An number of different tribes live in Tanzania. Some of them have adopted a more Western lifestyle, but others still live according to age-old traditions. The Maasai are probably the best known tribe in Tanzania or even Africa. They live in the areas around the national parks, so you’re going to run into them. Please respect their traditions.
Maasai and nature: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area with its beautiful landscapes is ideal for hiking trips, ranging from a few hours to several days. In this area, which is inhabited by the Maasai tribe, many volcanoes, craters and calderas (collapsed craters) can be found. Of course the Ngorongoro Crater is the most famous, but the other parts of the area are well worth a visit. You will find waterfalls, emerald blue lakes and views of the beautiful mountains and valleys. Embakaai Crater and Olmoti Crater are beautiful places with breathtaking views. Hiking in this area is usually combined with a visit to Oldoinyo Lengai and Lake Natron. A guide will accompany you during the walking tour. If your hike is longer than a day, your luggage will be carried by donkeys and you will spend the night in campsites or lodges.
Tribes in Mto wa Mbu
Bushmen in Tanzania: Hadzabe and datoga
The still primitive Hadzabe and Datoga tribes depend on hunting and gathering or pastoralism for their livelihood. They live in the area of Lake Eyasi. When you visit these tribes you will experience their way of life. You will go hunting with the Hadzabe in the early morning. The Hadzabe were the first known human inhabitants of the area. They were not a warrior tribe, but live as hunter-gatherers and hunt by means of bows with a poisonous arrow. They have a different appearance from other tribes with excellent high cheekbones, a slender build and light skin. They smoke bone or metal pipes and speak a click language just like their ancestors did. Interestingly, the above criteria match those of the San (also known as Bushmen) in Botswana, Namibia, Angola and South Africa, 5000 km to the south. The Datoga is a pastoralist tribe, also known as the Barbaig or Mang’ati. They moved about 300 years ago and can be found in this area today. They produce bracelets and necklaces from natural materials that you will see when you visit.
Marangu: capital of the chagga
Marangu is a small town east of Moshi. The city is best known for the starting point of the Marangu route on Kilimanjaro. Marangu has a lively market. The city is also surrounded by a beautiful area where you will find banana trees, the local life of the Chagga and a Chagga museum. One of the main attractions is the large number of waterfalls in the area. Most of the falls can be easily reached by car and a ten minute walk. We can arrange full day trips to Marangu including a visit to the Chagga Live Museum and Chagga Caves.
Kilimanjaro coffee: Materuni
Materuni is a village north of Moshi. There are many coffee plantations in and around the village. There are also great opportunities for hiking trips of a few hours to, for example, waterfalls. We can arrange your day trip to Materuni. There you will have a tour of approximately one to two hours during which you will see the complete process of coffee making, from planting the coffee seed to your cup of freshly roasted and ground coffee. Lunch is included. There is also the possibility to camp in Materuni.
Old Moshi: visiting a Chagga home
The Chagga tribe is the main tribe living on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. They live mainly from subsistence agriculture and grow crops such as bananas, maize and beans. Because there is no good road network in the area, the villages are not much visited and have therefore retained their original atmosphere, although they are quite close to Moshi town.
If you enjoy walking or trekking, the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro are an excellent place to do so. You will find special Chagga villages such as Mdawi, Uru, Mbokomu and Kidia that are connected by small paths and in some places by wider roads where even cars can pass.
Villages alternate with forests. The area is very green due to the bananas and coffee that grow there. There are many valleys and hills with stunning views of the peaks of Kilimanjaro, Moshi and the plains below. Weather permitting, you can clearly see the emblematic Mount Meru to the west and the Pare Mountains to the southeast.
Along the way you will pass beautiful waterfalls and streams and you may even see animals such as green monkeys and white keeled monkeys. In the villages you can see the local Chagga life, such as growing crops, brewing local beer and playing school children. Accommodation and meals are provided by the locals in the villages. A trek can last from a few hours to several days, depending on your personal needs. Local English speaking
Chemka Hot springs
At the bottom of Kilimanjaro (Hai district), you will find the hot springs of Chemka. Driving through a very dry area with a village here and there, you will suddenly come across an oasis of green palm trees. From the outside it looks like a simple clump of palm trees, but when you find the entrance and go ‘inside’ you will find an amazing clear blue pool of water with a roof of palm and ficus trees. If you jump into the water you will experience that the water is pleasantly warm. You can certainly spend a few hours there swimming, enjoying the water, listening to the abundant sounds of birds and maybe even spotting a genet in this blue lagoon. We arrange your day trip including a picnic lunch.