The Hadza are the last remaining hunter-gatherers in Africa. They are comparable to the Bushmen who speak the click language, and unlike any other “click language” to date, their language still contains clicks and pops. This small African Bushman tribe is believed to have been driven out of the Ngorongoro Crater and the Crater highland woodlands about 10,000 years ago by the Maasai and Iraqw (Mbulu), who eventually established their current territory close to Lake Eyasi.
The tribe is made up of just over 1,000 residents of the Lake Eyasi area, which is a small population. These African Bushmen rely only on fruit and berry picking and hunting to survive. They never raise livestock or make agricultural products.
They may kill enormous wildlife like zebras, giraffes, and buffaloes with their powerful bows, which contain strings made of giraffe tendons, as well as small animals such as dik-diks, baboons, monkeys, large and small birds, and baboons. They use a poison made from a tree they are familiar with to poison the arrows. Hadzabe males frequently go hunting by themselves during the day to provide for themselves and, if any animal is available, to bring home honey, fruit, or game. Depending on what is available, women forage in bigger groups and frequently bring home berries, baobab fruit, and tubers. Foraging for fruit and honey is another cooperative activity involving men and women, and a group of foraging women is always accompanied by at least one adult male. Tourists can either hunt with the men using traditional bows and arrows for their daily subsistence or go fruit and berry collecting with the ladies. During the wet season, the diet consists largely of honey, some fruit, tubers, and intermittent meat. It is not a performance or a “tourist attraction,” but a real event that is crammed with African culture. It is not for the faint of heart.
During the dry season, when wildlife is more likely to congregate close to water sources, meat consumption rises. At this time of year, men go hunting in couples and spend the entire night waiting at waterholes in the hopes of shooting animals with poison-tipped bows and arrows as they come in for their evening drink. One of their prehistoric methods was to rub wood from the Commiphora tree to start a fire. The sap from the same Commiphora tree, which is believed to be a mosquito repellant, is another use for some trees. Aloe vera is used by African Bushmen to treat cut wounds, and the Sansaveria tree is used to make a remedy for snakebites. The fruit of the baobab is used to create a delicious beverage.
According to legend, the Hadzabe have lived in the same region for such a long time because of their habit of not using calendars and not keeping track of time. The Hadzabe Bushmen are said to only use the moon’s phases to gauge time. They just have the tools they require to survive, such as a few cooking pots and a few bows and arrows. Everyone is treated equally by the culture of these native people.