Mindfulness Walking Safari Ngorongoro (8-10 days))

“We appreciate in ourselves to have no purpose or a specific destination, so we don’t have to worry or to hurry. Walking is no means but the goal. Every step you take makes you happy, peaceful and serene”
Thich Nhat Hanh

While we walk through the wild life of Ngorongoro Crater Highlands, on a centuries-old Masai path between Nainokanoka and Lake Natron, we will walk without aiming at a target. Doing so you start experiencing each step as a miracle. And that is in fact reality. It is a miracle that you have two legs and two feet that allow you to move over this planet Earth, which is speeding at 70,000 km an hour through the universe.

The modern, active and generally troubled Western person doesn’t have time to walk in a relaxed way on paths or to sit under a tree doing nothing. We are engaged in an often overactive mind which endlessly fascinates, directs, controls and commands us. It is a quacking duck in our head and we have no idea how this attention we give to our thoughts and feelings lock us up in ourselves and creates a veil between us and the world. We have stopped looking and listening and we see the world no longer as a constantly innovative adventure but as a repetitive predictable, mechanical system where we need to survive.

wild life of NgorongoroWalking along paths in the wild life of Tanzania, to sit regularly with yourself alone, bringing back the “burden” of property to a reasonable minimum and the confrontation with a completely different world and culture than you are used to, activates your senses. That way you break through your veils. But that’s not it and you’re not there yet.
You still have to open the windows and allow this wondrous reality to enter, to crash inside you, to pour you. And you learn to stay responsive and to do nothing else but receiving what you are given in that moment.

Our question for this Safari is therefore; “How do I open more and more to all those gifts life is giving me permanently”?

We will use mindfulness, breathing meditations on music, body exercises like yoga, bio-energetics and dance meditation, chakra meditation and more.

After four days walking and two days relaxing in famous Lake natron, you can choose to go home or to extend your safari two days to visit Lake Manyara- and Tarangire National Park. There you will spot lions, elephants, hyenas, girafs, zebras, baboons, impalas, leopards, wildebeests, topis and more.

Karibu sana (welcome)

Traveling schedule

Day 1

You will arrive at Kilimanjaro airport or in Arusha. You will be picked up and brought to L’Oasis Meserani to spend the night. L’Oasis Meserani is what we call a place with a soul. It has been built up during the last 17 years by Margaret, a Tanzanian, local woman who has created this place with visible love and care. Another special feature is to us that it has its own vegetable garden and animals are taken care of in a naturally healthy way (no pesticides and no antibiotic treatments). In addition, the electricity is generated by solar panels.
The hotel is located just outside Arusha, which will take care of a more quiet night.

Day 2

The next morning you will be picked up early and depart to the “gate” of Ngorongoro Crater Highlands. Behind this gate you will leave the modern world. After a nice ride by pure and wild nature you will arrive at our small Masaï village named Endonyowas. You will have a special meeting with our friends. Each encounter is different. That’s because both Masaï and us are open to create the encounter from the moment. We let it happen. Of course they want to share their culture with you, but the way that happens is spontaneous and honest. We will also invite them to join a ritual or other activity with us. The Masaï in Ngorongoro have a hard life. The government wants the area to remain wild and pristine. Therefore they may not cultivate the land. So no agriculture, trade or other activities are allowed to attain the much needed revenue. Today you and us will pinch an eye when they show us in a modest way their handcraft.

Day 3

sunbird and wild life ngorongoroAfter a dance meditation by Gabrielle Roth at one of the most beautiful places in the world while the morning light deepens the colors of the surrounding landscape, we walk to Empakai Crater. En route you can enjoy many small birds, that are singing their songs. By example you will spot the shiny little sunbirds. Later that day we descend in Empakai Crater by taking a beautiful path down, that carries us through tropical rainforest along mega large trees. Down in the crater we will find the peace and serenity for a trip inward during a beautiful breath meditation on music.

Day 4

Ngorongoro trekking wild life TanzaniaNext morning we will go in direction of Akesha Campsite. Right here we start walking parallel to the Great Rift Valley, the big crack that runs through Africa from the North to the South. In the village of Nayobi we will buy some extra water, eat our lunch and enjoy the village activities and lovely landscape around it. Also the donkeys will be packed here with our luggage, tents and kitchen stuff. The car can not go further. Hence we enter into a meditative pace and start our shamanic hike to the campsite. We will find this campsite in the bush and sit  around a campfire to process and share all our impressions.

Day 5

Very early in the morning we will eat a fulfilling breakfast to start an outrageous, beautiful hike to Lake Natron. We will leave the Highlands behind us and enter the dessert. This trekking will take 6 hours with breaks. It will be hot in Lake Natron. That is why we leave early. Beyond the river, we are met by Rama, who will guide us into a relaxed campsite with swimming pool. Lake Natron is a barren desert area. The beauty of the landscape will be remembered by you for a long time.

Day 6

In the morning we walk to the lake in Lake Natron. Here we’ll find the largest colony of flamingos in the world. The landscape with the strange rock formations is a beautiful backdrop for this pink, imaginative water birds. After lunch we are going to make a playful, crazy trip to the waterfall of Natron where we can relax, swim, have a sunbath and take a look at the romantic scenery behind the waterfall.

Day 7

Depending on the choosen program it is possible for the group to split up today. One group will return to Arusha. The other group will stay in Mto Wa Mbu, which is one of our favorite towns. It is a nice town to walk, visit the markets, shops, ricefields, trees filled with Maraboe Storcks and to sit and have a drink while watching the aliveness of this town coming by.
In the evening you can have dinner at the best pizzeria of Tanzania. The owner was taught by real Italians how to create fantastic pizzas baked in a stone heather.

The Arusha group is going to Ilboru Safari Lodge, a charming looking hotel with a large swimming pool, a great menu, two nice Masaï shops and a big garden. They can relax here and digest all the impressions of this unique safari.

Day 8

The people in Arusha will go back home today. Depending on their flighttime, they can relax in the hotel or walk a City Tour with our guide. One of the things we recomment is a visit to a modern African Museum named Heritage. There are not many Musea with a cultural level like this in Africa.

The other group will visit Tarangire National Park. This park is especially famous for their big groups of elephants and beautiful baobabs that are spread through the landscape. Furthermore you can spot lions, leopards, zebras, wildebeest and many more animals also. There is a nice lunch spot, overlooking the river, with animals frequently coming to drink.

Day 9 and 10

Today you will visit Lake Manyara National Park. This area has a totally different, more wooded decor then Tarangire. It is famous for the lions that climb trees and sleep in it. In addition, the area has beautiful landscapes. Areas are influenced in shape and colors by the presence of hot springs. For example, hot springs attract beautiful bird colonies, including storck families, flamingos or pelicans.

At the end of the afternoon we depart to Arusha where this group will also be brought to Ilboru Safari Lodge. Enjoy this place! It is great.

On day 10 this group will return back home. Depending on their flight time we can offer them a City Tour and recommend them a visit to the modern museum also.

Karibu tena (welcome again). We hope you will never forget this safari.