Meeting the Hadzabe tribe

Meeting the Hadzabe tribe

Day 4, Sunday 6 August, 2023

Cattle on the road near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania

We were looking forward to meeting different tribal communities today near Lake Eyasi. We departed early from the lodge since we were going to meet the Hadzabe tribe and then join them on a hunt with bow and arrow. This small community of hunter-gatherers date back to the stone-age. They prefer to live in the bush, with literally only a rough shelter as a home. The exist on what they can hunt and gather fruit, berries, roots, and honey to supplement their diet.




Donkey cart near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania



We had quite a long way to go, into rural areas where the cattle took over the road and one saw strange modes of transport.


The road got progressively worse, dusty and bumpy, with hardly a living soul in sight. We had to pick up a local tour guide at the tourism office to accompany us to the Hadzabe, gaining permission for us to meet them.




He first led us to the toilet facilities in the veld. What a surprise! Beautifully tiled with flush toilets, wash basins and paper. Africa never ceases to surprise one.




Hadzabe hunter near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania




A Hadzabe hunter was waiting for us. Apparently, they trade berries and honey with the nearby Datoga tribe for arrow points, knives, bits of clothing and tobacco.

Two other hunters joined us and settling us under some trees, the one lively demonstrated how different animals are killed with different arrow points, imitating the movements of the animals and the sounds they make. The Hadza language has clicking sounds. The tour guide translated for us.

Baobab tree, Hadzabe tribe near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania



Then it was time for the hunt. We went past a baobab tree that they use for storing things or sleeping in.





Inside a boabab tree, Hazabe near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania


Who would have thought that we would be climbing into a boabab tree! 

We were quite amazed to see how big it was inside.














We then followed the hunters who were looking for something to shoot. 






Weaver shot by Hadza near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania



There were not really any wildlife to see but sure enough, they found a weaver and killed it with the bow and arrow. We had to remind ourselves that these people live on anything they can find to eat.








Hadza hunters making fire near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania

The Hadza squatted there and then and started making a fire by rubbing two sticks together, using a sharp blade to created sparks, and adding some twigs and dry foliage.


Hadzabe making fire near Lake Eyasi, TanzaniaAs soon as the fire got going, they placed the little bird into the flames, settling back to start smoking home-rolled cigarettes. This led to fits of coughing until they held up the charcoaled bird. The one proceeded to eat the tiny head in one gulp, while another delicately sliced slivers of meat for us to taste. It was actually very good.
Hadza hunter with mongoose on belt near lake Eyasi, Tanzania




On the way back to their clan, we met another Hadze carrying his trophy, a mongoose on his belt.





TravelswithElsa and HM Safafris with Hadzabe near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania

The hunters led us into an open area where a group of women and children were waiting for us. We exchanged names and the tribe then started to sing and stamp rhythmically, inviting us into the circle and dance. What a unique experience and privelege that was – four older ladies stepping back into the stone age.


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