5-Day Tanzania Cultural Tour
This five-day tour will immerse you in Tanzanian culture. You will learn first-hand about several of Tanzania’s indigenous tribes: the Chagga, the Iraqw, the Hadzabe, the Datoga, and the Maasai. You will visit a coffee plantation, take a guided walk/bike/or tuk-tuk ride through the colorful town of Mto wa Mbu (said to represent all of Tanzania’s 120 tribes), visit a local primary school, and taste some local food. It will be an eye-opening experience for sure!
DAY 1: ARUSHA – MARANGU
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel this morning and, together, you will drive to the town of Marangu, nestled in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro about 40km (25 miles) from Moshi. This is the home of the Chagga tribe, considered one of the wealthiest tribes in Tanzania.
Your day trip will include the following activities:
- Chagga Caves & Tunnels: With a local guide, you will discover the elaborate system of underground caves and tunnels that were built by the Chagga people in the 1800s to protect themselves and their livestock from Maasai attacks. During your underground tour, you will learn about the attacks, how the Chagga constructed the caves and tunnels, and the measures they implemented to defend themselves from the Maasai who tried to enter the tunnels.
- Coffee Plantation Tour & Local Lunch: You’ll pay a visit to a locally owned and operated coffee plantation, where you will learn about the coffee-making process from plant to cup. You will have the chance to manually grind and roast the beans yourself, and make your very own cup of delicious Kilimanjaro coffee! After the tour, you will enjoy a local lunch, which will introduce you to some of Tanzania’s typical dishes.
- Waterfalls: After lunch, what better way to burn off the calories consumed than with a hike to one of Marangu’s many beautiful waterfalls. It will be a leisurely hike, through local banana plantations and quiet hamlets. Make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes. Your reward at the end will be a towering waterfall with deliciously cool waters beneath. The particularly adventurous may even wish to hop in for a quick swim.
- Banana Beer Tasting: Visit a local banana beer vendor to try this potent local brew.
Late afternoon, you will be transferred back to Arusha for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2: ARUSHA – MTO WA MBU
You will set off after breakfast with your driver-guide and make the roughly two-hour drive to the bustling market town of Mto Wa Mbu (Swahili for Mosquito River). The village is considered unique in Tanzania in that it is estimated that all of Tanzania’s 120 tribes are represented there.
Your cultural experience will begin with a guided tour of the village, either by foot, bicycle, or tuk-tuk, during which you will catch a glimpse at local Tanzanian life.
Afterward, enjoy a home-cooked Tanzanian lunch before heading to your accommodation, where you will have some leisure time before dinner.
DAY 3: PRIMARY SCHOOL & IRAQW TRIBE
This morning, we will head to the town of Karatu (the gateway to the Ngorongoro Highlands), where you will have the chance to visit a local primary school and learn about another of Tanzania’s indigenous tribes – the Iraqw. Iraqw members claim to have historical connections to Iraq and have a reputation for being excellent cattle herders. Before heading to your accommodation, you will also visit a local brick-making factory, which you will find quite interesting!
DAY 4: Lake Eyasi Hadzabe & Datoga tribes
Today you will enjoy a day of culture with the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes of Lake Eyasi.
One of the last true bushman tribes in Africa, the Hadzabe live very much as they always have, despite Tanzania’s rapid development. With only 2,000 members, the Hadzabe are a fascinating people who offer us a window into Tanzanian life in the past.
You will join the bushmen on a hunt, accompany the Hadzabe women on their search for wild tubers, baobab fruit, and berries, and have a go at using the bow and arrow.
The Datoga, in contrast, are pastoralists, moving from place to place to find good pasture for their animals. They are also blacksmiths and are known for their skill in making arrows, knives, and bracelets.
After a great day of tribal culture, you will visit some nearby onion fields before heading back to your accommodation in Karatu.
DAY 5: Maasai Village & Back to Arusha
Today we will visit a local Maasai boma (village) for a glimpse into the traditional life of this very famous tribe. We will learn about the Maasai’s history and culture, and will also see a traditional dance performance. We will have lunch here and also have the chance to try our hand at spear throwing! Afterward, we will head back to Arusha for your overnight.
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