Industry News

The Bush Telegraph of 8 Recommended Cultural Tours in East Africa

06 June 2024


Embarking on a safari in East Africa offers your clients more than just breathtaking landscapes and incredible wildlife. It presents a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse cultural landscapes with cultural tours. For clients seeking cultural enrichment on their safari holiday, we recommend a selection of cultural tours that ensure a meaningful and enriching experience. These tours not only provide deep cultural insights but also positively contribute to the communities they visit.

Cultural Tours

The Boma’s of Kenya | Nairobi, Kenya

This tour takes your clients on an engaging journey to a traditional Boma, or homestead, situated about 10 kilometres from the city centre of Nairobi in Kenya. “Boma” signifies an enclosed homestead, giving your clients a wonderful opportunity to explore genuine Kenyan architecture and learn about the traditional lifestyle.

During their visit, your clients will have the unique chance to join local dancers in the auditorium, putting their dancing skills to the test and enjoying a lively cultural exchange. They will also get to sample traditional Kenyan cuisine, experiencing the diverse and rich culinary traditions of the region. This tour not only highlights the vibrant culture of Kenya but also offers your clients a meaningful and enriching interaction with the local community.

An aerial view of various small huts in an East African village with trees dotted amongst the homesteads with providing cultural tours African Safari Excellence
Aerial view of traditional ‘bomas’ or homesteads found in villages of East Africa.

Nai Nami Tour | Nairobi, Kenya

This three-hour storytelling tour, guided by former street children, takes your clients through the heart of Nairobi. Unlike typical cultural tours, this experience focuses on the rich history and culture of Kenya, as well as the inspiring stories of the guides who have overcome homelessness.

During the tour, your clients will visit a local market and enjoy a traditional Kenyan meal. For those seeking a tour that goes beyond the usual tourist spots and provides a deeper understanding of Nairobi, the Nai Nami Storytelling Tour is an excellent choice.

The skyline of the capital city of Kenya great for a cultural tours in Nairobi in East Africa with African Safari Excellence
The skyline of the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi.

Maasai Village Tour | Half Day | Arusha,Tanzania

This six-hour tour offers your clients an immersive experience in Monduli, a Maasai village in Tanzania. They will be picked up from their accommodation and transported to the village, where the village chief will provide an insightful overview of the Maasai way of life. Their guide will explain the community’s workings, the construction of their dwellings, and offer an opportunity to sample traditional Maasai cuisine. 

After the meal, clients will have the chance to wear traditional Maasai attire and participate in the villagers’ traditional dance. On the return journey to Arusha, the tour includes a visit to the Maasai market, with a special focus on the unique market experience available on Saturdays.

Maasai tribe performing their traditional jumping dance in traditional colorful Maasai clothing with African Safari Excellence
Maasai tribe performing their traditional jumping dance in traditional colorful Maasai clothing.

Stone Town Heritage Walk | Zanzibar, Tanzania

This two-hour evening town walk offers your clients a chance to immerse themselves in the city’s rich history of Zanzibar. They will discover architectural influences, visit memorial sites, and learn about the history of the sultan as they navigate the narrow, winding cobbled streets. With a maximum of just 10 people, this tour provides an exceptionally intimate experience.

On this immersive evening tour, your clients will gain first-hand insight into Stone Town’s heritage, the atmospheric cultural and historical heart of Zanzibar City. Constructed from coral stone in the 19th and 20th centuries, Stone Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. The tour delves into Zanzibar’s rich history, exploring its heritage sites and distinctive architecture of all the cultural tours available.

Significant historical and cultural landmarks visited on the tour include the former home of the sultan, Tippu Tip House, and the Hamamni Baths. Your client will also explore famous street squares like Kelele Square and Jaws Corner. Limited to 10 people, this Heritage Walking tour ensures a personalized and engaging experience for your client.

An alleyway that is filled with trinkets and souvenirs for travellers to buy on cultural tours of Stone Town with African Safari Excellence
One of the vibrant bazaars that can be found in Stone Town selling various locally crafted souvenirs.

Cultural Experiences at Lodges

Bicycle Ride Mayoka Village | AndBeyond Lake Manyara | Tanzania

If your client is staying at the &BEYOND Lake Manyara Tree Lodge in Tanzania they will have the unique opportunity to engage with the Myoka community. The experience begins in the village, where guests are introduced to the locals and pick up their bicycles. From there, they will pedal through the area getting a chance to engage with one or more of the local community projects, this currently includes the Mayoka Primary School, Tara Getty Secondary School and the Mayoke Dispensary.

The journey continues as your client will cycle towards the shores of the iconic Lake Manyara, where they can marvel at the stunning natural scenery. The lake is located near the Nogorongoro Crater and is home to a plethora of wildlife with a reserve of over 100 kilometers long. Here, your client will experience various monkey species, colorful birds and other wildlife species.

A guest admiring the open plains with bicycles while on a bicycle one of the many cultural tours offered with African Safari Excellence
A guest admiring Lake Manyara on the bicycle tour.

Walk with the Maasai | Chem Chem | Tanzania

Walking safaris provide a wonderful opportunity to experience the environment at a more leisurely pace compared to a traditional game drive or jeep ride, allowing you to see smaller creatures, interesting insects, and the finer details of the landscape that might otherwise be missed.

If your client is staying at Chem Chem, they should definitely consider joining a walking tour with the Maasai. Accompanied by a traditional Maasai warrior who is incredibly knowledgeable about the local wildlife, plants, and ecosystem. These Maasai guides are expert trackers who will teach your client how to identify signs of wildlife and share insights into their way of life and how they coexist with nature.

This experience will leave your client with a deeper appreciation for the Maasai culture and the breathtaking landscape they inhabit. This is one of the most unique experiences of all of the cultural tours available and this highly recommendable for your client.

A women walking with three men dressed in traditional Maasai clothing on on of the many cultural tours available in East Africa with African Safari Excellence
A women on a walking tour with local Maasai warriors.

Walking Safari | Elewana Tortilis Camp | Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Elewana’s Tortilis Camp offers a captivating walking safari experience with a local Maasai guide for clients staying at the property. Situated in the heart of Amboseli National Park, your clients will have the unique opportunity to embark on an enriching walk through the park with a knowledgeable Maasai guide. During this immersive experience, your clients will learn how to track various animals, uncover the medicinal uses of local plants, and gain a deeper appreciation for the intricate relationship between the Maasai people and their environment. 

They will also be introduced to the Maasai’s traditional way of life, learning about their customs, practices, and the sustainable ways they coexist with nature. This walking safari promises to be an unforgettable journey, offering a unique perspective on the stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage of the Amboseli region.

Local Village Tour | Bishop’s House | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Guests staying at Bishop’s House in Rwanda have the chance to visit the Iby’Iwacu village, located just outside Volcanoes National Park. Your clients can embark on a guided community walk, engaging with local people and gaining insights into their way of life. They will have the opportunity to meet a traditional healer and learn about how natural elements are used for medicinal purposes through fascinating stories. Additionally, your clients can explore local schools and interact with the students, gaining a deeper understanding of the educational system and daily life in the village.

They will also have the chance to taste local cuisine, enjoying traditional dishes that reflect the rich culinary heritage of the region. Furthermore, your clients can visit a banana brewery to discover the process of making banana beer, observing the traditional brewing methods and even sampling the final product.

As part of this immersive experience, your clients can enjoy various traditional dances, such as the Intore dance, and listen to songs about gorillas, performed by renowned local artists. They will also hear the captivating melodies produced by traditional musical instruments, including African drums. This enriching cultural experience offers a unique perspective on Rwandan traditions and way of life. This tour is an all encompassing experience and isa must if your client has various cultural tours they would like to experience. 

Men performing traditional dance of Intore in Rwanda.

Contact African Safari Excellence to start planning your client’s cultural safari with one or more of our recommended cultural tours. We are East Africa.