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Tanzania Guest Review: Hunting with the Hadzabe

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​Jim and Donna recently embarked on a private departure of our Serengeti Wilderness Safari and returned with rave reviews and tons of great photos. They especially enjoyed their day with the Hadzabe hunters, a nomadic group of people who still live entirely off the land like their ancestors have for thousands of years. Here are some of their photos and experiences.

"One of the most interesting parts of our Serengeti Safari was spending a morning with the Hadzabe Tribe. To get there we drove up a rugged, dry, river bed and hiked  to a rocky outcropping. We arrived mid-morning, accompanied by a local villager who had lived with them for six months, as part of a research project by a Japanese scholar studying primitive tribes. They are referred to as a "click-click" tribe since part of their vocabulary is made up of clicking sounds. They had already been out hunting at daybreak and had killed a couple of Dik-Diks, a small (dog size) antelope. They had stashed them in the limbs of a tree and were butchering them and roasting them over a fire. To welcome us, they offered us slices of the roasted heart from the Dik-Dik."

"They make their own arrows and bows, using poison arrows for larger animals, afterwards cutting out the black meat from the poison. They trade honey they gather, using smoke torches, from African Killer Bee hives with another local tribe for metal arrowheads. They dig up roots and tubers with just a pointed stick, then they peel the tuber with their teeth and eat the flesh." 

"We went out in the bush with the tribe to hunt for birds and halfway through the hunt, they quickly made a fire with a stick – about the time it would take me to "flick my Bic". They had me try it but I was not even close to being successful. The reason to make a fire was to smoke out of a shared pipe. Afterwards we participated in a celebration dance for a successful hunt. The "western" clothes are given to them by missionaries."

"Then the most embarrassing part of the trip occurred. The tribe had us participate in a bow and arrow shooting contest. We were shooting at the stump of a palm tree around 50' away. They gave me a warrior bow, that I could barely pull back. When I shot, my arrow it only made it halfway to the target. So, I tried again and really gave it my best effort, which resulted in the arrow going about 2/3's of the way to the target. Then they gave Donna a different bow and some instruction. Her first shot went over the target. Her second shot hit the target!

"On our first game drive we saw an amazing amount of wildlife. The elephants were about 5' away and we looked at each other to decide if we wanted to "hunker down" – the mother elephant could have extracted us from the pop-up top of the Toyota Land Cruiser in a heartbeat!" 

"Our favorite photo is of these bright eyed, happy, loving kids, that are the future of Africa and the world, who give me optimism for our joint future! We will be forever thankful and indebted to David, the best guide in Africa, for sharing his knowledge, vast experience and love with us!" - Jim and Donna

I loved hearing about Jim and Donna's trip and seeing their pictures; it's really what makes my job worth it, when our travelers have an amazing trip and unforgettable experiences. Check out more of their pictures in the gallery below and don't hesitate to give me a call if your interested in travel to Africa. For more information about safaris you can also read my blog Serengeti Safaris or read more Tanzania Guest Reviews.

Keeping it wild,

Chris Moriarty

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