Visit Natives and Mark Hemmings present: Amazing Maasai & Hadzabe cultures, African nature & wildlife Photo workshop
Explore the exciting African tribes and stay with the Maasai and Hadzabe in their villages. Do bush walks, sing and dance with the Maasai warriors, join the Hadzabe on their hunting trip, and visit the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater. Watch sunsets and dine every night under the African stars. We camp in the wild bush which is secluded and private, where you can relax and enjoy fantastic African nature with your Maasai & Hadzabe hosts.
There is nothing that compares to watching majestic wildlife in their natural habitat. And it's even better when you have the best Maasai guides to show you their land and the wild game. More than a hundred years ago the Maasai ruled over much of East Africa. Their feared warriors were renowned for their bravery. In the past, every Maasai warrior was obliged to kill a lion, as it was symbolically a rite of passage. Until these days, the Maasai have a special relationship with their land, the wild animals, and cattle.
The Maasai have adopted a revitalized approach to preserve their culture in modern times. Their way of life is deeply rooted in traditions which have been practiced in the same way for hundreds of years. This stay is a great privilege to learn from the Maasai, and from the earth that they have a close relationship to. This photographic and ethnographic expedition aims to address the need for balance and harmony between people and the environment and to share collective Maasai wisdom.
The Hadzabe are hunter-gatherers who live only in the Lake Eyasi region of Tanzania. There are estimated to be around 1,300 Hadzabe people living in Tanzania. They are living a hunter-gatherer existence that is little changed from 10,000 years ago. The Hadzabe men hunt animals using three different kinds of bows and arrows. As well as wild meat, the Hadzabe women gather roots and tubers using digging sticks, and men collect natural wild honey found in trees. Every evening the Hadzabe set up a fire and gather around it to tell stories and sing. This is an intimate adventure and a 'deep dive' inside the Maasai and Hadzabe cultures. Here we create memories that are hardly forgotten.
DAY 1 THURSDAY OCT 1
Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to a Maasailand safari lodge in Arusha with the rest of our group. We’ll have dinner together in a local African restaurant. Our goal this evening at the restaurant is to get to know each other and also get an idea of what we will be encountering during the adventure. Mark and Anniina will explain both the photographic and the cultural aspects of the trip. Tomorrow morning we hit the road . . . it’s going to be a blast! (D).
DAY 2 FRIDAY OCT 2
In the morning we’ll transfer from Arusha to Mto Wa Mbu. We will set up a camp in the Maasai boma (collection of traditional huts). Welcoming celebrations by the Maasai warriors and women will be a real highlight of the trip! We will sleep in a tent in the Maasai boma. (B, L, D).
DAY 3 SATURDAY OCT 3
After breakfast, we’ll head to Mto Wa Mbu village where we plan to have a painting workshop with an African artist. Create your own Maasai portrait! We’ll return to the Maasai boma for lunch. In the evening we will fetch firewood and water with the Maasai women while learning how to photograph perfectly within the environment. Dinner and overnight in the Maasai boma will be another sensory delight, with plenty of photographic opportunities. (B, L, D).
DAY 4 SUNDAY OCT 4
After breakfast we’ll head to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact caldera from a long-extinct volcano. Ngorongoro is home to about 26,000 wild creatures who live within the safety of the caldera walls. You can observe elephants, black rhinoceroses, leopards, buffalo, zebras, warthogs, gnu (wildebeests), Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles, and the densest population of lions in the world. Mark will guide us in the ‘best practices’ for photographing wildlife. We’ll have a Champagne picnic lunch by the Hippo pool, as this is a very special moment of your stay with the Maasai. We’ll head back to our Maasai boma in Mto Wa Mbu for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 MONDAY OCT 5
Today we head to Lake Eyasi. We’ll stay one night in the Lake Eyasi Lodge which is located on a gentle slope with stunning views over the seasonal soda lake and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This lodge has 16 spacious rooms each with a private verandah overlooking the lake. After lunch, we’ll go walking on Lake Eyasi which is a seasonal shallow salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, at the base of the Serengeti Plateau. If we’re lucky we’ll see and photograph many flamingos! In the afternoon you can relax by the pool or attend an instructional photo workshop with Mark. Full board at the lodge. (B, L, D).
DAY 6 TUESDAY OCT 6
Today we’ll head into the deep bush to meet the famous Hadzabe hunters as they give us a welcoming celebration in their village. This will be a fantastic photo opportunity! The hadzabe grow no food, raise no livestock, and live without rules or calendars. They are some of the last remaining hunter-gatherers on the planet. Their way of life has remained unchanged over the millennia and they live in small wandering groups of about twenty individuals. We’ll join one of these family units in the deep bush. The Hadzabe are the heirs of the very first human beings, the descendants of Olduvai Gorge and Koobi Fora who still have a symbiotic relationship with the environment. They are an example of an anarchic society with no rules, and no chief. We set up a bush camp near the Hadzabes' huts. Dinner and storytelling around a campfire in the wild bush will be an experience to remember! Mark will continue to lead all of us in daily practical and theoretical photo lessons. (B, L, D).
DAY 7 WEDNESDAY OCT 7
Join the Hadzabe on their hunting trips early in the morning and late in the evening. Learn and photograph their hunting techniques, and see how they gather wild honey from huge Baobab trees. We’ll also join the Hadzabe women to pick tuber plants and fruits. The Hadzabe sing and tell stories every night at slow-burning acacia fire. We’ll sleep in the wild bush with the Hadzabe. (B, L, D).
DAY 8 THURSDAY OCT 8
After breakfast, we’ll head back to Arusha. On the way back we’ll visit local African artisan craft shops. On this last full workshop day we’ll stay at Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge. This wonderful lodge has been adopted from an early colonial farmhouse built in the early 20th century. Here you can spend the last day amid nature, watching the changing colors of the Kilimanjaro glaciers while sipping drinks on the long colonial verandah. Or you may want to go for a hike in the forest inhabited by Colobus and Sykes monkeys, as well as hundreds of small animal and bird species. If you don’t need any alone time exploring the area for yourself, Mark will be doing photo lessons throughout the day. We’ll have full-board at the lodge. In the evening Mark will host a slideshow during our end-of-workshop party! (B, L, D).
DAY 9 FRIDAY OCT 9
After breakfast we’ll transfer back to Kilimanjaro airport for your flight departure. Thank you for joining us on this fantastic Tanzanian adventure! (B).
Anniina is founder of the Visit Natives. She has an MA in African studies from the University of Helsinki. Her expertise is intercultural communication, indigenous cultures, and ethnography. She has conducted research and lived among the Maasai for nine months. She is also a Swahili interpreter and speaks fluent Maa- language.
Mark began his professional photography career in 1997, and started teaching international photo workshops in 2004. His list of photo workshop locations include South Korea, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Greece, Canada, and upcoming Jordan, Iceland, and Jerusalem.