Two years ago, the eldest of three wives of a respected Barabaig rainmaker asked Nichole Smaglick, founder of the company, to marry her husband and become the fourth wife. Even though Nichole politely declined the offer, she has been accepted as family by this Barabaig village ever since. Only a small number of outsiders are allowed in the village each year, so joining Nichole to the village is a rare opportunity.
The trip begins with a luxury wildlife safari through the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Parks. June is the ideal time in the Serengeti as the millions of wildebeest and zebra begin their migration north. Presentations and guided walks by park naturalists are safari highlights.
After safari, Nichole will take you to the remote region of the Barabaig tribe, a secretive pastoral tribe that still live like their ancestors. Collecting honey under the night sky, brewing honeybeer, holding the rainmaker’s sacred vessel and collecting traditional medicines with the Barabaig are exceptional experiences treasured for a lifetime.
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha, Tanzania. We will be met by our driver guide and taken to the Moivaro Coffee Plantation for overnight.
Day 2: Lake Manyara National Park
After breakfast, we’ll begin our lodge safari in Lake Manyara National Park. During dry seasons, non-migratory animals take refuge in the permanent waters of the lake. Home to large baboon troops, blue monkeys (who may sit feet away while travelers munch on their lunches), tree climbing lions (possibly a learned behavior), elephants and much more. Packed lunch. Overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge. (B/L/D).
Day 3: Serengeti National Park
After breakfast, onward to the amazing Serengeti National Park with game drives en route. Here is were we’ll find the prides of lions, such as the Maasai pride and the Cub Valley pride. This area of Tanzania has the highest concentration of animals on the continent. Packed lunches. Overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge. (B/L/D).
Day 4: Serengeti National Park
After breakfast, full days game drive. Optional sunrise game drives when the cats are most likely to hunt. Packed lunch. Ndutu Lodge overnight. (B/L/D).
Day 5:Serengeti – Olduvai
After breakfast game drives en route to the Migration Museum (excellent displays!) and Olduvai Gorge. Picnic lunch at the Gorge with brief presentation on the discoveries made by the Leakey family. Overnight at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. (B/L/D).
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro conservation area is both to preserve the wildlife in the area and the culture of Maasai. Ngorongoro is Maasai for the sound of the cowbells produced by one ancient chief’s massive herd. Full day’s game drive in the crater, which is the largest intact crater on the planet – a full 11-km in diameter. Packed lunches. Overnight at the Tarangire Tented Camp. A friendly, airy lodge located on a ridge overlooking the magnificent Tarangire River. (B/L/D).
Day 7: Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, we’ll travel southeast to the Tarangire National Park. Here animals take refuge in the permanent waters of the Tarangire River. The park covers an area of 2,600 sq. kms. Spread across a region of great natural beauty, Tarangire is home to a rich kaleidoscope of creatures. Of special interest is the presence of both greater and lesser kudu, lion, eland, oryx and gerenuk. The park is also noted for its abundance in giraffe. Packed lunch. Overnight at the Tarangire Tented Camp. (B/L/D).
Day 8: Onward to Barabaig Village
In conjunction with several village and artisans in Uganda and Tanzania, we provide the highest quality cultural programs available in East Africa. All programs are authentic and participatory. The programs not only benefit the traveler by giving them an amazing cultural experience so few have access to, but also benefit the communities economically, socially and emotionally.
The Barabaig program is the newest of our programs. Barabaig culture is quite unknown and even Tanzanians living a mere 4 hours away are not aware of this culture. The Barabaig are Nilo-cushitic, pastoralists, patrilineal and polygamous. Barabaig shamans also hold the power to summon rain and Barabaig women also can make it rain through dance and prayer. While the Barabaig are quite hospitable and are overjoyed with visitors, they have chosen not to adapt their culture to globalization. Visitors must abide by certain codes of conduct while in the village.
After breakfast, we’ll journey southwest to the town of Katesh. This is a beautiful drive along the Great Rift Valley and passing Mt. Hanang. Upon arrival, we will be given a brief cultural orientation on Barabaig culture and expected code of conduct. We will then be driven to the Barabaig village.
Upon arrival we will be met by many Barabaig, such as the elders, the village chairman, and district counselor. Our friends will warmly introduce we to the village and its people. Barabaig warriors will guard we while we camp overnight (there is not a threat of theft, it is just their way of taking care of us). Camps consist of full standup tents with proper beds, showers and toilet facilities, tables, chairs, camp hands, waiters, mess tent, cooks, etc and will be set up prior to the clients' arrival. Drinks will be available for purchase at the camp. (B/L/D).
Day 9: Barabaig Village - Beading, Ethno-Botany, Honey-beer Brewing
Over the next few days, our group will learn about Barabaig culture from the Barabaig. The women of the village will teach we how to make their beaded, goatskin outfits. We’ll join the medicine man to collect various roots, leaves and fruit that are used to treat the villagers and their livestock as well as ward off curses and evil spirits. We may even discuss a particular personal ailment with the medicine man. We’ll also learn how to brew banana beer! A master brewer will teach you how to whip up some banana brew, which you will have the chance to consume after a few days. Camp overnight. (B/L/D).
Day 10: Barabaig Village - Walking Safari with Warriors
Continuation of village life activities as directed by the elders. We'll also partake in walking safari with armed warriors. Overnight at the camp. (B/L/D).
Day 11: Barabaig Village - Meet the RainMakers
Continuation of village life as you are enlightened by the RainMakers. They will discuss their lives as rainmakers and the rainmaking tradition. (This is very secretive and the rainmakers must feel quite comfortable with the group before discussing or showing anything in depth). Camp overnight. (B/L/D).
Day 12: Village Farewell and Onward to Arusha
This morning, we'll say farewell to our hosts and new friends in the village. After breakfast, journey back to Arusha for either dayrooms at the Moivaro Coffee Plantation Lodge if you are departing home, or boarding the plane to our extension adventure in Zanzibar! (B).
Price based on total group size: 14 - 15 travelers: $4180; 4 - 9 travelers: $4315.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Tanzania Nature & Wildlife National Parks Cultural Journey
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