From Tarangire, it is a seven hour drive across the Eastern escarpment of the Rift Valley to the Hadza country. Crossing the escarpment is like experiencing three seasons in an hour. From the dry savannah with a few farms and fields on the eastern side, we are soon in the green and cool highlands of the escarpment, and a few minutes later, we descend on the western side into the Yaeda Valley, a desolate country of parched earth, desertic plains and rocky hills where grows. Surrounded by mountainous walls on every side, the isolated valley feels like the Lost World.
It is the Hadza country, home to the remaining six hundred Hadzabe who still survive entirely as hunter-gatherers. The Hadzabe are an echo from our distant past. They are the last hunter-gatherers in East Africa and live as all of humanity did 10,000 years ago. In small temporary settlements of 20 to 30 people, an extended family, building makeshift huts out of dry grass. The women go out every day foraging for tubers and berries and the men go out to hunt.
Josh’s family has been involved with the Hadza for 20 years, helping them secure land rights in the Yaeda valley so that they can retain their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. We pitch our camp just outside of the Hadza settlement and spend the next several days with them.