Lake Eyasi: A Beautiful Soda Lake In Tanzania

You have heard of or seen the bushmen in the movies, but this is your chance to explore them directly. I have compiled all the tips concerning Lake Eyasi and what is offered there so you can get inspired and plan your trip accordingly. Take a cup of coffee, and let's dive in together.

Tom Snoyd
Tom Snoyd 15 Min Read

Traveling to Tanzania is a perfect shortcut to witnessing the magnificence and tranquility of this planet. You will explore the world’s spectacular wildlife sanctuary, Serengeti National Park, a paradise of wildlife safaris. Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, awaits you there. Not to mention the world’s largest intact caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater, a masterpiece of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Tanzania is home to a dense population of wild animals and mirror-like lakes. These include Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Natron, Lake Eyasi, and many more. These incredible water bodies attract thousands yearly visitors due to their calming white-sand beaches and dozens of aquatic animals.

Lake Eyasi is an exciting travel destination in northern Tanzania. It is perfect to chill after visiting Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and others.

Lake Eyasi Location

Do you want to see this stunning alkaline lake? Head to the Karatu District of the Arusha region. Lake Eyasi is on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, south of the Ngorongoro Highlands. It lies between the Eyasi escarpment and the Kidero Mountains.

How big is Lake Eyasi?

It spans 1,050 square kilometers and has a surface elevation of 1030 meters above sea level.

Getting to Lake Eyasi

East Africa Safari Guides advise including this alkaline lake in your Northern Circuit safaris. We recommend you explore this soda lake for two nights. You can start your journey from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Park, or Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

By Road

From Arusha, drive 3 hours to Karatu, then 1 hour to Lake Eyasi.

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From Lake Manyara National Park. After seeing the wonders of Lake Manyara, you can drive for less than three hours to this stunning lake. These two alkaline lakes are 133 kilometers apart.

From Ngorongoro Crater. It takes about 2.5 hours to arrive at Lake Eyasi from the Ngorongoro Crater.

From Tarangire National Park: It takes 3 hours to drive from Tarangire National Park to Lake Eyasi.

By Air

You can reach Lake Eyasi by flying from Arusha to Manyara Airstrip, the closest airstrip. After the flight, you will drive for two hours to Lake Eyasi. A flight is the best option if you have fly-ins in your safari program.

When is the best time to visit Lake Eyasi?

Lake Eyasi is a year-round destination. However, the best time to enjoy this soda lake is between June and October, usually the high season for the Tanzanian tourism industry.

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What to see at Lake Eyasi?

Lake Eyasi is not home to the Big Five. So, if you plan to visit it, don’t expect to see the Big Five there. What draws people there are its magical waters and the tribes that live on its shores.

You can also encounter several wild animals, such as giraffes, zebras, monkeys, leopards, and hippos.

Lake Eyasi also hosts a large population of water birds, such as flamingos and great white pelicans. Its shores serve as breeding grounds for a wide range of birds. They breed between June and November.

Other species of birds can be seen at the lake, including spurfowl, yellow-billed storks, weavers, and barbets. You may also encounter African spoonbills, grey-headed gulls, Fischer’s lovebirds, pied avocets, and many more.

The landscape around the Lake Eyasi region is terrific. The Soda Lake, crater highlands, open grasslands, and bushland characterize the landscape of this alkaline lake. There are also forests dotted with ancient baobab trees and acacia.

Lake Eyasi cultural tourism

Besides other captivating things in Lake Eyasi, the region is well-known for its immersive cultural tourism. Vibrant tribes live in the area: the Hadzabe Bushmen and the Datoga.

Meet the Hadzabe Tribe.

The Hadzabe are among the last remaining tribes still living the old way of life, hunting and gathering. They neither grow cattle nor keep wild animals.

Hadza People during hunting

Facts about Hadzabe

They live in an old style of hunting and gathering. Their language is Hadza, which is closely related to the clicking language of Khoisan Bushmen in southern Africa.

Get to interact with these Bushmen on our trip with the help of our Hadza-speaking guide. Join the Hadza men on their hunting trip. Learn how to make arrows using natural poison from trees, insects, and small animals. Men gather honey from the forest, while women care for children and gather fruits and wood.

The Datoga

The tribe coexists with the Hadzabe on the shores of Lake Eyasi, though they have different territories. They are a Nilotic ethnic group on the Eyasi escarpment. They practice animal husbandry, keeping large herds of cattle.

Facts about the Datoga tribe

Like the Hadzabe, the Datoga also still live an old way of life. But unlike the Hadzabe, the Datoga are good artisans. They engage in weaving, blacksmithing, and beadwork.

Datoga tribe
Datoga People at Lake Eyasi

They exchange their handmade honey products for those from the Hadzabe. On your visit to the Datoga tribe, you can engage in many activities. You can join the Datoga herdsmen at their grazing grounds.

Camping with the Hadzabe and Datoga

Do you have to be familiar with the Hadza or Hadzabe? At Lake Eyasi, there are campsites where you can camp close to the Hadzabe or Datoga. The campsites are away from human activities and very close to the Hadzabe Bushmen.

Lake Eyasi Hadzabe Campsite is the perfect to stay if you want to camp at Lake Eyasi. A vast old tamarind tree provides shade to this campsite, while palm trees and other indigenous trees surround the campsite, providing fresh air. You will access some facilities at this campsite, like a public bath.

Chem Chem Public Campsite is another perfect spot to relax during the night. Here, you’ll get access to a toilet block and showers. However, there is no hot water. Your East Africa Safari Guides will set up your tent and carry out all duties to make you comfortable. Your chef will cook a delicious meal for you. Enjoy a scrumptious meal before falling asleep under the African sky.

Upon waking up, you enjoy breakfast. Soon after breakfast, we adventure to the Hadzabe or Datoga, where you will partake in various activities, such as hunting with the Hadza men or gathering with the Hadza women. These excellent hunters go hunting in the morning and bring their kill back home. They cook the kill traditionally and make it edible.

Lake Eyasi Activities

Try a helicopter tour.

Want to try something unique on your trip to Eyasi Lake? Try a helicopter safari. However, you should know that a helicopter safari is expensive, though you won’t regret taking it.

Helicopter tour

Fly over the escarpment while enjoying the beautiful scenes of Soda Lake. Then, enjoy the beauty of shoreline birds from atop and land on the escarpment for lunch and champagne.

Bird watching

Lake Eyasi is a birder’s paradise with many birds on its shores. Birders will enjoy the views of flamingos, great white pelicans, and water birds on the shore of this beautiful lake. The rainy season is perfect for bird watching, and the lake’s water level is excellent in the wet season.

Cultural tour

Want to learn a new culture? The Hadzabe and Datoga styles of living are unique to mimic. They still live naturally without depending on modern things or gadgets from the tech world. You can also visit Mbulu, which is located around the region.

The dining experience on Lake Eyasi

After a busy day, you can complement your day with dinner by the lake. This experience is impressive. Start with an evening walking tour on the shore of this shallow lake. Arrive at a particular site for sundowners. Witness the sunset as it stains the pink lake, turning it a stunning sight.

When you arrive at the site, your dining camp will be ready. The tables and chairs are already set. Now, a delicious dinner will be brought to the table. Enjoy it on the cool breezes of this soda lake.

You can also dine at a special verandah at your lodge, which has unobstructed views of Lake Eyasi. Various accommodations offer this once-in-a-lifetime. You can request this thrilling experience. We’ll set up a place for you to enjoy dinner by the lake. Lake Eyasi Tented Camp, Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge, and other accommodations are also part of this beautiful experience.

Village tour of farms and churches

A trip to Lake Eyasi is not only for seeing the crystal-clear waters but also for visiting the farms and places of worship around the region. The Datoga are semi-nomads on the shore of this beautiful lake. They also practice agriculture in the area.

They grow maize, millet, and other food products to feed their families. You can tour the Datoga farms to see their farming methods. They are also superb animal keepers, keeping sheep, cattle, goats, chickens, and donkeys.

You can also discover the Datoga’s blacksmithing skills on your village tour. They are excellent at forging iron, copper, and aluminum into usable things, such as spears, knives, and hoes. You can also support these societies by buying their handmade products, such as bracelets, beads, and necklaces.

The Lake has become the land of onion growers. Who grows onions there? The Iraqis (or Mbulu) and other Tanzanians have revolutionized the region into a hub for onion production. New irrigation technology has accelerated this kind of agriculture.

The Mbulu has utilized the irrigation system to take water from natural spring-fed wells.

Go on a village tour of the onion farms to witness various farming activities done by the farmers. Large farms have been plotted there. The onions are produced on a large scale, though they are harvested by hand. Manual workers then grade the harvested onions.

The majority of the residents of the community neighboring the lake are Christians. They attend Sunday worship, and a few attend Saturday or Friday worship. Local religions also exist in the region. You can interact with them in their places of worship.

Where to stay at Lake Eyasi

To enjoy the many attractions found at Eyasi, we recommend you stay for at least two nights. Are you wondering where to stay? There are world-class accommodation facilities in Lake Eyasi. Here are some of the accommodations:

Ziwani Lodge -Lake Eyasi
Ziwani Lodge at Lake Eyasi

Tindiga Tented Camp is situated on the shores of Lake Eyasi. Its tents are spacious, have beautiful beds, and have all basic amenities.

Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp is nestled on the palm trees on the shores of the Lake. It is luxurious, with a private verandah, en-suite bathrooms, and comfortable beds in uniquely designed tents.

Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge is more luxurious, with superb amenities for a luxury stay at Lake Eyasi.

Kudu Lodge is situated on the edge of Lake Eyasi. It has spacious cottages and tents where you can stay comfortably.

Other accommodations include Lake Eyasi Safari Camp and Lake Eyasi Bush Camp, although camping is another good option for being close to nature. East Africa Safari Guides can help you with basic camping facilities like tents. However, you can stay in Karatu if you wish.

In conclusion, word of mouth is not enough to describe the beauty of Tanzania. Its authentic safari experiences range from game drives, cultural tours, and bird watching. Mountain climbing and relaxing beach holidays are the perfect ways to enjoy Mother Nature.

If you want to explore this fabulous country, East Africa Safari Guides organizes memorable safaris. We take you to the attractive national parks in Tanzania.

Lake Eyasi is one of the thriving destinations where we take our clients. You can enjoy the crystal-clear waters, wildlife, and tribes in the region. Book a trip with us and enjoy the best safaris in Kenya and Tanzania.

Want to explore Lake Eyasi Physically?

We are ready to turn this post and desire into reality; it is only one email away. You can combine a visit to Lake Eyasi for two nights plus a tour of other parks. Just schedule a FREE Zoom call with our expert. 

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Luxury Travel Blogger | African Safari Specialist. Hey there! I'm a luxury travel blogger with a passion for exploring the unspoiled beauty of Africa. As an African Safari Specialist, I'm here to help you discover the wonders of this captivating continent. Through my journeys and in-depth knowledge of East Africa, I've had the privilege of working closely with East Africa Safari Guides, collaborating to curate unforgettable experiences for adventurous souls like yourself. From the golden sunsets over the undulating plains of the Serengeti to the magnificent wildlife encounters in the Maasai Mara, I've been fortunate to witness nature's marvels up close. My journal is your window into the enchanting world of luxury travel in Africa, offering insider tips, captivating stories, and expert insights that will ignite your wanderlust. Allow me to be your trusted guide, taking you on a virtual journey beyond borders. Together, we'll unfold a tapestry of cultural treasures, breathtaking landscapes, and extraordinary encounters with nature's magnificent creations.