The Hadzabe Tribe Facts

While many visitors to Africa are familiar with the Masai people, the Hadzabe of Tanzania‘s Lake Eyasi region is no less fascinating or representative of African culture. Still leading the same hunter-gatherer lifestyle that has sustained their people for generations, the Hadzabe make use of locally made poisons and ingenious camouflage to hunt. Visitors to Tanzania can not only visit with these traditional people but also witness a thrilling sunrise hunt to see just how these hardy people have survived in the sometimes harsh Tanzanian wilderness for thousands of years.

About the Hadzabe Tribe

With an estimated population of fewer than 2,000 individuals, the Hadzabe are one of the last tribes to stay true to their tribal history. Existing far from the crowds and globalization that inevitably follow tourism, they exist much as they always have

Men typically hunt and bring home honey to feed their families, while women and children gather fruits, berries, and roots with which to supplement their diet.

The men are particularly adept hunters, and their daring and inventive hunting style is a sight to behold. Using parts harvested from other animals, they cunningly lure and put down the game. As this is their only source of food, they are the only tribe permitted to hunt in the Serengeti.

The Hadzabe tribe people live in caves near Lake Eyasi, and their isolation and shrinking numbers have allowed them to avoid the HIV epidemic and other diseases that have spread due to intertribal marriages.

An interesting facet of Hadzabe tribe culture is their language. Believed to have some kind of relation to the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, the Hadzabe language is a distinctive tongue of clicks that is similar to that of the famous Bushmen. Despite this and their similar physical appearances, DNA testing has shown no relation between the two groups

Hadzabe Settlements

The lands around salty Lake Eyasi in the Serengeti ecosystem are where you will find the Hadza people. This area is located near Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli, which are both deeply significant archaeological sites in the Central Rift Valley for the study of early man and his origins.

Pre-historic evidence indicates that hunter-gatherer communities have lived in this area for at least 50,000 years. These early people are likely the ancestors of the Hadzabe.

Spending time with the Hadza people is quite a culture shock. They don’t live by the same rules or follow time as we do. They have an oral tradition when it comes to remembering their past and do not use calendars, time, or counting past 3 or 4 as a form of measure. They have never experienced wars, famines, or serious disease outbreaks and they have no carbon footprint.

They survive by their instincts and skills and their ability to interpret nature’s cycles and signs. They can walk confidently through the deepest bush at night and be completely at ease. They are the living reminders of how humanity is thought to have lived from as far back as 2 million years ago. The advent of farming in the outside world is a very recent blip on this timeline.

You can enjoy a truly fascinating visit with these gregarious people and experience life as a hunter-gatherer. On hunts with the Hadzabe, you’ll see how they stalk their prey, using bows with arrows that are poison-tipped, and how they interact with the Honeyguide bird to find a beehive. You’ll also learn how to forage for wild fruits and tubers as well as medicinal plants

A cultural visit to the Hadzabe Bushmen

Spend the day with the Hadzabe people, ancient hunter-gatherers who inhabit the land near Lake Eyasi, a gorgeous soda lake that’s part of the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, and witness their unchanged, traditional way of life and harmony with the earth. Accompanied throughout by a KIWOITO ranger, guests have the opportunity to engage with the Bushmen and learn all about their time-honored hunting techniques, survival skills, food preparation, and cultural norms. A veritable step back in time, this is an undeniably authentic cultural journey into rural Tanzania that reveals the untold world of these charismatic people.

Amongst the world’s last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes inhabiting the scrubby bushland, Hadzabe men search for food alone and return home with golden honey, sweet fruit, or hearty wild game when, and if available. Women go out in large groups and forage for bright berries, baobab fruit, and tubers, depending on availability. In the rainy, wet season, sweet honey is the main staple of their diet along with colorful fruit, tubers, and sometimes meat.

Adjusting their diets to the seasons this tribe is incredibly skilled, selective, and opportunistic seekers and searchers. They have only themselves to rely on to feed their families and tribe.