INTERESTING ASPECTS OF TANZANIAN CULTURE

Tanzania is a very culturally rich country that was historically a German and later an English colony. Its official languages ​​are currently Swahili and English. Its people are governed by ethical and moral values ​​closely linked to religion, be it Muslim or Christian. Tanzanians, above all, are characterized by being people with a very calm and leisurely character, they are true masters of presence and of the “here and now.” They are very sociable and friendly, they will not hesitate to give all their help to those who need it and always with a big smile on their faces. They are considered very familiar and therefore it is common to see many large families.

In Tanzania, more than 120 different tribes coexist, each one with its ancestral customs and traditions, with its typical clothing, its popular foods, its beliefs, and its lifestyle. All of them bring great cultural wealth to the country. Visit and get up close with Sensation of Africa some of these tribes doing daily activities with some of their members. The most popular tribe is undoubtedly the Maasai tribe, but with Sensation of Africa, you can discover some less known.

Its gastronomy is another interesting aspect to discover. What better places than the markets to get an idea of ​​the type of gastronomy that characterizes a country and the way of being of its people? With Sensation of Africa you can not only visit these markets but also take a cooking workshop and learn to cook some of their typical dishes or enjoy a tasting menu in a town after visiting their plantations.

The music is so characteristic part … African rhythms marked by percussion, accompanied by elaborate melodies and songs that bring out emotions. Do not miss the African dance workshop or, if you prefer, be a spectator of a performance with live music.

Discover Tanzanian art: visit painting galleries where you can see authentic works with mostly wildlife and landscapes motifs.

And the crafts: See how they make and work the clay with their hands creating pots and bowls for cooking. Know the importance of the work they do through wood making most structures and furniture for the home. Surprise yourself with the use of vegetable fibers for the elaboration of rugs and baskets. Visit the Shanga, a place where you can appreciate the inclusion of disabled people in society, a place where you will have the opportunity to see skill development and lots of art.

Its treasures: Discover the so precious Tanzanite gem that has so many properties to appreciate or with which jewelry can be made.

ACTIVITIES WE OFFER

HISTORY AND MONUMENTS
  • Arusha Museum: In our visit to the Arusha Museum (Cultural Heritage Center) we will learn a lot about the history of Tanzania with a workshop on history, culture, and morals in Tanzania. We will talk about the evolution of man and also visit the old German boma (house) and a local art and craft gallery.
  • Arusha City Tour: When you take an Arusha city tour, you are sure to pass by and stop at the Clock Tower, which is supposed to be situated at the midpoint between Cairo and Cape Town in South Africa.

  • The Arusha Declaration Monument (Mnara wa Azimio la Arusha) is an iconic monument located on the Makongoro Highway of Arusha city, which is also a tourist attraction. It was introduced in 1977 by the CCm political party (which is also the nation’s party) to commemorate ten years since the Arusha Declaration.
  • Bagamoyo: museum, church, old fort. This is a city that was founded in the 8th century. It was the capital of German East Africa and was one of the important trading ports on the east coast of Africa along the western Indian Ocean.
  • Bagamoyo Catholic Historical Church and Museum – Shows the history of missionary work and conversion to Christianity; books and brochures on the history of Bagamoyo; Indian and Arab door frames; shackles, chains, and whips used during the slave trade and lots of local wooden crafts.
  • Olduvai or Oldupai Gorge Museum (optional activity during your Ngorongoro safari): the gorge is located east of the Serengeti, within the Great Rift Valley. It is one of the most important places in East Africa in relation to deposits paleontological and prehistoric archaeological. Its museum features exhibits on the history of the throat and human evolution.
VISIT AND MEET TRIBES

This visit will allow us to meet two tribes that have established an exchange relationship between them. The Datoga make metal pieces for arrows that the Hadzabe use to hunt small antelope and other animals for food, and these offer them some of the meat they get. They are a clear example of the interaction between wildlife and humans living in balance in the XXI century. With them you will learn to set fire and we can even accompany them on one of their hunts.

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  • Datoga  is the original name of the Mangati that in Maasai means “fierce enemy”, and like them: they are polygamous.
  • They live in houses that they have built themselves with sand, cow dung, and tree branches.
  • They are characterized by being the tribe that works forging metal with fire to make necklaces and bracelets by hand.
  • They are hunters although they mainly carry out livestock work and cultivate the land, so they basically eat meat, corn paste, beans and milk. They also make alcohol in a traditional way from honey.
  • Only 5% speak the national language of Tanzania (Swahili), they communicate with each other through their own language and dialects.

HADZABE
  • Hadzabe:  participa de la cacería con arco y flecha aprendiendo los métodos de caza para la supervivencia de esta tribu.
  • Los Hadza o Hadzabe viven alrededor del lago Eyasi, en tierra salobre donde construyen viviendas impermanentes, en las proximidades de la llanura del Serengeti: el Gran Valle del Rift.
  • Es uno de los últimos grupos de cazadores-recolectores de África, se cuentan unos 1000 individuos en total y menos de la mitad siguen las costumbres ancestrales de antes del uso de la agricultura.
  • La base de la alimentación viene de la recolección de frutos, tubérculos y raíces, juntamente con la carne que obtienen de la caza.

hadzabe

At the foot of Kilimanjaro, we will visit a Chagga and Maasai Museum, where we will learn the history of the tunnels built by the Chagga tribe to hide and protect against Maasai attacks. We will also visit a Chagga village and one of its traditional houses (circular huts built with branches of bushes and banana leaves) very different from the houses currently built with mud and wood. We will learn a lot about one of the largest tribes in Tanzania and their way of life.

This visit is part of a tour in which we will also visit the waterfalls in Marangu and enjoy a gastronomic experience with typical Tanzanian food and we can even roast coffee with our own hands!

The Chagga live at the foot of Kilimanjaro and although at the beginning they were nomads and were dedicated to livestock, currently they live in villages where they mainly grow: bananas, coffee, corn, potatoes and beans. They also make alcoholic beverages from corn, banana and honey.

They live in clan-based societies, their language is Bantu, and they follow their own traditions.

We will visit the “boma” (house), we will know how the wild fauna and people coexist in the same territory, we will witness rituals of worship of deities and we will dance with them the traditional welcome dances.

The Maasai follow their traditional nomadic way of life and subsist on herding. They depend on their livestock, from which they obtain milk to drink and excrement to line their houses. They sacrifice few specimens for meat consumption, thanks to the cattle they obtain milk that they ferment and eat with animal blood. They use the leather for footwear and ropes, the hides for clothing and blankets, the hooves and bones as ornaments, the horns as vessels.

Some sub- tribes such as the  Arusha (or Masai Lumbwa)  are also engaged in agriculture.

They live in circular settlements called “ manyattas”  (set of houses or “ bomas” ) made of branches where they enclose livestock.

Most maintain their traditional monotheistic religion with mystical beliefs about the Maasai, God and their livestock. Cows are sacred just like the land.

They are organized in hierarchical clans and are divided into groups of warriors, heads of families and elders. Marriages are polygamous and women pay a dowry of cattle: cows or goats.

They wear brightly colored clothing, gaudy ornaments, large necklaces, and copper filaments on the ankles and arms.

(optional activity during your safari along the northern circuit, more information here): Safari in Tanzania

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We will visit local people, sing and dance with them and learn about their lifestyle in typical African villages. The local community guide will take us to a huge fig tree used as a place of sacred worship. We will hear stories about these majestic trees and learn how they give offerings to the gods. We will continue the tour to local farms, Maasai homes, herbalists and midwives who will share their knowledge to identify the right medicine to heal people using local plants. The tour will end with a traditional lunch prepared by the Naramatisho women’s group. The tour also includes a visit to local schools to learn about the educational system and other community projects.

The forest is surrounded by the local community: the Wameru and Waarusha tribes. We will have the opportunity to interact with the locals during our visit, as well as to learn a lot about their way of life. We will visit areas used for rituals and other tribal activities in the forest and hear spooky stories of warriors, women and children born and raised in rural villages.

GASTRONOMY
  • Visit to the Central Market of Arusha: where you will learn different ways of presenting and storing the products, we will be able to find a great variety of rich fruit and vegetables typical of the area, we will see the type of fish that is consumed in this area that mostly comes from the nearby lakes and we will discover many artisan products.

  • Visit to the Fish and Seafood Market in Bagamoyo: 
    It is different from what one can imagine… the people of Bagamoyo are mostly fishermen, in the market there are always more than 100 different species of fish and shellfish from the ocean… we can browse observing the way of selling a great variety of shrimps, shrimp, lobster… and much more!

  • Visit market in Mto wa Mmbu: The local market of Mto Wa Mmbu is interesting because the inhabitants of this area belong to different tribes who bring their products to sell. You can find a wide variety of food and other essential products, as well as local art and craft products.

  • Tanzanian cooking workshop: This activity is perfect for those who are interested in learning how to cook different types of local food. You will be involved from the first step of buying the ingredients in the local market or collecting ingredients from the garden and then cooking in a typical African kitchen in the traditional way to the last step of serving the delicious food. A wide range of delicious dishes will be a part of the lesson such as cooking: Makande, Ugali, different vegetables, beans and plantain stew. Your guide will be there to explain each and every step.
  • Food tasting in Mto wa Mmbu in a village with local people (red banana): This is a gastronomic tour that consists of: visiting the Mto wa Mmbu market to get to know a local market where we will see all kinds of products and foods that people from different tribes make by hand and grow to sell. Then we will visit the plantain and banana plantation where we will see all kinds of varieties, highlighting the highly prized red banana. And finally we will enjoy a tasting of typical Tanzanian food cooked by the people of the area.
  • Tasting in Marangu: This experience is part of a varied tour in which we will also visit the waterfalls in Marangu and we will make a cultural visit to a Maasai and Chagga Museum. Near Moshi, at the foot of Kilimanjaro, we will visit a Chagga village and one of its traditional houses. We will taste typical Tanzanian food and alcoholic beverages made from corn, bananas and honey. We can even roast coffee with our own hands!
  • Maasai BBQ on Mount Meru: Participating in a Maasai barbecue where being able to eat grilled goat meat can be much more than that, it will be a way to learn about their cooking methods, their rituals, their way of being and interacting with one of the best known tribes in Tanzania in a beautiful natural environment such as Mount Meru. This meal can be hired as the end point of your excursion in the area or as a previous step to the visit of the coffee or forest plantation, among many other options. Consultation without commitment.
  • Local food in Mount Meru: Enjoy the local food in a village on Mount Meru where we can enjoy tasty African food, the menu consists of different dishes such as ugali, makande, wali and pilau among others. You can also take the opportunity to turn this day into an excursion through the mountains, forests and waterfalls or take a cultural tour of the Meru village.
PLANTATIONS
  • Forest (in Mount Meru): We will walk to the plantation nursery where we will learn how to obtain organic compost, mix the soil, fill pots, weed, water, and prune the roots of the trees. You can participate in the transplantation of a tree and learn the necessary procedures to obtain a high yield in the production of wood. We will visit the sawmill workshop on the farm, where the foresters harvest and process the wood from the trees and put it to different uses. Plant a tree and contribute to the CO2 emissions compensation project.
  • Coffee (in Mount Meru, Arusha, or Marangu): Making a visit to a coffee plantation and learning about the entire process of harvesting and obtaining it is undoubtedly very interesting. It will be a gift at the end to be able to taste the pure Tanzanian coffee and take a little with us to savor on our return… at home, transporting us again with its aroma to our vacations in Tanzania!
  • Coffee plantation on Mount Meru* PLANTATION / GASTRONOMY: This is the fantastic Coffee Tour; We will take a tour of the farm accompanied by our local guide who will give us explanations about the coffee plantation and how to harvest, roast, and process the coffee until we have a coffee ready to drink. Let yourself be enveloped by its aroma, it will surely be the first time you will be able to drink a coffee… that you yourself have managed to make!
  • Coffee plantation in Marangu:  Apart from visiting the plantation and carrying out the entire procedure for obtaining the coffee, we will be able to roast coffee with our own hands! This visit is part of a tour in which we will also visit the waterfalls in Marangu, a Chagga and Maasai museum while enjoying a gastronomic experience with typical Tanzanian food.
  • Red Banana (in Mto wa Mmbu near Lake Manyara National Park): here you will learn about the different types of bananas and plantains that you can find in Tanzania.

We will visit the plantation as a complementary activity to a gastronomic tour that consists of first visiting the Mto wa Mmbu market to get to know a local market where we will see all kinds of products and food. Then visit the plantain and banana plantation. Finally enjoy a tasting of typical Tanzanian food cooked by the people of the area.

MUSIC
  • African dance workshop (In Arusha): sign up for this 1 or 2-day workshop in Arusha where you will learn to dance with a professional dance group.
  • Live traditional music at sunset: During your safari, you can enjoy a live African music show with a local group. This show is usually performed after dinner or at any other time on demand
  • Go out and dance in Arusha: During your stay in Arusha we can go out to listen to live music after dinner, in places to cool off, or have a local beer.
CRAFTS
  • Painting: visit an art gallery after seeing the Arusha Museum or during the safaris if you are interested, let your guide know that he will take you to visit artists’ shops from different tribes that capture above all savannah landscapes, animals, and tribal images.
  • Tanzanite: This gemstone is only found in the Mererani area located in Arusha, Tanzania, nowhere else in the world! This gem is a variety of the mineral zoisite that contains small amounts of vanadium that give it its characteristic blue-violet color. On our visit to one of the Arusha museums, we will be able to see how Tanzanite was named, mined, cut, polished, and classified. We will have the opportunity to see and buy the products of this unique jewel on earth.
  • Clothing: tailored suit (Arusha), kanga (Rebecca’s House)
HUMANITY
  • Shanga (in Arusha): It is a small factory created in 2007 where disabled people make cloth necklaces and transform bottles into magical and attractive decoration pieces.
  • Visit a school (in Arusha, in Manyara): visit a primary or secondary school in the Arusha or Manyara regions and you will have the opportunity to share with local students.
  • Volunteering Opportunities in Meru:
    • *Meru Forest ecotourism offers various opportunities for volunteer work within its borders and around the community working hand in hand with the organization for environmental protection and economic development. No previous work experience is required to volunteer. We welcome volunteers from all over the world to come and work with us on a short and long-term basis. To prepare volunteers for work and acclimatize to a new environment, our organizing team offers a 3-day orientation at the beginning of assistance to help volunteers understand their chosen volunteer area, culture, and language in Tanzania. We offer volunteering in the fields of forestry, teaching working alongside builders for local school classrooms, midwifery/nursing at our local dispensary, microfinance, community village project development, and promotion.
    • Volunteering in Schools: Volunteering for teachers of different courses in primary or secondary schools.
    • Volunteering in Orphanage: Health or non-health personnel who can collaborate with tasks in the orphanage.
    • Volunteering in local dispensaries or hospitals: Graduates in Medicine and Surgery and Graduates in Nursing (whether specialized or not), can volunteer for a variable time (from a week to a year or more) both in hospitals and in local clinics.
ACTIVITIES IN ZANZIBAR

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HOW TO BOOK THE ACTIVITIES

These activities are a very important complement for those who want to live and experience authentic sensations and a true approach to the country and its culture.

To hire them, you just have to consult the different packs we offer and see if any of them suit your wishes or simply select the activities that interest you and let us know to design your personalized itinerary.

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