Once in a while an experience is truly exceptional, even for a guide who’s been at it for twenty years. This July I had the privilege of traveling to the land of the Hadza people on the shores of Lake Eyasi, within Tanzania’s slice of the Great Rift Valley. This tribe of hunter-gatherers retains an incredible connection to the African bush and the wild lives found there. They continue a lifestyle that spans hundreds of thousands of years, and they were willing to share it with us.
Accessing this remote location by helicopter ensures we arrive when the fun starts, at dawn. We quickly set out towards the current hunting grounds, enthralled with the enthusiasm for the chase, and the precision of their tracking skills. The men are soon tracking an eland, but it eludes us when the footprints disappear into the the rocky hills, where the animals spend time during the dry season. At the end of the session, the main spoils include tree squirrels and rock hyraxes, which are cooked over coals. If ever there was a time we could reconnect with that primeval drive to provide our own supper, this was it.
Land easements and conservation measures of the land the Hadza have traditionally lived on ensure a secure, core area for them to dwell in for now. However, there was a definite feeling amongst us that we were witnessing something special, and perhaps passing, from another time.