Cultural Tours in Tanzania

For the average tourist, a visit to Tanzania usually involves jetting in for a whistle-stop safari then zipping off to Zanzibar for a few days. But there's more to Tanzania than that. With a cultural tours programme in place, travellers now have no excuse if they don't get to meet the local people and experience the real Africa.

The Maasai clan of Mkuru lead a very isolated life. Pelo, the 68-year-old chief, and his family have never travelled far from their home in the foothills of Mount Meru. To them, northern Tanzania is the world. Their only contact with others is a weekly visit to the big market and meeting the occasional traveller who journeys to Mkuru for a camel safari.

Since camels were introduced to Tanzania in the early nineties, the Maasai have come to appreciate these animals in the dry semi arid plains between Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Natron. 'We love our camels,' says Pelo, addressing me in Swahili through an interpreter. 'They are a big help to us because there is not much water here and our donkeys could only carry 40 litres of water. Now, the camels can carry 200 litres from far away .. but also, their milk tastes very good,' he says breaking into a smile.

For Pelo and the hundred members of his clan, it may be an isolated existence. But it's a life that they love. 'Every morning, I wake up, have some 'chai', then go and see if the camels are okay,' he says wrapping up against the evening win The Maasai are pastoral nomads whose lifestyle and culture revolve around their cattle.

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Visiting Maasai village in Ngorongoro

Over the centuries, they had free use of the grazing lands around the Serengeti and the Crater Highlands. But in recent decades, the Maasai have been pushed out of their land for the sake of wildlife conservation in his blue and red checked blanket. 'Then I come back, eat some 'ugali' and go to look after the goats and cattle.

For many, quality of life has suffered. Cattle died from starvation, forcing some warriors to become poachers simply to get food to survive. The Maasai learnt to loath conservation and tourism. But at Mkuru, their attitude to tourism is changing. The camel safaris and Maasai experience are one of the new cultural tours recently launched in Tanzania that give visitors an insight into the daily life and culture of the local people.

The cultural tourism programme was established in 1997, with supervision and training provided by the Tanzania Tourist Board and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). 'The aim of the project is two-fold,' says Miet van Spittael, They have been trained how to conduct guided tours showing visitors what their life and culture are about. After the five year period, the project will have become a self-supporting scheme.' But it's not only the locals who profit from the programme.

This unique taste of Tanzanian culture offers tourists a fresh glimpse into this beautiful land.e Dutch coordinator based in Arusha. 'It is a five year plan that is already benefitting the local people by helping them earn extra income and assisting them to improve their lives. The average itinerary of a Tanzanian tourist involves jetting in for a whistle-stop safari.

Then zipping off to Zanzibar for a few days of Stonetown and the sea. Mount Kilimanjaro, the game reserves and coral reefs may be the major tourist attractions of east Africa. But there's a lot more to Tanzania than that. The fourteen cultural tours are spread out at small villages, mainly around northen and north eastern Tanzania. The guided excursions also include panoramic hikes in some of the most spectacular mountain scenery you could hope to find.

'If you travel to Ngorongoro or the Serengeti, you see so many Maasai on the side of the road just waiting for tourists,' she says solemnly. ...
The beauty of the bush astounds me. 'Do you think there are any wild animals around here?' I ask Miet, but before I can finish the sentence, I suddenly catch sight of a brown jackal slinking through the veld. In Mkuru, part of the proceed

Cultural Tours in Zanzibar
Part of the fun of a holiday is trying new things and living in a different way to how you do at home, you can make a big difference by only supporting the type of tourism that is not harmful to the environment and is supportive of local communities.

Our day tours provides more enjoyable experiences through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues. Eco & Culture Tours works very close with most Hotels in Zanzibar to make your holiday more enjoyable.

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The Historical Stone Town in Zanzibar

Remember that Tanzania and Zanzibar are not one homogenous group, we will bring you very close to various customs, dialects, languages and tradition that need to be respected, by respecting the local customs, and the dignity and rights of the local people, in turn, you'll be better respected as a visitor, learn more about this in our package tours that we offer.

Eco & Culture Tours Contributes to Communities.
Booking with Eco & Culture Tours a locally-owned Tour Operator not only benefits the local economy, but gives you an insider's view of your vacation destination.

We are 100% locally owned, we hire local guides, contract with most local hotels and restaurants and, ultimately, keep much of the income generated by travelers within local economy. The best local tour operators are ones who engage in environmentally and culturally conscious practices as a way to keep their communities clean and healthy.

Why use Eco & Culture Tours?
Tourism is a remarkable engine of the global economy, but too often local communities do not benefit from tourism revenues. By choosing environmentally-conscious Tour Operators, you ensure that the money you spend benefit local citizens and their environments. Eco & Culture Tours also enrich your travel experience by giving you a first-hand introduction to cultures and customs in the places you visit, through the cultural day tours we offer.

Eco & Culture Tours is owned by Eco & Culture NGO, the objective of the NGO is to encourage local micro entrepreneurs to inter in to environmental and cultural income generating activities that cater with the growth of tourism industries, by organizing your holiday with us a certain percentage of your money support the projects which pursue our effort.

Please contact us and let us know your plan of your holiday, our friendly staff will promptly get back to you with details, all flights info are provided in our website and if you are looking for a combination of Safaris and Zanzibar we have from 3 to 7 days Safaris for northern circuit National Parks and also Selous Game Reserve on the Southern part of Tanzania.

If you are interested in one of our featured programs in our website or you want to customize your own program, please send your details and ideas and tell us how many days, where you want to visit and your budget, our knowledgeable reservation department will get back to you so promptly with various options

Why use Eco & Culture Tours?
Tourism is a remarkable engine of the global economy, but too often local communities do not benefit from tourism revenues. By choosing environmentally-conscious Tour Operators, you ensure that the money you spend benefit local citizens and their environments. Eco & Culture Tours also enrich your travel experience by giving you a first-hand introduction to cultures and customs in the places you visit, through the cultural day tours we offer.

If you are interested in one of our featured programs in our website or you want to customize your own program, please send your details and ideas and tell us how many days, where you want to visit and your budget, our knowledgeable reservation department will get back to you so promptly with various options.

Cultural Tour in Bagamoyo
Volunteer in a city rich in history and culture on the coast of Tanzania

Bagamoyo borders the Indian Ocean along the East Coast of Tanzania. It was Tanzania‘s coastal area that first felt the impact of foreign influence as early as the eighth century, when Arab traders arrived. Tanzania then became a German colony, and subsequently a British one until 1961. Even today, Bagamoyo and other areas along the East Coast reflect an East Asian influence in architecture, language, and food.

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Historical Town of Bagamoyo

Many people know that Western Africa played a large role in the slave trade, but the slave trade flourished in Bagamoyo and other places on the East Coast as well. The area was also known for trading commodities such as ivory, gold, textiles, and beads.

Because of its varied history and proximity to Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo has more diversity than some other areas of the country. The town is home to many ethnic groups, including the Wakwere, Wazaramo, Wazigua, Wamaasai, and Waswahili. And, although Swahili culture dominates, many different peoples and cultures coexist in Bagamoyo - including people of Arab descent.

Volunteer Work in Bagamoyo

Cultural & Learning Activities in Bagamoyo
Building on your volunteer work in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, Cultural & Learning Activities include a variety of events and activities to bring volunteers closer to the issues, the backgrounds and the lives of the community.

In Bagamoyo, Cultural & Learning Activities include lessons on making batiks (decorative, colorful fabrics), cultural drum and dance events (aka "Shaky Shake"), and tours of the historical town. Volunteers can visit a local crocodile farm, can go hiking in nearby national forests, and visit with Tanzanian traditional healers. There are lectures given by experts in the field of health and HIV/AIDS, education systems, or gender issues.

Volunteers also have the opportunity to visit Dar es Salaam, do a town tour of Bagamoyo, see a traditional dance at the community center, and visit the local arts college to see perform
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