Cultural Tourism - RA Safaris - Tanzania
In Tanzania, the land of superb landscapes and spectacular wildlife, another attraction that stands equally tall is the people. Tanzania’s people are among the most welcoming and approachable on earth, with a range of fascinating cultures ready to share with visitors. From Hadzabe of Lake Eyasi to the now world famous Maasai, a cultural excursion or a longer stay among local people is likely to become one of the most rewarding experience of any holiday In Tanzania.
Cultural tourism programmes usually bring income directly to the local communities and give people the chance to show their lifestyle to the outside world on their own terms. Primary schools are developed through tours on the fascinating slopes of Mt Meru; health clinics are also improved through guided tours of the luscious green Usambara Mountains.
Cultural tourism programmes are beneficial to everyone – the tourists get a unique, unforgettable experience, the local people generate income and improve their standard of living, and both parties gain a valuable understanding of another culture which will last long after the visitors return home. Most cultural tourism programmes are located near the main thoroughfares of the principal tourist destinations, making a cultural addition to a safari easy to arrange. Guides are local people born and raised in the area, well trained in their job and proficient in English. Cultural tours can be half-day events or incorporated into a longer safari. Whether you spend the morning in a Maasai boma or trek by camel up a local summit, stopping to learn about traditional plants and tribal stories, a cultural tour is a must do for anyone wanting to see the rich life Tanzania people.
RA Safaris organizes a range of cultural tourism itineraries and below here are samples of them.
Three Days Longido
After breakfast drive to Longido to discover the Maasai Culture. Meet some of the local elders and the warriors on a brief tour of the village and they will express out how life is like for the family in their traditional home called Boma, which is made from mud and cow dung. In the early morning, women leave the Boma to fetch water and collect firewood. Young children play outside their homes and at a very early age takes care of goats, cows and lambs. Settle into your room. Accommodation in a basic guesthouse in the village. 2-3 hours of driving from Arusha.
After breakfast at the Camp or Guesthouse you will get ready for a full day walking trip at the Maasai Land and see the women leave the Boma to fetch water and collect firewood. Young children play around the mud houses and start at a very early age to take care of kids and lambs. In the area there is an abundance of colorful birds. The starling major, the red and yellow barbet, the masked weaver, the silverbill and the secretary bird are some of the special species to be seen. Longido is further well known for the presence of rare mammals that cannot be seen in any of the national parks. The plains and the slopes of the mountain form a refuge for the gerenuk, the lesser kudu and the klipspringer. Among other animals that live around Longido are giraffes, zebras, gazelles, buffaloes, mongoose and some silver jackals. Make Camp and Overnight Longido.
Another early departure for the short drive to road head near Kimokouwa, where several Maasai Bomas are peacefully situated in the green "valley of wells". From here we start the ascent of Longido (2629 meters) Guided by Maasai warriors armed with knives and spears we leave Kimokouwa in the early morning and follow narrow footpaths through a dense natural forest. After two and a half hours you arrive at the marvelous "dawa ya supu" (soup-medicine) viewpoint. From here you will follow trails created by buffaloes to reach the top in another two hours' climb. With loud cries the Maasai warn the buffaloes that people are coming to avoid dangerous encounters. The views from the top are simply unbelievable. On clear days you can see more than 200 kilometers and all the mountains of Northern Tanzania. The descent of the steep mountain is another challenge. Late in the evening drive back to Arusha for a welcome shower, Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.
Ilkiding’a Cultural Tourism
The village is located at the foot of Mount Meru where the sounds of rivers, birds and people are in harmony. Ilkiding'a Cultural Tourism will give you the opportunity to experience traditional Wa-arusha culture. Spend a day walking around the hills of Ilkiding'a and get some insights on traditional African culture. This tour will cover:
- Insights on the Wa-arusha culture
- Understanding of local households and extended family life
- Visits to craftsmen and a traditional healer
- Farming activities
- Arusha town view point
- Hikes along narrow footpaths, crossing a canyon and climbing small hills
- Test of traditional dishes
Ng’iresi Cultural Tourism
Ng’iresi village is located on fascinating slopes of Mount Meru, where you can experience a true African village life. During your tour to Ng’iresi you will be able to enjoy the following among others.
- Guided tour to the farms on the green slopes of Mt. Meru
- Visits to a number of development projects in the village (soil conservation, irrigation, cross breeding, bio gas, and fish nursery)
- Climb to Kivesi Hill, an old volcano with a natural forest on top
- Learn the Wa-arusha culture (old stories, traditional houses)
- Enjoy delicious local lunch and dinner prepared by the Juhudi women group