Haydom Four Corners Cultural Program
We Africans have this thing called Ubuntu. It is about the essence of being human. It is part of the gift that Africa will give the world… We believe a person is a person through another person. My humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours.
We have a story to tell
We have a story to tell you about Africa. It is a story being lived as we speak. It is a story the world seldom hears because of all the other tales of wars and famine from our continent. It’s a story full of hope and beauty, of peace and coexistence, of culture and values.
We don’t know when the story started, neither do we know when it will end. We only know when it started involving us. We, telling you this story, are the elders of Africa. We represent the four corners of Africa, the four main language groups of our continent. We are the Niger-Congo Language family represented by the Bantu speaking Isanzu and Iramba tribes, the Khoisan language family represented by the Hadzabe tribe, the Nilo-Saharan language group represented by the Nilotic Datoga tribe, and the Afro-Asiatic Language Family represented by the Cushitic speaking Iraqw tribe.
But let us tell you who we are and how we came to meet.
HAYDOM – WHERE THE FOUR CORNERS MEET
Haydom is a name from the Datoga tribe of the Nilotic language group meaning a redbrown bull. Haydom was a place in nowhere, a few of us from the nomadic pastoralists Nilots of the Datoga tribe, would wander down from the North in search of pasture for our cows. We would meet from time to time with the Hadzabe tribe of the Khoisan language group who wandered in search of animals and roots since they were hunters and gatherers. We, the elders of the Khoisan, know we have always been here close to Haydom. But many seem to believe that our forefathers wandered to the south of Africa since we share the language characteristics of the Sans.
Nevertheless, we met, the Nilot and the Khoisan. Sometimes we would fight, sometimes exchange items and sometimes just keep a respectful distance. The Iraqw of the Cushitic language group, who usually lived in Mama Isara, a bit away from Haydom to the east, started to come. The Cushitic as you know, had moved from Ethiopia into Tanzania a long,long time ago. The Bantu, who had moved into Tanzania from the West of Africa, also started moving in. And so it was, that the Isanzu tribe and the Iramba tribe of the Bantu language group started to plough their fields and tend their small holdings around Haydom.
So here we are – we came from the four corners of Africa and met here. And here is where we started the story of our life time, the story of the four corners.
Haydom in Tanzania is the only place in Africa where the four language groups meet! And what’s more, there has never been a battle or a war. Of course, there have been neighbouring shuffle for land or a kill over cattle, and certainly misunderstandings over cultural values – but never a war. The wars belong to the others, those we came from, not to whom we became together.
“We, the elders of four language groups of Africa, have built this programme with our own hearts and minds. And we will keep on telling our story, because we believe it is important for the world to hear.
Though our languages may differ, our story remains the same. In a world that daily tells us tales of conflicting identities, we have found reason to celebrate our differences and learn from each other. Our coexistence is dependent on understanding and respecting both ourselves and our neighbours”
Will you help us tell our story?
We graciously welcome you to explore, learn and know how we live in Haydom, the history of the four ethno-linguistic groups of African tribes, local royalty from the ancient to the Germany and British colonial era. You will come to know how and when Haydom was born and its hair raising adventurous history.
DAY TRIPS OFFERED
Haydom Cultural Centre tour (1-3 hours)
You will embark on a guided tour around the centre. Visit the Museum with cultural artifacts collected from five different tribes: Datoga, Hadzabe, Iraqw, Nyisanzu and Nyiramba tribes. Explore traditional houses of the representing groups built within the centre and listen to stories about the culture of represented communities and get to know where they came from and when they met. Participate on various traditional sports like archery and later enjoy a Barbeque prepared on request
Combined Trip—Harar hill hiking: view point of the Yaeda valley (Home of Hadzabe tribes men), Lake Eyasi & Ngorongoro highland or visit to Blacksmith (Datoga tribe)
Murkuchida Rock paints tour (5-8 hours, 22Km from Haydom)
Your tour starts from Haydom, drive or ride the bike to Murkuchida village and walk for 40 minutes through various rock outcrops until you get to the painted rocks. Explore the rock art paints while listening to well narrated stories and facts about rock art paints of Africa. Combined cultural tour to Iraqw family in the village where you will meet the local people and share stories and get to know how they coexist with other tribes living around. Proceed to Tsangwali rock art paints and then drive back to Haydom in the evening
Biking tour can be arranged on request
Hadzabe expeditions (8 hours/Full day tour)
Beginning at Haydom, drive down the steep slopes of the Rift Valley Escarpment toward the rising savannah heat of Yaeda valley, sweet home of Hadzabe community. Around rock outcrops trace a Hadza family where your life skills adventure will begin looking for food in traditional ways as your hosts do. You will spend your day hunting with Hadza, collecting fruits, debarking edible plants, collecting roots, looking for honey and sharing stories and life experiences. An opportunity to learn the entire culture of these people with the oldest remaining culture of hunting & gathering is guaranteed.
Haydom Town Tour (2-3 hours)
Explore Haydom and learn about its rich history. View the town’s typical structures, shopping areas, local markets, local schools and recreational places. On 15th, 16th and 17th of each Month and on each last day and 1st of the month, this tour can be combined with a visit to the colorful Haydom cattle, clothes, local brews and vegetable market.
(This tour can also be done by biking; this will provide an opportunity to see a larger area of the town and its outskirts)
…Hippo pool tour
From Haydom drive/bike down to Bassotu, proceed to …. Hippo pool through Ghama crater lake. Explore water birds and listen to stories about …. Hippos believed to inhabit the pool since pre-historic times
Crater lakes tour (1-2 hours)
Explore Gidamunyoda and Ghama crater lakes, paradise of birds formed by falling asteroids in the area. Listen to well narrated stories of the history and myth about the lakes and explore its plan and birdlife.
Combination: This tour can be combined with Bassotu canoeing tour, Mulbadaw wheat farm tour and visit to nearby hippo pool
Bassotu canoing tour (1-2 hours)
Explore Lake Bassotu and learn about its rich history. View the town’s typical structures; learn about local people’s cultures and their fishing practice around the lake. Enjoy bird watching and plant life of the area
(Bassotu can also be accessed by biking (1-1.5hours biking) or driving for 30 minutes from Haydom)
Mulbadaw wheat Farm tour (2-8hours)
Walk through the fertile farmlands of Mulbadaw wheat farm which is part of the former Hanang Wheat Complex. Get to know the process it takes to grow, harvest and process wheat. Listen to the history of wheat farming in Tanzania and other projects operated to support the farm. Extend the visit to tree nursery and become part of environmental restoration campaign of the Mulbadaw farm community. Enjoy a view of Mount Hanang and the rest of rolling landscapes of the Farm at the view point in the midst of the 14,000 acres’ farm. On request Barbeque sundowner can be organized for you while enjoying a nice sunset and sometimes moonrise behind Mount Hanang
Combined Trip— On your request the tour can be extended to include Bassotu Canoeing Tour, crater lakes tour and Mount Hanang trekking
Visit to Blacksmith family (2-4 hours)
A short biking or walking tour from from Haydom, through beautifully villages in the land of Datoga tribes men. Learn about their blacksmith skills as demonstrated and buy their locally made bracelet and other types of products.
Harar Hill Hiking (2-6 hours)
From Haydom, walk through the villages of Ng’wandakw, Basonyagwe and Harar to the foot of Harar hill famous for its spectacular 360 degrees view and views of Yaeda valley (Home of Hadza), Mount Hanang, Dominic Onion pads, Ngorongoro highland, Lake Eyasi, Haydom hill, Mount Hanang and surrounding villages with various crop farms.
(The tour is ideal for those acclimatizing for Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru climbs)
MULTI-DAY TOURS FROM HAYDOM:
Bassotu tour (2-3 days)
Bike through traditional villages, and farmland; and experience the traditional life of the Datoga people. Explore Lake Bassotu by canoeing, fishing with local fishermen, bird watching and visiting nearby crater lakes of Ghama and Gidamunyoda. Proceed to Hippo pool and Mulbadaw wheat farm where you will learn about wheat production, tree planting and animal husbandry. Enjoy scenic view of rolling landscapes with escarpments, salt lakes and Mount Hanang, sunset and moonrise. This trip includes many opportunities to visit and learn about the development projects supported by our program and several short walks. Return to Haydom by bike or car
Mount Hanang trekking (2 days)
From Haydom in the morning, you will drive to Hanang and start trekking in the afternoon. Trek for 6 hours to the peak of Mount Hanang through spectacular views of an exceptionally beautiful Rift Valley landscape full of small craters, Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Balangida and Balang’dalalu, surrounding farmlands and villages
Camp at the roof for your overnight and climb down next morning after sunrise for 4 hours to the foot of the mountain. Proceed to Mulbadaw wheat farm for breakfast and short farm tour. Drive back to Haydom after lunch through crater lakes and the hippo pool
(Facts about Mount Hanang: It stands at an altitude of about 3400 a.m.s.l making it the fourth highest mountain in Tanzania, ideal for acclimatizing for trekking Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru)
Bassotu tour & Mount Hanang trekking (2-3 days)
From Haydom drive down to Bassotu, walk to through the village, interact with local people, explore lake Bassotu, Crater lakes and Hippo pool. Learn about wheat production in Mulbadaw wheat farm, visit a view point of the farm and Mount Hanang before proceeding for Mount Hanang climb that takes 10 hours (6hours ascending, 4 hours descending).
Hadzabe trekking-Yaeda valley (2-3 days)
Drive down to Yaeda valley, home of Hadzabe trace a family of Hadza and start life skills expedition tour. Trek through the wilderness hunting/collecting fruits/roots/honey and medicinal plants with Hadzabe. Overnight in a camping ground and get an opportunity to share stories with Hadza people. Wake up early in the morning for early morning home chores. After lunch drive to Datoga family and learn about their daily life, pastoralist heritage and how they coexist with their neighbors; Hadzabe, Iraqw and Bantu tribes around. Overnight in a camp and after morning home chore experience, drive back to Haydom before/after lunch
Kilimanjaro Acclimatization ( 3-5 Days)
Lets acclimatize together by walking to the Roof of Mount Hanang and other higher altitude villages/hills like Harar and have what you deserve to conquer the roof of Africa even Mount Meru in regard to physical fitness as a result of good training before trekking. The package will be prepared on request
Haydom bike tours ( 1-5 Days)
The Haydom is the best place for the mountain bikes, we save both sportsman and others who are in needs to bike and experience the villages, the farms, natural and cultural beauty of Haydom and surrounding villages
You will stay with a family in Haydom to learn more about the life of the people. An opportunity to participate on daily home chores as per local culture is guaranteed.
Friendship tree planting initiative
Be part of our environmental conservation initiative by planting a ‘friendship tree’ that will bear two names. One name will be yours and the other one your new Tanzanian friend. Your new friend will continue taking care of the tree as a sign for your friendship. By doing this locals know the value of planting trees and we do play our role of conserving our planet’s environment when on travel
Haydom Cultural Festival
Be part of an annual cultural celebration event ‘Haydom Cultural Festival’ which takes place during the first week of September. This event is staged at Haydom Cultural Centre; bringing together the four main languages groups. Hosted in the rural Tanzania, the event provides rural population and visitors with an opportunity to integrate with various exhibitors while celebrating their cultural values including traditional artifacts shows, traditional dance performances and competitions, cultural film shows and various traditional sports of Datoga, Hadzabe, Iraqw, Nyiramba and Nyisanzu tribes
Where to stay:
There are several guest houses within and around Haydom town and one Hostel within the Haydom Lutheran Hospital compound. Camping at Haydom Cultural Centre and in villages during multi-days safaris can be organized on request. Homestay programme is also one of interesting experience in Haydom where a local family will host you for a number of days
Haydom is accessible by hired charter to Haydom airstrip and road transport. One can catch daily local buses/land cruisers from Arusha (290km), Karatu (150km), Babati (120 km), Singida (96 km) and Mbulu (90km)