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Fall in love with Tanzania

Australian photographer Naomi Singer takes us on a journey through the land time forgot

Mahale National Park on Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika is a special place. In order to get there, it feels like you are travelling to the end of the earth, and this to me is what is so appealing. Avatar style jungle falls right to the lakes edge. The view to the West across the crystal clear waters of the second deepest lake in the world looks into the Congo. A light mist rolls over the peaks in the afternoons and there is ample opportunity to sit with and adore our planet’s great apes. I need more time here!

Spending time with chimpanzees reinforces the fact that these animals share the same emotions and characteristics that we do. I could have spent days admiring the bond between this mother and son, watching their compassion and care towards one another. This moment when she rested her hand on her son’s shoulder was incredibly moving.

Ruaha is like a painting and elephants standing under the giant Baobabs are no exception. Southern Tanzanian National Parks are not visited as regularly as the northern circuits, but are truly worth the trip. I have never seen so many elephants mingling together as we did in Ruaha and there were countless babies to adore.

Grumeti Reserves, bordering the Serengeti in Tanzania. This particular afternoon we had been looking for leopard, however, on our way back to the lodge we came across a stunning sight of four lionesses with eight cubs, relaxing in the late afternoon sun. Many cubs were resting in the tall grass with their mother, but one lioness, probably the best looking lion I have seen, was perched regally in this tree with a youngster playing at the base. A very special sight to see.

The Hadzabe of Tanzania are a people that are 80,000 yrs old, second only to the San Bushman of the Kalahari. This was my second time visiting here in the Lake Eyasi region and hopefully not my last. As the last true “hunter gatherers”, these people live very similarly to how they have for thousands of years. On this particular visit we happened to arrive two days following a rite of passage ceremony for these young girls, which includes circumcision. Adorned beautifully in colourful beading, they were all smiles and looked very happy. Being here with this tribe felt like being a part of old Africa and we are fortunate enough to visit with our incredible guide, George Mavroudis, who has been friendly with this community for over 20 yrs.

Misty mornings in the Serengeti are priceless. Add a male lion breathing steam and you feel like you are in a David Attenborough documentary. This male was not interested in us at all and on the move back to his pride after an evening of hunting. Beautiful light, a beautiful sighting and one morning that I will never forget.

Inthe Lake Eyasi region, the Barbaig man can take many wives. This particular family unit had up to nine wives and countless children. They were incredibly welcoming to us in their mud huts. The mud huts mean that these are not a nomadic people, unlike the Hadzabe, who live in grass huts.

The vastness, the dry smell of the African earth, and the burning red sun over the Serengeti plains will always get under my skin and into my veins. I dream of this place and can still feel the emotions that this moment evokes in me.

Love Africa check out our story on 8 Reasons Africa will Steal Your Heart.