To broaden and enrich your stay in Tanzania, we offer a range of cultural tours and other activities aimed at complementing your safaris and mountain treks.
Excursions & Activities
From Arusha, for example, we organize walking safaris in Arusha National Park; or day trips to visit the Maasai in Oldonyo Sambu or Mama Ana's women's cooperative on Mount Meru.
If you prefer a cultural tour while on safari, you can visit the Hadzabe and Datoga Tribes in Lake Eyasi, or go on a shorter cultural tour in Mto wa Mbu near Lake Manyara National Park. Visits to the Maasai tribe are possible in Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
We also arrange visits to Ndatu Kindergarten outside Arusha. Duma proudly supports the school through financial and in-kind assistance, and we can organize a one-day visit or volunteer vacation as part of a safari trip or Kilimanjaro climb.
We recommend including an active adventure during any safari to give you time outside the vehicle. Bike rides, bush walks, canoe rides and balloon safaris are all possible in Tanzania.
There are also many cultural excursions available on the Tanzanian coast, including visits to historical sites, spice farms, villages and museums. A local guide will accompany your group around the villages and provide information on the culture and history. Please visit the ‘beaches page’ to learn more.
Our recommended operator for Zanzibar excursions is Eco & Culture Tours.
Night Game Drives
Night drives are available from certain camps inside both Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. Night drives are conducted by camp vehicles and staff rather than your Duma Explorer driver. Night drives are also available at Manyara Ranch and in West Kilimanjaro.
Canoe safaris are available in Arusha National Park year round and seasonally in Lake Manyara National Park. Canoe rides last about two hours and we recommend leaving in the morning when it is cooler. Canoe safaris are also available in Selous Game Reserve.
Spectacular hot air balloon rides are available in the Central and Western Serengeti and in Tarangire National Park. The price is USD 450 per person in Tarangire and USD 499 per person in the Serengeti. The balloon launches at dawn and includes an hour-long ride followed by a bush breakfast.
Short bike tours are available near Lake Manyara National Park.
Lake Eyasi is a mildly alkaline lake about 50 km in length. It takes a little over an hour to get there from Ngorongoro Crater, and is mostly visited as a cultural tour to see the Hadzabe and Datoga Tribes.
The Hadzabe are one of two remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in Tanzania and they speak a unique click language. The Hadzabe population is diminishing rapidly due to land loss, decreasing game populations and lack of government protection. Much of the Hadzabe's traditional land has been cultivated, and it is agreed that land loss will continue until government protection is established.
It is thought that the Datoga people migrated from Ethiopia to Kenya and Tanzania approximately 3,000 years ago. Their language and culture is similar to Highland Nilotes, isolating them from other tribes in the area. Originally pastoralists similar in culture to the Maasai, they have adapted to a farming lifestyle in recent years. Their unique clothing blends in with their environment and employs intricate beadwork. The Datoga use tattoos as a form of decoration around their eyes. Although skilled farmers and craftsmen, they live in difficult conditions and have not benefited from economic development in Tanzania.
We offer cultural tours to Lake Eyasi, but visits are limited to families who have chosen to participate in tourism; while a local guide who has been approved by the tribe accompanies all visitors. Cultural activities include accompanying Hadzabe hunters while they hunt bush meat; learning to make jewelry with the women; watching the production of traditional weapons and instruments; and learning the Hadzabe's click language. A Datoga visit includes a tour of a traditional home and a lesson in traditional blacksmithing.
Lake Eyasi offers excellent views of the Rift Valley escarpment. Lake Eyasi visits can be added to any northern circuit safari and we recommend a two-night stay.
Sample Lake Eyasi Itinerary
Arrive in the afternoon and receive a cultural tour briefing.
Day Two: Morning with Hadzabe, afternoon with Datoga
6am - 12pm (Option 1): Hunt/gather honey with the Hadzabe men. Up to 4 miles walking over rough terrain required. Learn how to shoot arrows.
8am - 12pm (Option 2): Visit with the Hadzabe women and children. Learn how to make jewelry with porcupine quills and beads. Dig for roots and gather fruit.
12pm: Return to lodge or campsite for lunch.
1pm - 2pm: Lunch
2pm - 3pm: Relax around lodge. Walk to Lake Eyasi, visit fishpond, climb kopje behind lodge.
3pm – 6pm: Visit the Datoga Tribe and learn about traditional homes and dress. Visit a local blacksmith. Return to the lodge or campsite after the visit.
Depart after breakfast or have a morning lake activity.
Kolo Kondoa rock art site
The must-see Kolo Kondoa rock art site is a mirror into Tanzania’s rich cultural history stretching over thousands of years.
Ancestors of the present-day Sandawe and Hadzabe tribes are said to have created the paintings, some of which are at least two thousand years old – newer paintings date back about two hundred years. Most of the paintings are located in rock overhangs that have protected the paintings from wind, sun and rain. Some sites are still used by local communities for rainmaking and healing rituals.
The images represent both hunter-gatherer and agro-pastoralist ways of life, depicting the changing lifestyles over the past millennium. The scenes include elongated human figures with large heads and elaborate hairstyles depicted in a variety of positions and activities. Visitors can also see accurate illustrations of animals such as giraffe, elephant, kudu, impala and zebra. There are 150 shelters decorated with paintings in the Kondoa District, some of which can be easily accessed from Kolo Kondoa.
Please visit the Kolo Kondoa Flickr set.
Kolo Kondoa is 275km southwest of Arusha. We recommend visiting Kolo Kondoa between Tarangire and Lake Manyara or Lake Eyasi during a Northern Tanzania safari. The drive from Tarangire to Kolo Kondoa is about three hours one way. Please note that there is only camping accommodation south of Tarangire and no tourist class hotels. As the campsite does not have any facilities, we set up a toilet and shower tents in addition to your sleeping tents. We recommend a two to three night stay in Kolo Kondoa. With ancestors of the Hadzabe tribe having likely created some paintings, we recommend combining a visit to Kolo Kondoa with a Hadzabe cultural tour in Lake Eyasi.
We organize guided walks both within and outside the national parks. We offer many different short walks and longer hikes depending on your interest and fitness level. Below is a list of available walks.
Tarangire National Park
Short bush walks focused on birdlife and ecology are available from some tented camps both inside and outside the park. The walks are usually short and cross flat but often uneven terrain.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Both easy and moderate hikes are available inside and outside Ngorongoro. During peak migration season, walks are arranged in the Ndutu area. Around Ngorongoro Crater, there are several opportunities for easy to moderate walks.
Arusha National Park
Spend up to four hours hiking in Arusha National Park. Both easy and strenuous hikes are available and the scenery in Arusha is beautiful with opportunities to see wildlife on foot.
Lake Manyara National Park
Walks are available inside Lake Manyara if booked with certain camps.
Bush walks are available from most camps outside the park. A few camps inside the park allow walking if booked prior to arrival.
Rift Valley hikes
One to three-hour hikes are available outside Lake Manyara. More difficult hikes descend the Rift Valley Escarpment; while easier walks focus on birdlife around the lodges.
The Rift Valley hike is currently unavailable as the trail was washed out in the 2012 rainy season.
Hiking in West Kilimanjaro can be an exhilarating experience as large game, including elephants, can be viewed while on foot. Beautiful views of Mount Kilimanjaro are another highlight of visits to this area.
For those interested in combining a cultural tour and hiking safari, we recommend a Ngorongoro Highlands trek that passes through Maasai villages and offers many opportunities to interact with remote Maasai communities.
Hikes visit Embulbul, Nainokanoka, Empakai and Nayobi Villages and range in length from two to five days. Only budget camping accommodations are available during Ngorongoro Highlands treks.