The Sandawe of Tanzania

Population: 40,000

Location: North central Tanzania

History: The Sandawe are descendants of the original San people who first populated Africa.

Culture: Traditionally hunter-gatherers, it is mainly the old men who remember this way of life. Few wild animals remain in the area. People still collect honey, but the hunting and tracking skills are being lost. Many have adopted some agricultural and herding practices of their neighbors, the the soil is poor. The Sandawe were forced by the government to settle in more permanent villages and now they live in small villages scattered through the area, with a few small ‘towns’ here and there. The area is hilly with woodland and scrub.
They are fond of singing, dancing, and telling stories which portray themselves as small animals who use their cunning intelligence to outwit more powerful enemies.

Religion: Animism. They worship the moon and stars and practice with craft. They fear spirits. There are some Catholic converts, but they mix Catholicism with animism. Islam is making inroads.

Latest Prayer Updates:


Building plans are under way for an evangelist’s home in Lahoda where there is a fledgling church. Let’s ask that this building will soon be complete so that an evangelist can minister there permanently.

Discipleship and training

A young Sandawe couple has recently moved to southern Tanzania for a year long internship that includes not only discipleship but also training in agricultural methods. Please pray for a good adjustment for Immanuel and Janet and that they will learn much during this time.

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