Hunters of the South Seas

The Bajau

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Bajau

Thu 5 Jul 1pm - 2pm Yesterday


This reminded me of BBC2’s much-missed series Tribe, in which Bruce Parry visited remote indigenous people and lived as they lived. Here Will Millard meets the Bajau of Indonesia and explores a way of life that seems at once semi-idyllic and poised on the brink of disaster.

For centuries the Bajau lived as nomadic fishermen. Some have now built marine settlements and the community Millard visits is an extraordinary village of 1,500 people, their homes built on stilts 8ft above the water and their livelihoods entirely based on fishing the increasingly empty seas.

The scenes showing their underwater swimming technique are extraordinary. But there’s a darker side to the story: Millard forms a moving bond with a local boy who has a disability, and whose future doesn’t look bright.


Will Millard explores the Coral Triangle in the western Pacific, interacting with indigenous communities to learn how they have thrived in spite of their extreme isolation. In the village of Sampela, home to 1,500 Bajau people, Will lives with spear fisherman Kabei and his family in their small stilt house. He witnesses the Bajau's breathtaking skills in the water, learns how Kabei hasn't set foot on dry land for three years, and looks at what the future holds for this remarkable community.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Will Millard
Director Will Lorimer
Executive Producer Lucy Carter
Executive Producer Steve Robinson
Producer Will Lorimer
Series Producer Jamie Balment
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