I am always keen to try out different ways of exploring Tanzania, especially when you can experience it in a totally new perspective. Recently, I went on a day-trip to Lake Eyasi driving quad bikes!
We headed up to Karatu in the afternoon and upon arrival got straight into the 30-minute practice session. After a short introduction and briefing we were eager to get onto the quads! Our confidence rose with each lap on the training track and having tried out all the quads available we all quickly decided which ones were our favourites.
Let the fun begin
We agreed to depart at 7 am sharp the next morning and believe me, we were already eager to get going at sunrise! All safety clothing is provided including helmets, jumpsuit, protection pads and boots.
After gearing up, we jumped onto our quad bikes, started the motors and headed out. Not wanting to drive on the main roads, our trip leader took us via the back roads of Karatu.
Only five minutes into the ride and the landscape was already breath-takingly beautiful, passing farms and coffee plantations and going up and down valleys. The quads are very easy to ride and you quickly get the hang of keeping them under control.
On a quad, you get to appreciate your surroundings more than you would sitting in a car. Thanks to the constant exposure to the elements you feel even more excited.
It’s not just about riding but also the cultural experience
The full-day Lake Eyasi tour includes a visit to the Hadzabe who are one of the last traditional hunter-gatherer tribes in Tanzania. At the cultural tourism office at Lake Eyasi we met our local guide who would take us to meet the Hadzabe. The route became very adventurous and on our quads we meandered our way through the bush until arriving at a dried-out river bed. Driving through the river bed was so much fun. We also got to push the quads a little which was enough to get our adrenaline pumping.
Finally, we arrived at the Hadzabe tribe where our guide introduced us to the family. Sitting under a big shady rock, they explained about their traditions and history, showed us how to light a fire and we got to see their array of weapons which they use for hunting. We were promised a short hunt and even though the sun was baking hot we followed the young hunters as they searched for a meal.
Let’s be honest, we tried to follow. The hunters are so quick on their feet.
After an hour or so we returned to their village, having found some honey, roots and a small bird. We were allowed to try out their bow and arrows which they made look easy, but was not the case for us – but still fun.
On the way back things got quite interesting as we saw a huge storm building up, the wind picked up as did the dust and we merely missed the storm by a few drops!
What an amazing experience
Normally the full-day Lake Eyasi tour starts at 7 am and you are back in Karatu around 3:30 pm; however, we only got back at 5 pm since some in our group were going a bit slow. Which means we spent over eight hours on the quads.
We saw the positive side of it, we had a blast and I could have spent even longer on the quads! The road to Lake Eyasi is very scenic with great views of the Ngorongoro Highlands as well as the East African Rift Valley. Wildlife is not so plentiful, but then you don’t go there primarily for that purpose.
A few tips for the quad bike tour at Lake Eyasi:
- Wear light clothes like shorts and a shirt. It gets very hot during the day and you wear a jumpsuit on top of your clothes which protects you from the elements.
- Sunglasses are helpful also for protection against the dust.
- If you bring along a camera, make sure it is packed properly and protected from the dust.
- Take your own shoes with you on the ride. During the ride, you wear boots which are provided, but they are not great for walking, when you visit the Hadzabe.
- Be confident, bring a sense of adventure and enjoy. It really is a thrilling experience and we enjoyed every minute of it.
The full-day quad bike option is not the only tour available and a two-hour ride can easily be added to a safari with diverse routes available in and around the Ngorongoro Highlands.
You can also experience the quad biking tour as part of a private Safari.
Let us know, if we can organise this experience for you!