Apart from wildlife and beach tourism, Tanzania is miles ahead in promotion of a new brand of Cultural Tourism which has become popular with visiting tourists. With 120 ethnic tribes, Tanzania has a wide resource of customs, traditions and taboos that can enrich the understanding of many people of the world. The most famous of these tribes is Maasai. The Maasai are said to be the most conservative of local tribes in Tanzania. For they have steadfastly stuck to their customs and traditions. Ironically this is a virtue that has made them the darling of many visitors. There are several other Cultural Tourism sites/villages that are being promoted by the Dutch Organization SNV. They all can give you a wonderful insight into the great diversity of customs and traditions of Tanzania.
Best Time:June to Mid-March with the hottest month of January.
How To Get There:From Dar-es-Salaam, a 1hr and 30mins hydrofoil crossing or a 20mins flight
Do Not Miss:
The spice tour, in the heart of the island, a festival of scents and savours, a Taarab concerts, And in July celebrate the New Year in Makunduchi at the mwaka kogwa festival.The Hadzabe Bushmen:
After over one hour of dusty driving south-west of Karate and the Ngorongoro Crater one arrives at the northern shore of Lake Eyasi, a mildly alkaline lake stretching for about 50km to the south-west. To the north-east the horizon is dominated by the Crater Highlands, to the north, beyond an escarpment the plains of the Serengeti. Over 100 years ago when the stronger Masaii tribes moved into the Ngorongoro and Serengeti, the Datoga and other indigenous bushmen living there were pushed south. Many made Lake Eyasi and its surrounding bush and forests their home.
Small groups of Hadzabe bushmen live around Lake Eyasi. Their language resembles the click languages of other bushmen further south in the Kalahari. Their small population was seriously threatened, in particular during the period when Julius Nyere tried to introduce his Ujuma policy. The tribe resisted the forcible settlement policies of Julius Nyere and nowadays most of their children have never seen a doctor or school - the bush provides for all their needs and is a class room for their offspring.
They are often willing for visitors to come and see their simple bush homes where the tree canopy alone or a cave provides them with shelter. They live entirely off the bush and from hunting, generally small antelopes and baboons, although in rainy seasons gazelles and antelopes come down from the Ngorongoro or Serengeti to their then lush bush lands offering them richer pickings. In the recent past their hunting activities were resented by trophy hunters who tried to stop their "illegal"hunting.
The string on their lethal bows is made from giraffe tendons and the arrows are coated with a strong poison made from another tree. The commiphora tree povides excellent firewood which they kindle by rubbing wood, a green commiphora provides a mosquito-repelling sap, juice squeezed out of the sansaveria provides a cure for snake bites while aloe is used to heal cuts. Roots provide a wide range of medicines and the mighty baobab fruits as a source of drink. A few hours spent with the bushmen makes the apparently unhospitable bush country come to life and to watch them hunt a unique experience as they stealthily spot then creep up on their prey skillfully killing it.