiet, peaceful and relaxing. There are not so many tourists around. I loved this place. Down the road is another Maasai village, so you can watch how the people pasture cattle, mainly cows and goats.

As a visitor, you are equipped with your own Maasai guide who takes you to the lake and to the waterfall. Well, there are mainly three things you can do there: walk at the lake and enjoy flocks of flamingos, walk to the waterfall and enjoy refreshing swimming and climb Gelai Volcano (at night). So if I knew, I would spend not 2 but 3 days there and would definitely climb this amazing volcano. Hopefully, next time…

5. Gelai Volcano
Entrance

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