In Tanzania, a land of superb landscapes and spectacular wildlife, another attraction stands equally tall – the people. Tanzania’s people are among the most welcoming and approachable on earth, with a range of fascinating cultures ready to be shared with visitors. From the WaChagga of the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the now world famous Maasai, a cultural excursion or a longer stay among local people is likely to become one of the most rewarding experiences of any holiday in Tanzania.

In addition, many local areas run their own cultural programmes for visitors, bringing income directly to the community and giving the people the chance to show their lifestyle to the outside world on their own terms. Primary schools can be developed through a tour of the fascinating slopes of Mt Meru, a health clinic is improved through a guided tour of the luscious green Usambara Mountains, or a kindergarten funded by a stroll through the tropical vegetation of the Rift Valley.

Cultural tourism programmes are beneficial to everyone – the tourists get a unique, unforgettable experience, the local people generate income and improve their standard of living, and both parties gain a valuable understanding of another culture which will last long after the visitors have returned home. Most cultural tourism programmes are located near the main thoroughfares of the principal tourist destinations, making a cultural addition to a safari easy to arrange. Guides are local people born and raised in the area, well trained in their jobs and proficient in English.

Whether you spend the morning in a Maasai boma or trek by camel up a local summit, stopping to learn about traditional plants and tribal stories, a cultural tour is a must-do for anyone wanting to see the rich life of the Tanzanian people. Some of Tanzaniaࢥst-known cultural tourism destinations include: