More than 80 000 people of Datooga tribe inhabit North Tanzania. Their main settlements are placed at Lake Eyasi.
At the end of XVII century Datooga tribe moved from Ngorongoro Crater valley to the north Tanzania because of constant harassment from the Maasai people - peaceful Datooga left their land to avoid war. In the midst of Savannah in Serengeti area they started to build huts from sticks and mud.
Photo: Datoga mud hut, © Rita Willaert
Datooga people believe in spirits, but part of their tribe follows Islam and Christianity. Blacksmith's work is a craft the tribe makes their living - men forge spears for hunting and also metal rings to sell tourists as souvenirs.
Photo: Iron spears and accesories, © Rita Willaert
Plural marriage is a common thing for Datooga people as they want to have many children to help around the house. Their lifestyle is patriarchal: women do mundane things, men tend cattle and bring food. Women wear bright clothing and bead, metal and lead jewelry. Also they wear sandals made of old car tyres. They make pattern-like scars around eyes on faces.
Photo: © Rita Willaert
Specific stigma made on the head on the first month of living differentiate Datooga people from Maasai tribe.
How to do?
1. You can find Datooga tribe settlement on the bank of Lake Eyasi - it's a 3-hour drive southward from Arusha. It is better to go here by 4WD (you can rent one in Arusha). The lake is located on the territory of Eyasi national park - entrance for tourists is fee-paying, but don't pay without haggling ($20-30 per a group).
2. You need a guide to talk to the people - you can hire one in Arusha for $50. The excursion takes about one hour. You can stay overnight in a camp spot on the territory of the national park or in a lodge of the conservation area.
Where to do?
The shallow salt lake is a 3-hour drive westward from Arusha; it is at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley. Entrance for tourists is fee-paying (you should haggle). Hadza and Datooga people inhabit the bank of the lake.3
Entrance to the territory - $20-30 per group, guide service - $50, car rent in Arusha starts at $30 per 24 hours.
More things to do in Arusha
Hear volcano's roar
While Ol Doinyo Lengai erupting, the earth is trembling in Tanzania and Kenya. At all other times you need to reach the crater's top to hear the lava boiling.2Ol Doinyo Lengai
Kilimanjaro is the highest alone standing mount in the world. Climbing the mount takes from 3 to 7 days. 45000002Kilimanjaro National Park
See Maasai tribe dancing
Maasai men makes young warriors at the age of 15 jump to check if they are strong enough to defend the tribe.2
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