Enriching your travel experience, contributing to Poverty alleviation”
Though tourism is a high income earner for Tanzania, its benefits don’t always reach the local people. Half of the population lives below the poverty line, one in six children dies before the age of five and almost one-third of the population will not live beyond the age of 40 due to underinvestment in social services. The country spends much more on debt servicing than health or primary education.
While stunning wildlife and dramatic landscapes may delight visitors, it is the friendliness and good hospitality of the people that ultimately seals their memories. Tanzania, unlike its neighbors is home to over 120 tribes and ethnic groups, peacefully coexisting and retaining a unified national identity.
There are many ways to interact with the locals, learn and appreciate their ways of life and at the same time by your very visit make a small contribution to their living standard. Cultural Tourism Programmes, set up and run by the villagers themselves can be found in many parts of the country. The village remains functional as it is while village appointed guides show you around their small subsistence farms, cottage industries many of which are run by women, schools, clinics and other projects. Be delighted in hearing the myths and legends unique to each tribe. Some villages have their own medicine men who have learnt the passed down art of using herbs and plants for natural healing.
Cultural Tourism destinations
Bujora sukuma museum
The Sukuma Museum is a community-based organization that promotes and celebrates the traditional and contemporary arts of the Sukuma culture. The Museum provides an interactive and educational environment where Sukuma elders teach younger generation traditional history and arts, and younger generations are encouraged to develop and expand creative voices and new Sukuma artistic trends.
The Museum also welcomes visitors to workshops that provide training for those interested in learning the traditional arts of the Sukuma. The Museum is the only institution devoted to Sukuma culture and is the sole benefactor of objects from the ancient Sukuma chiefdoms and Dance societies.
The Bujora Cultural Centre and Sukuma Museum in Kisesa, are historical institutions founded for the education and support of Sukuma culture. The arts of the Sukuma culture are among the richest in East Africa. As the Sukuma people are the largest cultural group in Tanzania, the Sukuma culture is dispersed throughout the country. The heart of Usukuma is in the Lake Zone of Mwanza, Shinyanga and the Mara regions where the legacy of a rich art tradition is now maintained.
Home to the last hunter – gatherers in Africa, the Hadzabe bushmen have made the area around Lake Eyasi their long time hunting grounds. Day trip safaris with the Hadzabe bushmen give visitors a chance to experience a way of life that has long since vanished elsewhere on the planet.
The Hadzabe cultural tourism experience includes;
- Morning hunts with the Hadzabe warriors, armed with bows and arrors
- Honey – gathering
- Walks to find traditional healing plants and food
- Traditional dances
Climbers of the world’s most impressive mountain combine the trekking with a visit to the historically progressive WaChagga. They come here to see the traditional and modern Chagga art, culture and homes.
Friends of Africa Family Safari Tanzania organizes visits to the lost city in the shadow of the Great Rif Wall, where Maasai mix irrigation, farming and traditional herding. In Mkuru, near Arusha National Park, short camel treks with local Maasai give visitors a glimpse into nomadic culture, as they climb nearby Ol Donyo Landaree.
Only minutes from bustling Arusha are spots that look and feel as they did decades ago. But everywhere, too, is a transition as the WaArusha and Wameru peoples adapt tradition to progress and science. Visitors can meet a traditional healer, learn about animal husbandry and agriculture, and buy carvings and foodstuffs from local handicraft co-operatives or women’s businesses.
Southern Pare Mountains
Walk the most remote mountains of northern Tanzania with local farmers, through traditional Pare Villages and dense tropical forests. From half day to three day guided hikes, this is an opportunity to step into culture of the Pare people.
- Visit the Mghmbi Caves, secret hiding place during the slave raids
- Visit the Malameni Rock, the scene of human safarices to appease evil spirits up until the 1930s
- Walk through the Ikongwe Village, believed by locals to be a gift from heaven, sourrounded by mountain terraces and small waterfalls