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Tanzania has a wide range of tribes. Some of them have adapted to a more Western lifestyle, but others are still living according to their longstanding traditions. The Maasai are probably the best known tribe of Tanzania or even of Africa. They live in the areas around the National Parks, so you will certainly meet with them. Please, respect their traditions.

Maasai and nature: Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro ConservationNgorongoro Conservation Area with its marvelous scenery is extremely suitable for hiking tours ranging from several hours to several days. In this area, which is inhabited by the Maasai tribe, there are numerous volcanoes, craters and calderas (collapsed craters). Of course, the Ngorongoro Crater is the best known, but the other parts of the area are certainly worth visiting too. You can find waterfalls, emerald blue lakes and views on beautiful hills and valleys. Embakaai Crater and Olmoti Crater are beautiful places with breathtaking views. Hiking in this area is typically combined with visiting Oldoinyo Lengai and Lake Natron. A guide will be provided to hike with you. If your hike is longer than one day, your luggage will be carried by donkeys and you’ll overnight at campsites or lodges.

Pool of tribes: Mto wa Mbu

Cultural Tour Mto wa Mbu, meaning mosquito river in Swahili, is a small village near Manyara NP. It is a delightful, lush village, nestled under huge, shady trees with a number of fruit and curio stalls – a welcome oasis after a long drive and the ideal place to stock up with fruits and vegetables. One of the main tribes in this village is the Maasai. The Maasai moved into the area 200 years ago, probably searching for grazing grounds for their cattle. Being the fierce warrior tribe they are, many battles over the area today they speak of their ancient enemy with difference, refer to the Datoga as the Mang’ati, which means ‘respected enemy’. Other tribes around the area are Datoga and wabulu. Furthermore, several members of the Meru and Chagga tribes have moved into the area for tourism purposes.
The Maasai are known because of their characteristic red shuka (fabrics). They have big herds of cattle such as goats and cows. The houses are constructed of wood, cow dung and mud and are often encircled by acacia bushes to protect the cattle from predators (kraal). During a cultural tour in Mto wa Mbu, you’ll visit Masai and other interesting places.

Tanzanian bushmen: Hadzabe and Datoga

Ngorongoro ConservationThe still primitive-living Hadzabe and Datoga tribes are depending on hunting and gathering or pastoralism for their living. They live in the area of Lake Eyasi. When you visit these tribes, you will see their way of living. You will go to the Hadzabe in the early morning to go hunting with them. They were the earliest known human residents of the area. They were not a warrior tribe but subsist as hunter-gatherers and hunt by means of bows and poisoned arrow. They have a different look with outstanding high cheekbones, a slender build and light skin. They smoke bone or metal pipes and speak a click language much like their ancestors did. Interestingly, all of the above characteristics correspond with that of the San (also known as Bushmen) of Botswana, Namibia, Angola and South Africa, 5000 km to the South. The Datoga is a warrior pastoralist tribe, also known as the Barbaig or Mang’ati. They moved in about 300 years ago and today can be found in the area. They produce bracelets and necklaces of natural material, which you will see when you visit them.

Marangu: capital of the Chagga

MaranguMarangu is a small town east of Moshi. The town is mainly known for its starting point of the Marangu climbing route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Marangu has a lively market. You can wander around the town for some hours to meet with the Chagga. In addition, the town is surrounded by a beautiful lush and green area where you can find banana trees, local live of the Chagga and a Chagga museum. One of the main interests is the many waterfalls to be found in the area with  beautiful names like Kinukamori, Kilasiya or Ndoro. Most of the waterfalls can be reached easily by car and a 10-minute walk. You can also make hikes of several hours. We can arrange complete daytrips to Marangu including visits to the Chagga Live museum and Chagga caves.

Coffee from Kilimanjaro: Materuni 

CoffeeMateruni is a village north of Moshi. There are many coffee plantations in and around the village. In addition, there are nice opportunities for walking trips of several hours to for example waterfalls. We can arrange your daytrip to Materuni. There you will get a tour of about one to two hours in which you will see the full process of coffee making, from planting the coffee seed to preparing a cup of coffee from freshly roasted and grinded coffee beans. Lunch is included. In addition, there is a possibility of camping in Materuni.

Old Moshi: Home of the Chagga

Materuni Falls The Chagga tribe is the main tribe living on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. They mainly live from subsistence farming and grow crops such as bananas, maize and beans. Because there is no good road network in the area, the villages are not visited much. Therefore, they have kept their original atmosphere although they are quite close to Moshi town.
If you like trekking or hiking, the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro are an excellent place to do that. You will find particular Chagga villages such as Mdawi, Uru, Mbokomu and Kidia which are linked with each other through small paths and at some places, there are wider roads where even cars can pass.
Villages are alternated by forests. The area is very green due to the banana and coffee growing. There are many valleys and hills with stunning views on Mount Kilimanjaro, Moshi town and surroundings plains. When it is clear, you can very well see the characteristic appearance of Mount Meru in the West and the Pare Mountains in South-Eastern direction.
On your way, you'll come across gorgeous waterfalls and streams and you might even see animals such as vervet monkeys and blue Sykes monkeys. In the villages, you will see today's local Chagga life such as growing of crops, brewing of local beer and playing schoolchildren. Accommodation and food will be provided by local people in the villages. A trekking can take from several hours up to several days depending on your personal needs. Local guides will walk with you and show you the area and Chagga life.

Chemka Hot springs

Chemka Hot Spring In the lower area of Kilimanjaro (Hai district), you will find Chemka Hot springs. Driving through a very dry area scattered with villages, you’ll suddenly find an oasis of green palm trees. From the outside, it just looks like a bunch of palm trees, but if you find the entrance and you’ll get in, you’ll find an amazing clear blue pool of water with a roof of palm trees and fichus trees. Jumping in you’ll find the temperature of the water is pleasantly warm. You can easily spend several hours to enjoy swimming in the water, listen to the abundant sounds of birds and even spot a genet cat at this blue lagoon. We can arrange your day trip including a picnic lunch.

Community projects

When travelling with us, we can bring you to community projects that we highly recommend. One of them is the Angaza Women Center in Sanya Juu, west of Kilimanjaro. The other is the women and youth Careline foundation that has several projects in Northern Tanzania. If you are interested in doing voluntary work, both places are having opportunities for that.

Angaza Women Center

Angaza Women CenterAngaza Women Center is situated in Sanya Juu, a small town in Western Kilimanjaro. It is part of the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. This center provides training and courses, seminars and sustainable agricultural projects. The goal of Angaza Women Center is to equip women with skills to address problems in their daily lives and offer life skills, education programmes for girls by providing courses and seminars as well as conducting spiritual retreats. We would like to recommend this project as it is running very well, has a very good board and we especially like their vision to create equality between men and women.

Please, find more information on their website.

Women and Youth Careline Foundation

CarelineThe Women and Youth Careline foundation (WYCF) has several projects in Kilimanjaro and Arusha. One of them is in the village of Mdawi where several subprojects have been established such as a tailoring school, a computerclass with a library, a dispensary with a house for the staff and a nursery school. Several sponsors from Europe and USA have been supporting all those projects. Schoolchildren are being sponsored and children with HIV get assistance in the care they need. Continuously, the villagers come with new ideas to improve the lives of the children. Another project which is still in a start up face is a health & prevention project in the growing town of Boma Ng’ombe. People are often unaware how to prevent diseases such as infectious diseases, high blood pressure, diabetics and other cardiovascular diseases. The idea is to start up a community-based education project on diet and exercise matters and other lifestyle factors that might play a role. In addition, basic health parameters will be collected to examine the general health of people such as blood pressure, glucose, weight and height. Hopefully, people will in that way be helped in preventing several diseases. In addition, this project, we would like to recommend as it especially assists children in health issues.