Bushmen(Hadzabe)

The highlight at Lake Eyasi is the cultural visit to the Bushmen (Wahadzabe) in this area. There are few members of this tribe left in in the world, so it is a rare glimpse of this fading culture.

You will also see the onion fields where 80% of the onions in Tanzania are grown. This lush garden is a sharp contrast to the dry, barren landscape that surrounds it.

If school is in session, you can also visit a local school. Donations of school supplies are greatly appreciated.

Location

This is a 1-1/2 to 2 hour drive west from the Karatu road. It may be the bumpiest, dustiest road you have ever experienced. It’s hard to believe the Pepsi truck follows the same road.

Things To Do

The Bushman Tribe

The Bushman (also known as the Wahadzabe tribe) still maintain their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life.

A visit to the village will be led by a local guide who will describe their lifestyle. The Bushman will make fire from sticks and will show you their very few belongings. They will take you on a simulated hunt in the area with their bows and arrows, and visitors can try a little target practice. The visit concludes with a traditional singing and dancing.

In the rainy season, they live in caves, and in the dry season, they live in the trees and bushes. Homes are marked by upright sticks in a semi-circle. Beds and floor mats are hides from kudu and impala.

The men hunt for wild animals and birds with bows and arrows. There are different arrows for different types of animals. Poisoned arrows are used for large animals. They also eat honey, tubers out of the ground, and fruits from the Baobab tree. In the dry season, they must dig down in the dry river bed to find water.

Men and women socialize in very separate groups. Small children and babies stay with the women and boys of 7 and older group with the men.

The Bushman are monogomous. The dowry to get married to a woman is 2 big baboons and many liters of honey.

Men wear shorts and animal hides. Women wear colorful cloths wrapped around them. Jewelry is made from beads, porcupine quills, fur, and hide.

Arrows and jewelry can be purchased from them with TZ shillings or traded (baseball hats, etc.).

Photos

Visiting with the Bushmen, who still hunt with bows and arrows.

Making fire.

Women and children in their group.
A typical “house”. In the rainy season, they live in caves.
Crossing the dry river bed on a mock hunt.

Hunting with bows and arrows.
Target practice is not as easy as it looks.
Climbing the Baobab tree in search of fruit.