Tanzania has more than 120 tribes residing in the country. Each with its own language and each with its own customs, history, and culture. The country has done a remarkable job of uniting so many factions into one country living in harmony. We are happy to offer visits to any of the tribal villages. Some of these can be visited as a daytrip and some would be an add-on to a safari itinerary. These trips are all authentic and depict the actual daily life of the tribe members. These trips provide an memorable event and will expend your understanding of the country. Listed below are some of the most requested tribal tours. But as always, Tro-Peaks Adventures is happy to work with you for other options.
Of the large number of tribes in East Africa, the Maasai tribe is easily the most popular for tourists. Known as fierce warriors, this nomadic tribe is actually very friendly and open to visitors. Many of them still live a very traditional lifestyle and are easy to spot by their distictive clothing. On this tour, you can expect to learn about the Maasai religous beliefs, culture and lifestyle. You will have the opportunity to enter into one of their traditional dwellings and hear them sing and dance (and join in if you wish) and see their famous jumping abilities. This trip also offers the opportunity to buy Maasai crafts direct from the tribe. This trip can be easily added into any northern Tanzanian or southern Kenyan safari itinerary.
This town is situated adjacent to Lake Manyara National Park. Although the name literally means river of mosquitoes, it really is not as bad as the name indicates. This town is the only point in Africa where 4 language families meet; the Nilotes, Cushites, Bantu and Hamites; a unique cultural feature in the world. A point in Tanzania where anthropology is most diverse with more than 100 of Tanzania's tribes present in this area. Visit a Maasai boma, dancing, market, schools and community project will be offered. View rice farming and see how local beer is made. Maasai village visit to foster the true experience of most complex cultural experience in Africa is a gift will be hard to forget in your entire life. Hike the Rift Valley wall and view the Lake Manyara. This trip can be easily added onto any Tanzanian Northern Circuit safari.
The Hadzabe are one of the few true hunter-gatherer tribes left in the world. They live in simple temporary shelters and live by hunting by bow and arrow, using poisoned arrowtips for large game. They hunt for anything from mice to giraffe, with baboon being their preferred game. If they are successful in killing large game such as giraffe, often the tribe will simply relocate to the kill site rather than transport the game. They also forage for roots and berries, gather wild honey, and are experts at herbal medicine. They create fire by rubbing sticks together in an amazingly short time. Their clothing is also based on availability, wearing animal skins, nothing or donated clothing. Attempts to bring the Hadzabe into a more modern existance and give education to the children by the government has failed. Of all the tribes in Tanzania, this tribe has adapted to modern lifestyle the least, keeping their traditional ways. They truly love their way of life but their hunting grounds are diminishing making their existance tougher. They reside near the shores of Lake Eyasi as do the Nilotic-speaking Datoga tribe. A tour will include the opportunity to go along on a hunt, experience and join in on their singing and dancing, and compare your archery skills with theirs. Their language is uncommon, with tongue clicks as part of their language. This is an amazing tour of a vanishing lifestyle. This tour can be added to any safari that is near Ngorongoro Conservation Area or Lake Manyara. This tour is best if arriving by dawn to follow the tribe on a hunt. The visit would be finished by late morning.
The Chagga tribe resides in the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Many of the people you will meet in Moshi are Chagga and have adapted their live to a modern Tanzanian lifestyle but in rural areas, their traditions still exist. This is one of the largest tribes in the country. There are numerous options for viewing traditional Chagga life including visiting coffee and banana plantations (see our Day Trips web page). Two other popular options are outlined below.
Situated at the southern part of Mt Kilimanjaro this area is historic in the battles of the Chagga and Maasai. About a century and half ago there used to be a frequent raids and looting of Chagga property by the Maasai and fighting among factions of the Chagga themselves in the course of territory expansion. After suffering many hardships, idea was adopted by the Chagga was to utilize the hidden underground called “Chagga bolt hole”. Where by Chagga bolt hole a special hole which was dug and partitioned into different chambers for the purpose of hidding women and children as well as storing food and livestock. In addition to the excellent hiding spot, this area served as a vantage point to see how the flow of battles were progressing.
MARANGU / MAMBA
Mountain climbing enthusiasts will be advised to visit the home and memorial of the late Yohano Lauwo, a Marangu native who accompanied Dr. Hans Meyer on the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1889(The first European to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.) You can also learn about the Chagga culture by visiting a traditional Chagga house with straw roof. You can visit the Chief Mangi area where the first court and primary school built in the Northern Region of Tanzania are still functioning. You will be able to pass historical sites of clan wars where the Chagga used large caves to hide themselves when the fought with Maasai.