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.

 

DURATION

12 Days

DESTINATION

Wameru,Maasai, Barbaig, Iragw, Hadzabe and Bagamoyo

TIME OF YEAR

Throughout the year

African Cultural Music and Dance Itinerary

Detailed 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:

http://www.monbiot.com/1994/11/23/the-scattering-of-the-dead/

 

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.

Itinerary Complete

Cost:

$3,500 US per person

The End of 8 Days Camping Tanzania Safari

WHAT IS INCLUDED

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED .

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Based on 139 reviews
Jorge Madrid
Jorge Madrid
2022-03-04
Verified
Amazing safari Super experience, everybody helpful and super nice. It feels like a family going into the wild. The driver knows where are the animals and he can spot them while driving safe. Good team and the places where we slept were wonderful, camping in ngorongoro and Serengeti is definitly something else. Even though it is a 5 Days tour It goes super fast. I recomend It 100% Asante sana!
Mya Z
Mya Z
2022-03-02
Verified
Great experience Focus in Africa est une agence sérieuse pour effectuer son safari. Nelson est très professionnel et m'a donné tous les détails pour que le safari se passe au mieux. Prise en charge dès l'arrivée à Arusha, j'ai dormi dans l'hostel de Nelson au Lionsgate avant d'entamer le safari le lendemain. Habib notre guide est très professionnel avec de bons yeux pour observer certains big divers cachés au loin. Notre cuisiner était également au top. Je recommande Focus in Africa pour vos safaris.
Esra C
Esra C
2022-02-27
Verified
Amazing safari experience! Onze safari was werkelijk geweldig! Nelson heeft alls voor ons geregeld naar onze wensen. Wij zijn keurig op tijd opgehaald van het vliegveld en zijn eerst gebracht naar het hostel. Een warme welkom en aardige kok die voor ons ook een gids heeft geregeld om het cetrum van Arusha te bezoeken, bezoek de mooie kleurrijke lokale markten en tanzanite museum bijvoorbeeld. Niet te vergeten de gegrilde mais met lime en chilipoeder😋 Wij hebben een 4 daagse safari geboekt, waarbij we eerst naar Tarangire zijn geweest, daarna Serengeti 2 dagen en tot slot Ngorogoro krater, onze gids Mozes was zeer ervaren en vertelde veel over de dieren als natuurgebieden. Hij had ‘eagle eyes’ waardoor we uiteindelijk meer dan de big 5 hebben gezien😊. Onze groep (7 personen) was ook zeer divers waardoor het heel gezellig was. Onze wens was onder andere dat we ipv tenten in lodges wilde blijven. Nelson heeft het perfect geregeld, we voelden ons net in een 4 sterren verblijf midden in de prachtige natuurgebieden! Vooral Seronera en Rhino lodges waren onze favorieten 😍 Onze lunches waren lekker en goed vullend gemaakt door kok van onze safari. Het avondeten in de lodges waren van hotelkwaliteit👌🏼Het was ook fijn dat er altijd (gekoelde) water aanwezig was in onze auto. We willen Nelson en zijn crew nogmaals bedanken voor alles. Maak je dus geen zorgen als je via Focus on Africa boekt, regel alleen je vlucht naar Arusha en Nelson haalt je op en brengt je ook weer naar het vliegveld. Hakuna Matata, zero stress👏🏼
Claire B
Claire B
2022-02-23
Verified
Unforgettable safzri The safari with Focus in Africa was the highlight of my trip in Tanzania. Everything was perfectly planned and very well organized. I did a 4 days safari, exploring Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro and we made the most of every single day from sunrise to sunset. The driver, Ariel, knows a lot of African wildlife and we saw many animals thanks to his knowledges. All the team, Nelson and his family are very friendly, reliable and serious so that we can have a memorable trip. can only recommend to travel with Focus in Africa. Asante Sana !
Johannes von Simons
Johannes von Simons
2022-02-17
Verified
Great Kili 7 day hike with super team, excellent food and very friendly & helpful guides We did a Kilimanjaro tour with Focus in Africa, and our guide was Emanuel, assistant guide Gadil, and cook Peter. We (Claire and Johannes) really liked everything, from the preparatory talk with Emanuel on the day before the tour, the fact that they also had women porters, the excellent level of service everybody in the team was providing, the outstanding cuisine of Peter (how did he do it?!? Secret miracle cooking device or what? ;-), the flora and fauna explanations of both Emanuel and Gadil during the hiking, the willingness to regularly sit down with us and explain, plan and organize the next steps and days, the help-when-needed-but-also-let-us-explore-our-borders-ourselves... so we were really happy to have booked with Focus in Africa! And we would recommend other tourists to also do seven days, not six. You pay a little more obviously, but it was the perfect mix for us between experiencing the nature, having a demanding-but-not-exhausting physical effort every day, and being proud of ourselves at the end. 6 out of 5 stars 😉
Shubham Goyal
Shubham Goyal
2022-01-30
Verified
Wonderful Experience I went to Tarangire and Ngorongoro with Focus in Africa and had a really wonderful trip. The whole trip was professionally organised with everything and I didn't face any issues. My safari guides were very friendly and helpful and the vehicle was great as well. Their camp site is beautiful and have good food. I would definitely recommend Focus in Africa and would not think twice before booking with them
Fa
Fa
2022-01-28
Verified
4 Days Safari Great experience! We went on a 4 day Safari trip, organized by Nelson and Ayubu was our super fun Guide. Peta, also called the food engineer made our breakfast, lunches and Diner. Everything was well planned and the food was just the best. Especially the fresh bread and the different flavors of soup. The tents where also an adventure. I loved this experience! Thank you all for making it possible.
sonia
sonia
2022-01-23
Verified
Big 5 seen. Big experience lived! All was incredible. Super nice experience. Nelson organised all perfectly. The driver Abby and the chef Pita did their best to make us have the best experience we could.
melou2811
melou2811
2022-01-21
Verified
Amazing experience I've made the a 4 days safari with Focus in Africa. The experience was amazing, we saw a lot of animals during the four days. We went to Ngorongonro crater, serengeti and also tarangire. Bryson my guide was very good, we saw a lot of animals thanks to him. We had also a cooker during the trip. It was a very good safari.I've made also the kilimandjaro climbing with focus in africa with the guide Babalu. Babalu was amazing with us. Always taking care of us and asking if we were doing well. We made the marangu road. We had porters and cooker during the trip. Everybody was very very nice with us.I highly recommend FOCUS IN AFRICA. Also the prices are very correct. I compared with a lot of different companies here in Arusha and they were the less expensive ! So for the price and also the experience I highly recommend them.Thank you again
sandyrom7
sandyrom7
2022-01-11
Verified
Cool atmosphere and guide 4 days Safari with Focus in Africa was an interesting adventure for us . Especially cool and big thanks for meeting us from the airport and accommodation in the hostel the day before and day after .Big thanks to our guide George for all this 4 days -he did his best, tried to show as much as possible.But the other side of the trip - food. All meals were included in our safari , so we didn’t take any snacks with us and it was not possible to take smth from the restaurant, we tried it the first day in Arusha( not camp dinner) and got stomach poisoning.. First day we had good , balanced meals , but ijtger 3 days was always rice and meat for lunch and dinner . If the cuisine had been more thoughtful, I’d put all stars
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