Tanzania is one of the most famous African tourism destinations. Together with Kenya, it is the state that hosts a large part of national parks and breathtaking landscapes, so it is normal that the most beautiful safaris take place right here. But beyond wild animals, pristine beaches and forests, Tanzania has a huge cultural background. And this is also worth the holiday! It won’t be a jeep adventure on dusty roads, but the discovery of ancient cities, local markets and tribal traditions can become a network of tourist itineraries of considerable charm. Here are ten ideas for “cultural experiences” to do in this country.

The traditional safari

The traditional safari in Tanzania is the ideal holiday, and also the favourite one among tourists. There are many national parks where you can admire the most beautiful animals in Africa. The most famous is the Serengeti, followed by Tarangire, Arusha National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro and many more. The cultural experience inherent in these trips lies in the knowledge of the wild nature of this extraordinary continent.

The island of Zanzibar

The island of Zanzibar, as well as being home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, is also home to some of the oldest cities and monuments in Tanzania. And in all of Africa. Stone Town is the capital and is a center full of ancient buildings and historical places. Mosques and churches flank along the city itineraries, while some splendid colonial buildings house museums and markets.

tanzania cult 02The Spice Tour

Famous for its spice (turmeric, curry, lemongrass, vanilla, coffee) and fruit plantations, Zanzibar has been offering this tour for many years. Tourists have the opportunity to get to know the island’s food traditions in depth by visiting the fields, farms and laboratories where spices are extracted and packaged.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Climbing “to the roof of Africa”, to the top of the great Kilimanjaro volcano, is a cultural but also a spiritual experience. From Tanzania, the mountain can be reached via various itineraries. The climb is tough, but once at the top one feels almost blessed by the extraordinary nature of the place.

The cities

The two main cities are Dar es Salaam, the largest urban center, and the capital Dodoma. The cultural experience of the first city allows you to see how “modern” Africans live their daily lives: schools, museums, shopping centers, night clubs make it look like any Western capital. But the real capital of Tanzania is Dodoma. Smaller town, on a human scale, and much more steeped in African culture and lifestyles.

Arusha and the Ngorongoro Crater

In northern Tanzania, Arusha is the base city for almost all Tanzanian safaris. It is located a short distance from the main national parks but above all it is the access route to the large Ngorongoro crater. Spread over 265 square km, this huge crater is a still active caldera offering unique panoramas but also the possibility to interact with the Masai tribes who live here and here also graze their herds.

tanzania cult 04The Masai Markets

The Masai markets are the most fascinating examples of Tanzanian culture. They are in parks, but also in cities, and offer visitors handcrafted objects but also some typical traditional dishes. The bright colors of the clothes, jewels, weapons and ornaments make these places lively and extremely interesting.

The fishermen’s villages

Another way to learn more about the people and customs of Tanzania is to watch the fishermen at work. Enjoying dream beaches, instead of just tanning tourists can talk to men – and women! – at work, share some help with them too. The villages of Jambiani and Nungwi, in particular, are the ideal places to have these experiences.

Mwanza and the people of the lake

The city of Mwanza allows you to get to know a third and less-known aspect of Africa: not only animals, not only fishing villages, but also environments that develop around a large lake (Lake Victoria). Different ways of experiencing the environment, different ways of fishing and coking fish, but also cultural traditions that do not resemble those of the rest of the country.

Route of the Slaves

We return to the east, on the island of Zanzibar, to follow – on foot and under the sun, as they used to – the route of the slaves. This island, for centuries, has hosted a big and sad slave market, people sold first to rich Arab lords and then to the Spaniards and English. The rooms and caves where these people lived, awaited their fate, and sometimes died are part of a tour that will deeply touch the soul.

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