The Hadzabe : Tanzania is blessed with diverse cultural ethnicities. While some ethnic groups are taking the lead in civilization, others are loyal to their cultural beliefs. They have changed a little or never changed their traditional ways of life. Some of these include the renowned Maasai, Datoga, Barbaig, and the Hadza Bushmen.

If you haven’t heard of the communities still living in the African wilderness while growing no food, we suggest you visit Tanzania to see and interact with them. They are called Hadzabe or simply the Hadza and still make their lives through hunting and gathering.

Where is the Hadzabe tribe located?

The Hadzabe are situated on the shore of Lake Eyasi, the less-visited lake on the southern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Facts about Hadzabe


They live in an old style of hunting and gathering. They neither grow crops nor domesticated animals. Where do they obtain food then? The Hadzabe feed on fruits, roots, and berries gathered from the wild. Their main staple food is tubers, which are eaten together with meat, honey, and roots.

Hadza men go far to hunt and bring home meat. They also collect honey. Women gather fruits and roots and take care of children.

They speak the Hadza language. This language is closely associated with the clicking language of Khoisan Bushmen in southern Africa. However, their DNA does not resemble that of the South African Khoisan Bushmen.


As of today, their population is around 1200-1300 individuals. You can find them living in groups of 20-30 individuals. Most of them are very nomadic, while a few live in settled villages. Nomadic Hadzabe built their huts temporarily. When moving from one place to another, they carry their belongings on their backs.


You may be surprised to hear their mother tongue. They speak the Hadza language, which involves the production of clicking and popping sounds. They use clicks as consonants and these sounds vary from one to another. They are articulated by smacking the tongue to the roof of the mouth.

You will need a local translator to interact with these people. They have no written history. They pass their traditions from one generation to another through oral traditions.

Social structure

Hadzabe is egalitarian; that is, there are no real differences in status among the members. All members have the same status. Since they have no leader, the decisions are made through discussions. The elders are slightly respected. The camp has 20 to 30 members. Married couples may choose either to stay with the mother’s or father’s kin. They are also free to live everywhere.


To a surprise, the Hadza do not use medication other herbal medicines obtained from roots. About 70% of their food comes from plant sources. This makes these people healthier than normal people. The Hadza are also very active and participate in hunting and other activities. This makes them less vulnerable to diseases like obesity and high blood pressure.

Hunting and gathering

They hunt using homemade bows and arrows. They prepare poison from the adenium shrub and dip their arrows in it. They camouflage themselves to make hunting easier. The group of male hunters is always small and dispersed in the field. They hunt early in the morning and are very favorable during the dry season.

What is more attractive is that their life in the wilderness has made them develop mutual relationships with some bird species, especially the one named “honey guide.” This African bird signals the Hadza men to the beehive with a whistle call. In return, the bird will obtain wax from the beehive. What a beautiful relationship.

The Hadzabe
The Hadzabe

Women and children gather fruits, tubers, roots, berries, and mushrooms for food. Unlike men, women gather food in large groups. They store the collected food and use it during the rainy season, especially when hunting becomes very difficult. In this season, men join women for gatherings.

Entertainment and ceremonies.

Women can be heard chanting in their camps with their unique sounds, making you want to understand. During the night, they sit around campfires, telling stories, talking, and sometimes singing and dancing. It is at these campfires that most of the tales about their ancestors are told. 


True adult men are called epeme men. They obtain this prestige by killing a large game at the young age of about 20. Epeme can eat certain parts of large games such as buffalo, warthogs, and wildebeest. These parts include the kidneys, lungs, heart, neck, and tongue.

One night of full moon marks their ritual dance, ‘Epeme’. Men dress in their ancestor-like clothing and dance for women and children.

How to interact with them

With their language not known by many people in the world, it is a challenge to interact with them. You will be in touch with their real-life activities since they do not always have time to showcase their culture to tourists.

Hunt with Hadza men.

They walk in quickly to ambush a game. You can catch up with them. When they spot a game, they usually run at high speed, which is difficult to do.

Gather fruits, roots, and wood with Hadza women.

This will help you learn the tools and skills needed to dig roots and tubers for food. You can go with them and get yourself a local tool for digging roots.

With Focus East Africa Safari, you can interact with the Hadzabe in Tanzania. This is one of the fantastic expeditions on the shores of Lake Eyasi. Planning a visit to such stunning tribes would not only be an unforgettable event but also a great adventure.

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