On our cultural tours you will get in touch with local people of the Kilimanjaro region and learn about their culture and traditions. We offer day trips to villages of Chagga Tribe (near Moshi) and Maasai Tribe (near Arusha).
These tours can be booked as day trips, but we can also arrange an overnight stay for those who want to immerse even more into the african culture.
The Chagga are the third largest tribe in Tanzania (after Sukuma and Nyamwezi). They traditionally live in villages at the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and eastern Mount Meru in both Kilimanjaro region and eastern Arusha region. Chagga land has lush rain forest with many rivers and waterfalls coming down from Kilimanjaro glacier. This is why our Chagga Tours usually come with a waterfall hike and/or a coffee tour (see also: waterfalls & cultural tours).
Chagga do agriculture, they plant coffee, bananas, yams, avocado, mangoes and other fruits. A unique tradition is their "Mbege", a beer they make of bananas and love to drink at any occasion. The process of making Mbege is labor-intensive and time-consuming as the majority of the process is done by hand without the aid of modern technology.
The famous Maasai tribe are an indigenous ethnic group in Africa of semi-nomadic people settled in northern Tanzania and Kenya. They are known internationally due to their distinctive costums, jewelry and dress. Maasai are one of the very few tribes who have retained most of their traditions, lifestyle and lore.
In common with the wildlife with which they co-exist, the Maasai need a lot of land. Unlike many other tribes in East Africa, the Maasai are semi-nomadic and pastoral: the mayority still lives by herding cattle and goats. Traditional Maasai houses were designed for people on the move and are constructed by women - up to today. They plaster timber poles with a mix of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung, human urine and ash.
Women in Tanzania
In Tanzania, as in many other African countries, women who are seeking more rights and gender equity have to face problems created by traditions and customary laws which often discriminate, oppress and exploit them. Women and girls are often deprived of their rights to education, information, technology, the means of production such as land, as well as owning property even where the constitution and some laws provide room for gender equality. In Tanzania for example inheritance laws marginalize women and girls are often seen as less equal in status and stature than men. Most institutions and organizations are structured hierarchically and dominated by males. Women's specific needs and interests are often taken less seriously with little regard for gender equality in spite of the constitution guaranteeing such rights for everyone irrespective of gender.
Especially in rural areas (both in Chagga and Maasai villages) the gender rules are still very traditional, women are supposed to stay at home and take care of the family, livestock and garden, while the men are going out for work. Many women still don't get land from their family. Only sons and brothers inherit because a girl is expected to marry, leave her family and move to her husband´s house (see Ekeney´s story). Many families still believe women don't have the right to speak, arrange or make any planning for their own lives, but have to listen to their brothers, fathers, husbands, uncles. Dispite of a growing awareness that all family members can earn money and help each other instead of depending only on the father there are still many families that don't give their girls the opportunity to get education and a profession. Many still don't trust that a women can do more then getting married and have children. Working women often don´t have a good reputation. But happily nowadays you can see especially the Chagga society slowly starting to change. More girls get education, more women are going out for work and take care of their families also financially in order to avoid hunger and poverty.
We support women of the Kilimanjaro region by giving them a chance to work in the tourism sector and become economically more independent.