Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) announced the addition of nine new Cultural Tourism Enterprises which provide visitors with an authentic cultural experience and a unique insight into the daily lives of the local people. The total number of enterprises rises to 60 in the country. The Cultural Tourism Enterprises offer visitors the opportunity to leave the safari vehicle behind and spend time in local villages interacting with the people.
The activities offered are as diverse as the villages, and include preparing local cuisine, making wine, helping to process coffee beans, learning how to make local handcrafts, and learning traditional games and dances. The cultural enterprises also host a number of music and dance festivals that attract many visitors because of their authenticity.
Nine New Cultural Tourism Enterprises include:
Bujora Cultural Tourism Enterprise (Mwanza Region), Kiliman Cultural Tourism Enterprise (Moshi Rural-Kilimanjaro Region), Kisesa Cultural Tourism Enterprise (Mwanza Region), Liuli-Pomonda Cultural Tourism Enterprise (Mbamba Bay-Ruvuma Region), Rau Eco & Cultural Tourism Enterprise (Moshi-Kilimanjaro region), Ukerewe Cultural Tourism Enterprise (Ukerewe-Mwanza Region), Lyamungo (Hai-Kilimanjaro Region), Meru Forest Eco-Tourism (Arumeru-Arusha Region), Momela Cultural Tourism & Campsite (Arumeru-Arusha Region).
“Tanzania is comprised of over 120 different ethnic tribes and the Cultural Tourism Program provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to experience Tanzania’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, up close and personal,” said Devota Mdachi, Acting Managing Director, Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB). “The growth and success of this program is due in part to the great demand of tourists to go off the beaten track and meet local people and experience their culture. But more important, it also provides the local villages with a sustainable source of income.”
In one of the newly opened cultural enterprises, Lyamungo Sinde, a village in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, tourists can enjoy the scenery of the highest mountain in Africa while staying with villagers to make handcrafts out of banana leaves or fish in the Weruweru River. In Kahawa Shambani, visitors are hosted by local families at coffee plantations and learn the entire coffee process from the coffee growers’ co-operative, their history and fair trade, to picking, grinding, roasting and making their own fresh coffee.
“Tourism to these villages directly supports the local community. Over 3,000 Tanzanian people benefited from a direct income in 2014 due to the success of the Cultural Tourism Program. A portion of the income from tourism for each enterprise is used for community development such as renovating schools, providing books for students, tree planting projects, and water tap project,” noted Elly Maturo, Cultural Tourism Program Coordinator, TTB.
Most of the cultural tourism enterprises have convenient transportation and easy access to restaurants, accommodation, entertainments, and other services.
Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28% of the land protected by the Government, the largest percentage of any country in the world. Tanzania was named by The New York Times as one of the “52 Places to Go In 2015” and “Best Places To Travel In 2015” by Travel + Leisure. It boasts 16 National Parks and 31 game reserves, 50 Game Controlled Areas, one special Conservation Area (the Ngorongoro) and three Marine Parks. It is home to the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, home to the "Great Animal Migration"; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the "Eden of Africa" and the “8th Wonder of the World”; Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind: the Selous, the world’s largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the second largest National Park in Africa and also featured on Afar Magazine’s “2015 Where to Go” list; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most important for visitors, the Tanzanian people, with a rich history and diverse blend of cultures, are warm and friendly. Tanzania, an oasis of peace and stability with a democratically elected and stable government, will celebrate its 54rd anniversary of Independence on December 9th, 2015.
For more information about the Cultural Tourism Program, please visit www.tanzaniaculturaltourism.go.tz and www.tanzaniatouristboard.com