African Cultural Music and Dance Itinerary
In Tanzania music and dance is used to teach lessons, share news, celebrate, in ceremony, and for mourning. Tanzania is home to over 120 different ethnic groups, each with their own language and cultural dance and songs. This itinerary is designed to introduce students of African Dance to the indigenous origins, weaving a traditional safari into a cultural tour where students will meet and learn about dance, music and history from 5 different ethnic groups: Wameru, Maasai, Barabaig, Iraqw, and Hadzabe. By learning about the dance and music traditions of Tanzania’s tribes you help to promote and protect cultural heritage. This is truly a one-of-a kind tour designed specifically for students of African Music and Dance.
Wameru,Maasai, Barbaig, Iragw, Hadzabe and Bagamoyo
TIME OF YEAR
African Cultural Music and Dance Itinerary
Airport pick-up. Dinner and overnight at Arusha volunteers house.
Breakfast at Arusha volunteers house then day trip to Mt. Meru where you will visit the Wameru Tribal Cultural Center, hike to a waterfall, and then return to the village to watch a dance and music performance and taste traditional Swahili cuisine for lunch. After lunch return to Arusha and take a walking tour of Arusha town and visit the internet café. In early evening meet members of Warriors of the East who will put on a dance and music performance infusing tribal dance with traditional African instruments. Enjoy a dinner with the members of the band as they discuss the history of African instruments. Overnight at Arusha volunteers.
Warriors of the East: http://youtu.be/NJjkTFufHbQ
More info about Wameru:
The Meru (Wameru) are a Tanzanian ethnic and linguistic group native to the slopes of Mount Meru in Arusha Region. The Meru people share the same name with the Meru people of Kenya, but are completely different ethnic groups each with their own unique history and identity. The Wameru people are said to have arrived to the slopes of the great mountain around 300 years ago coming from the Usambara Mountains in Tanga Region. Upon arriving at the southeastern slopes of Mount Meru they were met by the hunter gather group called the Koningo whom they absorbed into Meru society. The wameru are known for their intensive agricultural practices.
Today many descendants of Meru people still live in their homeland and Mount Meru and Arumeru District is named in their honor.
After breakfast at Arusha volunteers house, depart to Monduli where you will spend the night in a Maasai Village. When you arrive in the village you will be greeted by your Maasai guide and interpreter who will give you a tour of the traditional Maasai homes, aka boma, and explain about the Maasai life and history. After you will take a hike along the Rift Valley where there is opportunity to spot giraffe and zebra. You will come back to the village for lunch and be introduced to the Moran, or young Warriors, whom will perform their traditional dance and song meant to showcase their strength, endurance and bravery. After the warriors perform you will meet the Maasai Mothers who will sing their own traditional songs and dance. In the evening you will feast on a traditional Maasai BBQ (vegetarian option available as chef will be accompanying your group) and enjoy more singing and dancing around the campfire. Perhaps your group will perform a dance or song for the villagers in exchange.
More info about Maasai:
The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress. The Maasai speak Maa (ɔl Maa), a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer. As, pastoralist, the Maasai have resisted the urging of the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. They have demanded grazing rights to many of the national parks in both countries. The Maasai people stood against slavery and lived alongside most wild animals with an aversion to eating game and birds. Maasai land now has East Africa’s finest game areas. According to their own oral history, the Maasai originated from the lower Nile valley north of Lake Turkana (Northwest Kenya) and began migrating south around the 15th century, arriving in a long trunk of land stretching from what is now northern Kenya to what is now central Tanzania between the 17th and late 18th century.
The central unit of Maasai society is the age-set. Every 15 years or so, a new and individually named generation of Morans or Warriors are initiated. This involves most boys between 12 and 25, who have reached puberty and are not part of the previous age-set. One rite of passage from boyhood to the status of junior warrior is a painful circumcision ceremony, which is performed without anesthetic. This ritual is typically performed by the elders, who use a sharpened knife and makeshift cattle hide bandages for the procedure. The Maa word for circumcision is emorata. The boy must endure the operation in silence. Expressions of pain bring dishonor, albeit temporarily. Any exclamations can cause a mistake in the delicate and tedious process, which can result in lifelong scarring, dysfunction, and pain. The healing process will take 3–4 months, during which urination is painful and nearly impossible at times, and boys must remain in black clothes for a period of 4–8 months.
Rise early and head to towards Tarangire National Park for game drive around the Tarangire River Circuit where there is higher chance of seeing the big predators hunting as the herbivores come for drinks and grazing along the river channel. Stop for a pic-nic lunch at a bluff overlooking the winding Tarangire River. After, proceed with game driver to different areas of Tarangire National Park where you will be able to see wildbeast, gazelles, antelopes, ostrich, girafes, buffaloes and many more mammals and birds. Oh, and there will be plenty of elephants as well. Dinner and overnight at campsite.
Rise early and head towards Katesh in the shadows of Mt Hanang, where you will enter into the bush and meet the Barabaig. Here the village chairman and elders will greet youand then you will be given a tour of their traditional houses and an oral history of their origins. After, the unmarried youth will perform their traditional dance. You will break under a large sacred tree to eat a boxed lunch before embarking ona walking tour of the village to see where the woman gather water and learn about traditional bee-keeping. In evening return to Katesh for dinner and overnight at guesthouse.
More info about Barabaig:
The most general name for this widely dispersed ethnic group is Datooga. The best known and most
numerous sub-tribe of the Datooga peoples are the pastoral Barabaig, who reside chiefly in that part of the northern volcanic highlands dominated by Mount Hanang (3418m), whose sacred nature makes it an important theme in Barabaig myth and song.The Datooga keep goats, sheep, donkeys and a few chickens, but cattle are by far the most important domestic animal. The meat, fat, blood, milk, hide, horns, tendons and cow dung of every animal have either practical or ritual purposes. They were formerly nomadic, depending largely on milk products for their diet, and moving whenever the needs of their cattle dictated. Now, however, many farm a plot of maize and sometimes beans and millet.The Datooga themselves blend in with their environment, their dress being the color of the reddish brown soil. Only on closer inspection will they appear colorful with their reddish, patched leather dresses, beadwork, and brass bracelets and necklaces.
The Datooga are a proud people, with a reputation as fierce warriors. Traditionally, young men had to prove themselves by killing an “enemy of the people”, defined as any human being not a Datooga, or one of the dangerous wild animals, such as elephant, lion or buffalo.They are resistant to cultural change, maintaining a strong adherence to traditional animist beliefs and practices. Since most Datooga do not speak Swahili, the national language of Tanzania, and very few are literate.
To learn more about the plight of the Barabaig please read the article at this link:
After breakfast head towards Karatu, the homeland of the Iraqw people. Here you will be met by a Iraqw interpreter who will exolain the unique culture of the the Iraqw and explain their origins. After you will given a dance performance and then hike along the Rift Valley. Dinner and overnight at campsite.
More info on the Iraqw:
The Iraqw or Irakw (also known as the Wambulu amongst Swahili speakers) are a Cushitic-speaking ethnic group inhabiting the Great Lakes region of East Africa. They live in the Arusha and Manyara regions of north-central Tanzania, near the Rift Valley wall and south of Ngorongoro Crater. The Iraqw have traditionally been viewed as remnants of the Neolithic Afro-Asiatic peoples who introduced domesticated plants and animals to the Great Lakes region — a succession of societies collectively known as the Stone Bowl cultural complex. Most of these early northern migrants are believed to have been absorbed by later movements of Nilotic and Bantu peoples. In the Kerio Valley of Kenya, among other neighboring areas, there are vestiges of the Neolithic tillers’ civilization in the form of elaborate irrigation systems. Although these particular structures are today maintained by the Maraket subgroup of the Nandi Kalenjin Nilotes, the latter aver that they were the work of a northern people of peculiar language called the Sirikwa, who were later decimated by pestilence. According to the Maraket, the Sirikwa “built the furrows, but they did not teach us how to build them; we only know how to keep them as they are.
Wake early and brace yourself as you are about to spend the day with the last true nomades of Africa, the Hadzabe bushmen who live around Lake Eyasi. Their language resembles the click languages of other bushmen further south in the Kalahari. The tribe resisted the forcible settlement policies of Tanzania’s first President 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 classroom 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. When you visit the Hadzabe Tribe you are taking into their world which comprises of hunting, generally small antelopes and baboons, you will be given the chance to hunt alongside them and learn about the traditional medicines and wild food sources. Dinner and overnight at campsite.
More info about Hadzabe:
The Hadza people, or Hadzabe’e, are an ethnic group in central Tanzania, living around Lake Eyasi in the central Rift Valley and in the neighboring Serengeti Plateau. The Hadza number just under 1000. Some 300-400 Hadza live as hunter-gatherers, much as they have for thousands or even tens of thousands of years; they are the last functioning hunter-gatherers in Africa.
The Hadza are not closely related to any other people. While traditionally considered an East African branch of the Khoisan peoples, primarily because their language has clicks, modern genetic research suggests that they may be more closely related to the Pygmies. The Hadza language appears to be an isolate, unrelated to any other.
The The Hadza live by foraging. Such foraging is done for hunting, berry collecting, and for honey. Although hunting is illegal in the Serengeti, the Tanzanian authorities recognize that the Hadza are a special case and do not enforce the regulations with them, just as the Hadza are the only people in Tanzania not taxed locally or by the national government.
Hadza men usually forage individually, and during the course of day usually feed themselves while foraging, and also bring home some honey, fruit, or wild game when available. Women forage in larger parties, and usually bring home berries, baobab fruit, and tubers, depending on availability. Men and women also forage co-operatively for honey and fruit, and at least one adult male will usually accompany a group of foraging women. During the wet season, the diet is composed mostly of honey, some fruit,fdr tubers, and occasional meat. The contribution of meat to the diet increases in the dry season, when game become concentrated around sources of water. During this time, men often hunt in pairs, and spend entire nights lying in wait by waterholes, hoping to shoot animals that approach for a night-time drink, with bows and arrows treated with poison. The poison is made of the branches of the shrub Adenium coetaneum.
The The Hadza are highly skilled, selective, and opportunistic foragers, and adjust their diet according to season and circumstance. Depending on local availability, some groups might rely more heavily on tubers, others on berries, others on meat. This variability is the result of their opportunism and adjustment to prevailing conditions.
After breakfast drive towards Serengeti National Park, which hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, and witness one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. You will enjoy a full day of game viewing as you cross the southern plains of the Serengeti, the breeding ground for migratory wildebeests. After lunch continue the drive around Seronera River Circuit. Known as the Heart of the Serengeti, the Seronera area offers chances to watch predators hunting for their daily feast. Dinner and overnight at campsite.
Rise early and descend down the famous rim into the crater of Ngorongoro, also referred to as being the ‘Garden of Eden’ or the ‘Ark of Noah’. The crater provides the home for the big five, wild beasts, zebras and an uncountable number of gazelles and thousands of flamingos. For lunch stop and pic-nic along side hippos at a lake in the crater. In later afternoon return to Arusha and overnight at FIA volunteer house.
Rise early and take a bus ride towards the Indian Ocean. Arrive in Dar in later afternoon and transfer to Bagamoyo. The town of Bagamoyo is a home to world-class Historical sites and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with rich cultural heritage waiting you to explore. This town was once a most important trading port along the East African Coast and a German East Africa Capital. Bagamoyo is home to many ethnic groups, including the Wakwere, Wazaramo and Wazigua. Different cultures including people of Arab descent coexist in Bagamoyo making the town a peaceful and friendly place for visitors from all over the world. Dinner and overnight in Bagamoyo.
After breakfast take a walking tour of Bagamoyo to see the slave prisons, local fish market, and swim in the white sand beaches. After lunch visit the Bagamoyo College of Arts (“Chuo cha Sanaa”), an internationally famous arts college in Tanzania, teaching traditional Tanzanian painting, sculpture, drama, dancing and drumming. Here you will be given the chance to dance and play music alongside the students where you will make new friends and enjoy the allure of the Indian Ocean into late evening. Dinner and overnight at Guest House
Wake at your leisure and have breakfast and swim in ocean. In afternoon we will head to the Kaole village formally known as ‘Pumbuji’. Pumbuji is one of the oldest villages that immigrants from Arabic countries choose as they landed on East Africa’s coast. The village has ruins dating back to 13th Century. It is in this village where Sultan of Oman preferred to settle and construct administrative and military headquarters. Today the ruins made-up of earth and corals and the Kaole Museum tells volumes of stories about Ivory trade, movement of traders, cruel slavery and the living culture of today’s Kaole people majority originating from Asia. Beyond the ruins, there is an old port surrounded by a Mangrove forest where one can go closer to nature and enjoy fresh air. After we will continue or tour to visit the Old tower of the first Catholic Church in East Africa, one of the Oldest Baobab tree, Cemeteries (Catholic, German and Indian), Dr. Livingstone tower, Old Fathers’ house and the Cross at the beach. Explore the museum with information about the slave trade, missionaries, life of the people and some collections of artifacts of the indigenous tribes. After the tour, relax and enjoy Bagamoyo. Dinner and overnight at Guest House.
Wake at your leisure and prepare for your flight back home. At appointed time drive to Dar international Airport.
$3,500 US per person
The End of 8 Days Camping Tanzania Safari
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The 8 days combine Cultural Tour with Tanzania safari package. Begins at Arusha and includes Four of the top parks in Tanzania: Serengeti Park, Lake …