The log of one man's quest for wind and sunshine


Hunting with the Hadza

Your heart is racing as you run through the thick, thorny Acacia brush. The only indication of where the others are is the yelping of the dogs nearby. A clearing opens and there stands the lead hunter holding the dying body of a Vervet monkey breathing its last breaths, its entrails hanging out. The dogs are exhausted and while some are still excited by the smell of blood and the adrenaline rush of the kill others look dazed and are clearly injured from the death battle with the simian.

Another day, another hunt in the land of the Hadzabe, the last hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania.

I was fortunate to have a chance to live the life of our ancestors for less than a day: an exciting morning that started with a 4am wake-up call at our lodge.

We drove the rickety old Land Cruiser on loan from a co-worker through the rough roads, made even rougher by the torrential downpours the small rains bring. After many seemingly random left and rights through the overgrown landscape, we parked.  Our guide led us through a crawling height crack in a rock that led into a large cave.  Inside we were cast in a world back into time. The Hadza sat by the fire smoking their bangi and greeted us with great enthusiasm. I noticed a baboon skull on a stick in the fire, gently simmering the brains.

As dawn slowly turned the sky pink, the dogs became restless and started moaning with urgency knowing they would go out and hunt soon.  We gathered and started on an unhurried, but high-paced walk through the hills of the Lake Eyasi region of Tanzania.