Cultural Tourism in Tanzania

Cultural tourism in Tanzania gives visitors an in-depth look at the people who live in and around national park areas. You will learn about the communities’ customs, traditions, and cultures first-hand and grow to appreciate their way of life. You may come across ancient animal stories and ancestral stories that seek to explain natural events. Cultural tours allow us to learn about people who may appear to be different at first, but as you learn more about them and their natural areas, you realize that people aren’t all that different.

Various local communities conduct their own cultural programs and welcome guests to their houses, bringing cash directly to the local community while also allowing locals the opportunity to demonstrate their way of life to the outside world. This encourages mutual understanding and friendships between tourists and locals, allowing travellers from all over the world to experience Tanzania’s cultural richness while also allowing locals in various rural areas to construct sustainable living.

A visit to the Maasai, Hadzabe, or Datoga tribes is a popular stop on almost every safari in Tanzania. After all, it is one of the must-see tribes when visiting Tanzania.

The following are some of the popular cultural canters that can be included in visitor itineraries:

  • Lake Eyasi –  Land of the Hadzabe and Datoga
  • Mto wa Mbu, a multicultural village town near Lake Manyara National Park
  • Maasai Boma and villages – Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Mto wa mbu

The Maasai Tribe – Overview

Tanzania is home to over 120 tribes, each with their unique culture. The Maasai of northern Tanzania are one of the most populous ethnic groups in the region, a proud people who are fiercely protective of their traditional traditions. The Maasai are a Nilotic people indigenous to the African Great Lakes area, with origins in South Sudan.

They began moving south from the lower Nile Valley north of Kenya’s Lake Turkana probably in the 15th century, eventually arriving in their current range during the 17th and late 18th centuries, according to oral history. Many of the ethnic groups that had settled in the area were either expelled or assimilated by the Maasai, who also acquired some of their rituals like ritual circumcision and social organization focused more on age set.

A Maasai Moran was traditionally necessary to have killed a lion in order to be successful the right to have a wife. Officially, this practice has stopped, although evidence suggests that it continues in more remote areas. As part of their journey to man hood, groups of young boys were also expected to build a new village and live in it for extended periods of time, often years. Due to a scarcity of land, this tradition is now extinct.


What to Expect When Visit Maasai Boma

A visit to a Masai Boma is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Your visit will include a performance of traditional Masai dancing, a look at the day-to-day activities of a Masai village, and the opportunity to buy locally crafted jewellery. Maasai bomas are constructed up of numerous huts made of natural materials that are built in a circle to keep cattle in.

When you arrive at the village, joyful youngsters and adults greet you with song and dance; one of the dancers will skilfully jump up and down at times. The jumps are many feet high, you will also be asked to join in on the dance. You will then be invited inside one of the village houses known as Manyatta, which are constructed of cow dung and clay plastered over stick framework. The tour lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes, and the villagers will show off and try to sell their colourful beading and other homemade items at the end.


Lake Eyasi – Hadzabe and Datoga Tribes

Lake Eyasi is a beautiful soda lake located on the southern boundary of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, about two hours’ drive from Karatu. This rarely visited lake is located at the base of the Eyasi escarpment on the western Great Rift Valley wall, and is bounded to the northwest by the Eyasi Escarpment and to the south by the Kidero Mountains.

Hadzabe Tribe – Overview

One of the highlights of your vacation will be a visit to the Hadzabe tribe. When you visit Tanzania, you will not only be able to meet the Hadzabe people, but you will also be able to observe how they live in the African bush. This is a tribe whose history and culture are deeply rooted in the land people whose way of life is vastly different from your own. With fewer than 1000 people in the tribe, little has changed in their way of life during the last thousand years. They spend their days hunting and foraging for food, setting up camp in one place for a few weeks and then moving around.

What to Expect When Visit Hadzabe Tribe

The Hadzabe live nearly identically to our Stone Age ancestors. The Hadzabe live in caverns and do not use clothing, instead covering their private parts with little pieces of animal skin. They use bow and arrow to hunt animals and collect fruits, roots, and honey from baobab trees. They live solely off the land and hunt with bows. Everything they use is created locally, including their bows made with giraffe tendon and arrows coated with lethal poison. During your tour expect a warm welcome and an introduction to village life, it joins some guys on a customary hunting trip. The hunt moves at a quick pace, especially when an animal is spotted. The Hadzabe hunt antelopes and gazelles, as well as smaller animals like birds and mongooses.

Datoga Tribe – Overview

The Datoga people live in the Rift Valley of northern Tanzania, near Lake Eyasi. Datoga people, also known as the Mang’ati in Swahili, are an agro-pastoral nomadic Nilotic speaking tribe who live in the Manyara and Singida regions of north-central Tanzania near Mt Hanang, Lake Basotu, and Lake Eyasi. With over ten sub tribes, the pastoral Barabaig are the best known. They live primarily in the northern volcanic highlands, which are surrounded by Mt Hanang, a sacred mountain to the Barabaig. Datoga has recently received local and international media attention, as well as increased visibility in the context of cultural tourism in northern Tanzania.

They are a tribe of proud people and fierce warriors known for their stealth ability, and they are known for keeping to themselves. They are skilled and well-known for their blacksmithing abilities, beadwork, brass bracelets and necklaces, and arrowhead supply to the Hadzabe tribe. They are known to herd goats, donkeys, sheep, and chickens, but cattle are their most important domestic animals.

datoga tribe

What to Expect When Visit Datoga Tribe

They dress in traditional clothing decorated with colored beads, and the women frequently have facial scarification for beauty. The Datoga wear outfits that are reddish brown in color, similar to the soil, with reddish patched leather dresses, necklaces, beadwork, and bracelets. The decorative facial scarification with circular patterns around their eyes is another cultural feature that distinguishes the Datoga from other tribes. During your tour, you will see a traditional Datoga homestead run by women and a traditional Datoga silversmith in their outside workshop.

Mto Wa Mbu Village Walk – Overview

Mto wa Mbu is a small village with a population of over 28,000 people and approximately 120 tribes – it’s a cross-cultural melting pot with probably the most exotic mix of languages and customs found anywhere in Tanzania or so, with approximately 1117 hectares of irritable and cultivable land.The village is the busiest Great Rift Valley entry to Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park.

The community is surrounded by breath-taking landscape and is located on the main route leading to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Mto wa Mbu ward has three villages, and the cultural tourism program in Mto wa Mbu is based upon these communities. Migombani, Losirwa, and Barabarani are among these villages.

mto wa mbu Village - Royalfootprints Safaris

What to Expect When Visit Mto wa Mbu Village

During your visit to this one-of-a-kind village, you will get the opportunity to discover several places. Accompanied by a local guide, you will go on a fascinating small group tour of the town, which will include the market, local houses, and a banana plantation.

See the innovative farming practices of Mto wa Mbu villagers and learn about the irrigation system that sustains local crops, including the 32 varieties of bananas. During this tour you will get enough explanation about preparation of farm “Shamba”, weeding and harvesting. Also visit to coffee plantation to learn more about the process of getting coffee beans from the tree to your cup. Try your hand at grinding and roasting beans by hand, then reward yourself with some great, fresh coffee.

Following that, you’ll visit a local ‘pub’ to sample mbege, a traditional banana and millet beer manufactured and consumed mostly by the Chagga tribe. The brewing process is time-consuming, and the beer is typically served in a single huge cup, which is passed around the party and refilled as needed. Your trip will end with a stroll through the lively local market, where you may explore stalls selling fruits and vegetables, spices, and meat. Your guide will stop to describe areas of interest and let you to sample and smell a variety of foods.