Lake Eyasi is well worth visiting. Local eco-lodge Ziwani provides opportunities for birding, hiking, and fascinating cultural experiences!
The lake is situated about 75 kilometres south-west of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and 100 kilometres south of the Serengeti National Park. This area is known as the Serengeti Plateau. Eyasi occupies its base, on the floor of the spectacular Great Rift Valley.
The age of Lake Eyasi is estimated at 65 million years, just after dinosaurs became extinct. The feature formed due to the opening of a rift on the valley floor. For over 50,000 years, hunter–gatherers known as the Hadza or Hadzabe have lived around the lake’s shores. To the south-east, specifically the swampy Yaeda Valley, there are the Datooga, a pastoralist people.
WILDLIFE IN LAKE EYASI
Eyasi boasts an exciting variety of birdlife! Among the area’s highlights are flamingos, great white pelican, grey-headed gull, yellow-billed stork, pied avocet, and African spoonbill. The two main fish species in the lake are lungfish and catfish.
ACTIVITIES & THINGS TO DO
Our recommended lodge here, Ziwani, offers birding, hiking, and cultural experiences. If you’re a fan of feathery friends, make sure you bring your binocs! Hikes take you along the shores of the lake and can involve looking at ancient rock art. You can also wander through local villages and meet members of the Hadza and Datooga tribes. The former, their number now at just a thousand, are skilled hunter–gatherers. The males hunt both large and small animals using bows-and-arrows, while the females forage for berries and fruit. And the Datooga are superb silversmiths, making hunting tools for the Hadzabe in exchange for skins and food. Spending any amount of time with these peoples makes for a thrilling experience!
TIMES OF YEARS TO TRAVEL TO LAKE EYASI
Tanzania receives little to no rainfall during the months from June to October, so this is the period to consider if you’re interested in the easiest wildlife viewing. As Lake Eyasi dries up, local species are particularly visible as they tend to cluster around the dwindling water supply.
TOP TRAVEL TIPS
As mentioned, our tip for top property in the area is Ziwani Lodge. A stay of at least two nights here can combine well with a safari in the Serengeti and/or the Ngorongoro Crater. For more information about visiting Lake Eyasi, please contact a member of the YZ team!