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Cultural tourism involves insight into the modern and traditional lifestyle of these once, very nomadic people. Pumba Safaris & Adventures Ltd consider it a very important part of any of our packages to at least spend a few hours roaming around a local market place, or take a visit to a traditional dwelling. You don't have to feel as if you are intruding too much into their private lives, our guides are trained in a way to conduct each encounter so that it becomes equally interesting for both parties. Once a clear understanding of this idea is held by both parties, all barriers fall to the floor and are lost in the dust.

Camera's are best put away for some time until the OK is given by an elder of the village, the world of digital camera's seems to have dissolved this myth of stealing one's soul (unless you pay a dollar). On one visit to a maasai village near the Lake Manyara, a maasai mama asked some visitors "why they live in such tall buildings with many windows" (Sky scrappers) after some silence the reply was "lack of space"; try to explain lack of space to a Maasai, their vista are endless with no boundaries.


Understand it as, what ever tribe you may be visiting they are equally interested in these Wageni ('visitor' in Kiswahili) who create big clouds of dust and move in fast vehicles, only being allowed out at view points and picnic areas.

On request we can easily combine these cultural tours to a trip to any of the National Parks alternatively spend a morning at one the many markets around Arusha or take a leisurely walk in the foot hills of Mt Meru all these side trips give a great example and taste of traditional and modern living blending together as one.

Please take your time to browse through the different ideas we've collected below. Then, to get a better idea on what Pumba Safaris & Adventures Ltd means when we talk about Cultural Tourism, why not have a look at our sample itinerary?


The Places

Lake Eyasi
Monduli Mountains and Maasai Bomas
Mamba - Marangu
Sample itinerary


...is a small village located 130km west of Arusha Town (about 2 hours drive) and situated under the Great East African Rift Valley escarpment, just the entry point to Lake Manyara National Park. The area around Mto wa Mbu was rather dry and hardly populated till the early fifties, when the first steps were made to irrigate the area. Within a few years hundreds of acres of newly cultivable land were created.

The rapid population growth also turned Mto wa Mbu into a melting pot of cultures. Various Traditional modes of production stand as an example of this culture diversity. Chagga people are producing their banana beer. A farmer from Kigoma makes palm oil from palm trees that he brought from the shores of lake Tanganyika, the Sandawe are making bow and arrow for hunting and the Rangi people are using the papyrus from the lakes and rivers for making the most beautiful mats and baskets. On the surrounding plains Maasai families live in tradition bomas and the warriors wander with their cattle looking for pasture and water.

Mto wa Mbu is the host town at Manyara National Park and en-route for people going to Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Therefore this programme can be also recommended for clients who want both the Safari and a Cultural programme.

Imagine a walk through the farms in the green Oasis at the fast of the Rift Valley. Climb to Balaa hill from where you can oversee whole town. A view into the culture of the many different tribes living in the area. A trip to the Miwaleni lake and waterfall, where papyrus plants grow abundantly.Visits to development projects that aim at improving agriculture and start income generating activities for the farmers where you get an explanation about the irrigation systems that now keeps the farms green.

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Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi lies about 190km west of Arusha town and south-west of Ngorongoro crater. Eyasi is a soda (alkaline) lake and the surrounding land is hot and dry, except for a few spots where clear springs, running underground emerge by the lake shore.

The area around lake Eyasi is inhabited by the bushmen (Hadzabe and Tindiga). They are very ancient people believed to have lived here for over 10,000 years. Their language is vaguely similar to that of the bushmen in southern Africa.

Also in the area are Maser people and Iraqw (also called Wambulu). A visit to bushmen for duration of 3 or more days is breathtaking.

A rare chance of going for hunting with the bushmen and experience a different culture direct by visiting indigenous people in the area. Your guide will explain how they preserve food and such.

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Monduli Mountains and Maasai Bomas

The Monduli mountains lie to the north-west of Arusha town, about 35km or approx. 1hour drive to the area. The area is inhabited by Maasai tribe. Possibilities include a walk though a forest on the Monduli where an armed ranger will be guiding you. Bufallos and elephants can be seen in this forest. Climb to the summit of Monduli mountain, enjoy the viewing of Mountain Kilimanjaro and Meru (on clear days). Then, descend to Enguik village and optionally visit a variety of Maasai Bomas in this village.

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...is situated 100km north of Arusha on the way to Nairobi. The indigenous people in the area are Maasai. The Maasai are a nomadic, pastoral tribe and have no permanent place to settle. Here and there you will find them wondering around looking for greener pastures and water for cattle.

Attractions include visiting Maasai Bomas, a historical German grave and a visit to the Longido market place to see a bustling colorful cattle market once a week on Wednesday. Trees and plants are used for making food, drinks and Medicines.

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Mamba - Marangu

This area is 30km northeast of Moshi town at an altitude of 1800 meters, 45 minutes drive from Moshi town. We offer full and half day tours on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Attractions include water falls, beautiful views, coffee trees (this is the area where the first coffee tree in Tanzania was planted by German Missionaries), caves used during Maasai/ Chagga wars, traditional and modern chagga art, Culture and homes: see an iron smith at his ancient craft.

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... is located 10km north of Arusha town, 30min. drive or 2hours walking to the starting point. From Arusha Town take the small road north at Ilboru junction on the Nairobi - Moshi road. There are so many things that will make you get the feeling of what you knew before.

You mix with Wa-arusha, you will eye their culture, then walk through their farms where cash crops are produced, pass through impressive view points overlooking Arusha town while passing canyons, hiking narrow footpaths and trekking some small hills around there. There are traditional healers for different diseases who will show and explain how to use roots and leaves in treating patients.

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Ngiresi is situated north-east of mount Meru, 6km walk or 90min.from town of Arusha. It can be reached by taxi or private car. The area is inhabited by Wa-arusha and Maasai tribes.

Tours involve a visit to mzee Loti's farm where you will get explanations about the bio-gas, crossbreeding and soil conservation projects on the farm. A walk to nearby bomas where you will see various styles of traditional Maasai and Wa-arusha houses is also possible.

Climbing Lekimana hill you will have a good vantage point view over Arusha town and the surrounding maasai plains. On a clear day, Mt. Kilimanjaro is visible. Descend the Lekimana hill on the other side, bringing you back at Mzee Loti's farm. Or tour to the catchment forest on the higher slopes of Meru and see the spring which forms the main water source for the village. Visit to a traditional healer at the edge of the forest. Further down you can visit a fish nursery in the backyard of a farm.

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Located 30km away from Arusha. You can get there by car via Usa River (Moshi road).

The indigenous are Meru people. A number of short tours, including women businesses like cheese and butter-making dairy, see coffee and banana farms to the top of Lemeka Hill. Get a glimpse of the daily life of Meru farmers, information on surrounding vegetation and crops retailing,biogas energy, local landmarks with spectacular views of both Mt. Meru and Kilimanjaro.

Sample itinerary

To get a better idea of what kind of Cultural tour we can put together for you, have a look at this sample...


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