On the Hunt with Tanzania’s Hadza Tribe

Hadza hunters tell stories on a rocky outcropping at their camp overlooking Tanzania’s Central Rift Valley. Photo @ Nick Hall

Even though photographer Nick Hall is an expert at capturing images of what he sees, he had an eye-opening experience on his recent trip to Tanzania to photograph conservation partnerships with indigenous communities for Nature Conservancy magazine.

“One of the things I found extraordinarily surprising was their eyesight,” he says of the Hadza hunter-gatherers he stayed with in the remote Yaeda Valley. “Their ability to see things is just incredible.”

Hall joined the Hadza men on several hunts. “Walking out on the bush—this highly complex mosaic of trees and bushes and grasses—it just turns into this brown-green blur that I can barely make out anything against,” he says. “Over in the distance, looking through bushes and trees and gaps, they’d see some sort of animal.” Sometimes those hunted animals were as small as rodents.

Watching it all happen was astonishing for a Western photographer, he says. “Just shows how tuned in they are to their landscape.”

We couldn’t include all of our favorite photos of Hall’s visit with the ancient hunter-gatherer tribes in the magazine. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best outtakes from Tanzania. (See more photos and read the story from our December/January issue here).


A member of the Hadza tribe throws a stick at a baobab tree to try to knock off seedpods. The Hadza people are among the last true hunter-gatherer communities on Earth, feeding themselves off what they can net from the land everyday. Photo © Nick Hall


The hunters extract honeycomb from a baobob tree in Yaeda Valley in Tanzania, where the tribe has lived for more than 35,000 years, but until recently, has never held official land rights. Photo © Nick Hall


A Hadza hunter (right) carries seed pods gathered from a baobab tree and talks with a Datoga herder from a nearby community. Since 2011, the Hadza, Datoga and Maasai tribes have worked with The Nature Conservancy to obtain rights to some of their traditional lands from the Tanzania government. Photo © Nick Hall


A Hadza hunter repairs his arrow using tendons from a recent kill to bind feathers to his arrows. Tribe members use hand-made weapons on their daily hunt. Photo © Nick Hall

Hadza women cook tubers that they dug up in the forest near their camp in the central Rift Valley. Photo © Nick Hall
Hadza women cook tubers that they dug up in the forest near their camp in the central Rift Valley. Photo © Nick Hall

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