Taste of Tanzania and its culture

May 25th, 2006, 01:05 PM
  #1  
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Taste of Tanzania and its culture

Hi, I'm off in 5 weeks doing the "northern curcuit" taking in Taranguire, Ngorogoro crater and the Serengeti before heading off some for R&R in Zanzibar. The package is all sorted but it suddenly crossed my mind that I haven't really considered the getting the most of the real Tanzanian culture in our trip (or at least a taste of it, I appreciate there's no getting away from the fact we will obviously be tourists). We're stopping off at Olduvai gorge. I read mixed reports on Masai village trips but would really love to do something like that, perhaps off the usual torist trail is possible. Anyone know of any good local markets along the way?

Any top tips??
As always much appreciated,
Julian
jules73 is offline  
May 25th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Jules, here is my tip:

If you end up being friendly with your guide and have the time after safari, definitely go out for drinks with him at a roadhouse in Arusha.

Now that's culture.

Anytime someone asks you, "Do you want to go to a tourist place or a *real African* place," say, "The *real* one."

You do like goat, don't you?
Leely is offline  
May 25th, 2006, 01:28 PM
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Thanks Leeley,
Great advice.
Definately on for goat, we will see if I can find the tastiest goat in town.
As for the roadhouse, we'll be there.
Though disturbingly I'm picturing Patrick Swayze say at a bar! I hope that just reflects my being in my 30's and it not being a UK term. And no I have never been a member of his fan club!
jules73 is offline  
May 25th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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Didn't we meet at the Swayze fan club annual convention in Vegas that time?

More seriously, you can ask your tour op to take you to a Maasai village. I have a feeling they'll take you anyway. And it is/can be "touristy," but still interesting.

Also, you can visit a school or an orphanage if you're interested. Some of the posters on this board would have more information. I believe Matt from England (who lives in Portugal?) works with an organization in Karatu. Perhaps search for his comments on this board.
Leely is offline  
May 25th, 2006, 03:30 PM
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If you search Eben's(climbhighsleeplow) previous threads, I believe he's provided locations of more "authentic" and less touristy Masai villages on the northern circuit. They may even be on his Google Earth maps at www.go-safari.com - not positive about this but worth checking.
Patty is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 02:36 AM
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Thanks Patty.
I've just spotted countdown's thread on Masai villages just proir to this has got some incredible experiences. It sounds like there are options but as you say they may be a little touristy. And thinking about it why shouldn't they look to make a bit of money out of tourists....
I would love to visit a school or orphanage. I picked up an idea from the other tread, and will try to bring a polaroid along to hand out photos.
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May 27th, 2006, 03:12 AM
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Hi jules,
I'm kind of surprised that you thought that the interactions that a few of us had from the other thread would be construed as touristy. These visits were as far off the beaten path as you could get.
Can you explain why you feel this way?
Peace;
Sherry
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May 28th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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Hi Sherry,
Sorry for the confusion, I meant it in responce to Leely's reply. But re-reading haven't quite written it that way. The other thread certainly does detail some fantastic and yes most definately off the beaten track experiences.
Jules
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May 28th, 2006, 05:14 PM
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Hi there Julian,

I must offer my apologies as I have not been around the Africa board much recently, tied up at home with a new baby and trying to manage the ongoing "Things to do in and around Lisbon" threads in the europe board.

You say you are going to Ngorongoro and Serengeti, I take it driving. If on the way back you can stop overnight in a town called Mto Wa Mbu which is very close to Lake Manyara National Park. You will have the option of a cultural tour of the village itself which isn't touristy - the township comprises of many of TZs tribes who live and work here together. You can visit schools and sit in on lessons etc. (One idea for a donation is stationary and pens, pencils, even old school age English reading books you might buy cheaply in your local charity shops) But more interestingly arrange to be taken to the Maasai market about 5 kms south of the town. This is the real thing: unlikely you'll see other tourists - during the morning the Maasai trade their cattle which is the most interesting time to be there. You will be able to purchase Maasai articfacts very cheaply here, (Shukas and sandals, spears etc etc) and try some Maasai foods. Also the Banana beer is very good. I was lucky to befriend a Maasai Moran with whom I keep in contact: photos of which can be seen in the latter half of this small album:

http://www.smartgroups.com/pictures/...lbumID=5280137

It isn't touristy, whereas perhaps some of the trips up at the Crater are and spending a couple of hours here watching and talking to the Maasai is an amazing experience. Of course I was lucky in meeting my friend and have been invited to stay with my wife as his guest in their Manyatta, to learn more about their lifestyle. Now if I can just arrange the time...

I also loved Arusha and spent a couple of days wandering round meeting people visiting the market and cathedral, football stadium etc. If your guide is a good one, he'll be able to introduce you to the culture, again, we have stayed in contact with our guide and our now friends with his family (from the Chagga tribe).

TZ is wonderful, everywhere you look is a photo opportunity. And the amazing advice you'll find on this board is invaluable: there are some truly knowledgeable people hereabouts!

Take care and have a great trip. It may be just a couple of weeks in duration but the memories will last you a lifetime.

Matt

Matt_from_England is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 02:15 AM
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Thanks Matt,
That's a great help.
I've looked at your previous posts and the photo's which are fantastic. I'm just hope we will be lucky enough to find some similar experiences. I helps to try and understand what the rest of the country is all about. And yes, memories that make a real and lasting impression,
Julian
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May 29th, 2006, 02:17 AM
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Sit on the street corner anywhere in Dar. You will see the culture of an impoverished, desperate people. Go ogle at it and do it in an untouristy way. ...take you poloroid pics and dish them out to the simple folks who haven't seen images of themselves or perhaps read a book or looked in a mirror. Blend in with the local folks so you can feel "hey man african". But be careful, getting off the beaten track isn't as simple and easy a task as Nat Geo article will have you believe. Leave your valuables behind, tell someone (who cares) where you are going and when you expect to be back.

And let this thought simmer in the back of your mind: The animals have no comprehension that the world "preves" at them, while the people have pride and dignity, they comprehend much that you never will.
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May 31st, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Also check out MamaTembo's post in this thread - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34813126
Patty is offline  
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