Hamana nale kui, Nale kui
Here we go round, Go round.
— Hadza dance
In these places so far from the rest of the world, even the stillness of an early dawn is an echo of times long since passed.
From the dry thorn scrub of the Kalahari desert in southeastern Namibia, where each day San bushmen return to their village in single file, to the green forests surrounding Lake Eyasi in the shadow of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro highlands, where the Hadza live much as they have since the early animal migrations, these parts of Africa are like stepping back in time.
If these are to be the last days, they are slow and peaceful. “Perhaps it is the consciousness that here in Africa, south of the Sahara, our kind was born,” Peter Matthiessen wrote in The Tree Where Man Was Born.
There is still something left of the stillness in this ancient continent, Matthiessen wrote, “the echo of so much that has died away, the imminence of so much yet unknown.”