Hadza means human being. Hadzabe is simply the plural. Humans, then. Who live where, according to today’s scientific knowledge, the human race began. In the East African Rift Valley, in northern Tanzania, very close to the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater. They are the last true nomads, the last hunter-gatherers of Tanzania. They have hardly changed their way of life. For thousands and thousands of years. But for how much longer? No one can say.
Less than 1000 Hadzabe
There are now less than 1000 Hadzabe who still live as their ancestors did. Trailing the game they hunt, following the season to be able to harvest the fruits of nature. Who still use stone tools (although increasingly fewer), who hunt with bow and arrow, who have a great knowledge of everything that ensures their survival. In the Eyasi region you can still find what they need. But their lives are increasingly made difficult by the intrusion of herders with their huge herds.
The Maasai take their land
While in many places people think that the Maasai, who are known far beyond Africa, are also a nomadic people, the reality shows that this population group is becoming more and more settled and – in contrast to the Hadzabe – also more numerous. This applies to the Maasai themselves as well as to the animals they keep. Both need water and food, both need ever larger areas of land to manage their daily lives. In contrast to the Hadzabe, who through their nomadism always give the land they use a rest for recreation, land used by Maasai is increasingly being withdrawn from the natural cycle. Thus, the once good neighbours of the Hadzabe are increasingly becoming a threat to their way of life.
Traditional hunting with bow and arrow
There is still the opportunity to get closer to these unique people, to experience their everyday life. To explore the surroundings of the camp with the women and children. And to go hunting with the men. Where – go!? The hunters usually cover five to eight kilometres on a hunting trip. On foot, of course. And once they see something bigger, it’s fast. Very fast. So fast that the visitor hardly has a chance to follow them. But mostly it is smaller animals that are hunted down and brought back to the camp. And are usually eaten right there. An experience you can hardly have anywhere else in the world.
Stockpiling is largely alien to the Hadzabe. They do not keep animals. The few possessions are carried from campsite to campsite, they do not use vehicles of any kind, just as they do not process metals. They live in groups, without hierarchy, without offices, there is nothing we would call religion. A truly unique community.