Saturday, May 28th.

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Saturday, May 28th:

The team joined together for breakfast at 0600, in order to leave at 0630 to meet with the bushman. The morning was chilly but promise of sun was in the air. We got quite the “free African massage,” as Mama Gayle would say and all did arrive intact after a brief stop to pick up our guide. The drive was not on standard roads and we slithered through the plains as if we were a snake making our way to the bushman. After a short walk we entered an alcove under a tree sheltered from the sun. The men were gathered around the fire working on arrows while sitting on some animal skins from a previous hunt. Bows, arrows, instruments, and skulls/horns from previous hunts were scattered along the walls of the alcove. The men began to show us how they made fire and encouraged us to try. Both gentlemen that attempted were successful in starting hot ash which would be transferred to dry grass and/or dung to start a fire. In the middle of the alcove hanging from the tree was the skin of a python, the guide proceeded to tell us that it was a small python. Being honest, it didn’t look all that small! After the ceremonial smoke we began our hunt with the bushman and their dogs. The terrain was dry but with many plants, bushes, and trees. We scoured along looking for tracks that may lead us to potential conquests. The bushman were successful with two takedowns, a bird similar to a grouse and a wildcat. Once back at the home of bushman we met the woman and received a tour of their home. Children and puppies were running around enjoying the sunlight the afternoon had brought. The men were eager to teach us how to shoot bows and arrows at a target. We thanked the bushmen and said our goodbyes as we headed to the blacksmith tribe.

When we arrived at the blacksmith’s village we learned their tribal greeting of “Sayu”; we met the women of the tribe and were invited into their home where the girls were shown how to grind corn into powder, and were able to try it themselves. We then made our way over to the men, who were hammering away at nails, turning them into sharp arrowheads. They showed us their process of melting down scrap metals and forming into utensils, jewelry, and arrowheads. They use primarily Bronze, Aluminum, and Iron based on what materials they have available – it was very impressive work!

Stopping back at Ngorongoro Safari Lodge for a quick lunch and to grab belongings before it was time to hit the road to Arusha. The drive went smoothly and the scenery as always was absolutely gorgeous. We saw Mama Gayle off to the airport to pick up the Doctors who arrive today and said goodnight to our safari drivers.