Enriching your travel experience, Contributing to Poverty alleviation
Though tourism is a high income earner for Tanzania, its benefits don’t always reach the local people. Half of the population lives below the poverty line, one in six children dies before the age of five and almost one-third of the population will not live beyond the age of 40 due to underinvestment in social services. The country spends much more on debt servicing than health or primary education.
While stunning wildlife and dramatic landscapes may delight visitors, it is the friendliness and good hospitality of the people that ultimately seals their memories. Tanzania, unlike its neighbors is home to over 120 tribes and ethnic groups, peacefully coexisting and retaining a unified national identity.
There are many ways to interact with the locals, learn and appreciate their ways of life and at the same time by your very visit make a small contribution to their living standard. Cultural Tourism Programmes, set up and run by the villagers themselves can be found in many parts of the country. The village remains functional as it is while village appointed guides show you around their small subsistence farms, cottage industries many of which are run by women, schools, clinics and other projects. Be delighted in hearing the myths and legends unique to each tribe. Some villages have their own medicine men who have learnt the passed down art of using herbs and plants for natural healing.
Depending on the village visited and the time you are there, there would be opportunities for bird watching, hikes on small hills or to waterfalls, coffee making, witnessing the colorful local market auctions, cooking and much more. For those villages with older cultural tourism programmes, visitors can see the positive outcome of new tourism revenue in the form of new classrooms, irrigation projects etc.
Many visitors choose to spend a day on a chosen cultural tourism programme either before or after their safari and or trek. However, for those wishing to spend more time overnight stays in tents or basic accommodation in the village, where possible, can also be arranged.