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Tanzania’s rural tourism is one of the most appropriate tools for boosting and encouraging economic and community development for Tanzania and East African Region at large, because villagers, who are the majority, will be the stakeholders owning the resources. Small – scale tourism would generate income for the rural population. 21st century tourists will need to be in contact with the villages, with the local people and nature. And Tanzania and East African Region is the most appropriate place to find them. Development of rural tourism in the villages would be a catalyst for local involvement because it does not require a large capital investment.
PLACES TO VISIT TANZANIA’S RURAL TOURISM
Located 900 km north of the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, Marangu is one of Tanzania’s most stunning towns, unrivalled in its diversity of landscapes, nature and heritage. This is because, it is next to the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, to make it the only place that has the most pronounced evidence of the Wachagga, a hard working community and their domed thatched huts dotting the village. Explore the best – kept secrets of the wealth of nature and heritage, the 100 plus years old Roman Catholic Church and the area residents’ customs and traditions. 4kms away to Kilema from Marangu village, you will have an opportunity to see the second oldest Roman Catholic Church in Tanzania that was built from 1890 to 1895. The church, then it attracted worshippers from as far as Taita Taveta and Voi in Kenya apart from Moshi, Pare, Kondoa Irangi, Tanga and Arusha in Tanzania. Built mainly by stones in the typical combination of French and German styles, the church with a seating capacity for 1000 congregations, has endured the text of time, and has sought to retain its original appearance seen in the stone walls, the stone altar that still stands at the front of the church and highly placed small windows. The door is made of hard wood and it has never been changed since 1895. Currently, the church founded by Fr Aloyce Munch, who was the head of the church in 1910 followed by Fr Henry Gogaity in 1922, falls under the Roman Catholic Church of Tanzania in Kilema. It is here that one can also see the first coffee (Arabica) trees planted by the first missionaries nearly 100 years ago. At a nearby Ngangu hill, 1530 m above sea level, every year mainly during the dry season, different religious rituals are held at the hill. There is a pillar which stands majestically on the top of the hill where religious prayers take place. The church priest would grant permission for religious pilgrimage and later conduct a mass service for the congregation at the church to wrap up the pilgrimages. Apart from religious activities, Ngangu hill has sweeping fantastic views of Mount Kilimanjaro (on a clear day, the snows of Kibo are seen so close, the plains so wide and the Pare Mountains close enough to grab), as well as Taita hills in Kenya and Himo town. Explore Marangu’s scenic routes, its history, nearby waterfall (Kilasiya) and a Wachagga live museum. The historic live museum is furnished to immortalize the past chief doms containing a traditional house, collections of tools ad equipment used for wars, farming, feeding and milking cows, cooking utensils, food and drinking of the local banana brew mbege. Deep in the well – maintained coffee and banana fields within the precincts of Marangu – it is the magnificent views of valleys and waterfalls that offer great entertainment for nature lovers and bird watchers. With more than seven (7) waterfalls in Marangu one can spend a whole day enjoying the postcard views. Famous for some of the world’s sprawling collection of waterfalls in the neighborhood, Marangu offers Kilasiya, Ndoro and Kinukamori waterfalls, among others, which are home to plenty of waterlife as well as high – rise cliffs.
- Kinukamori waterfall situated along the Mue River. The beauty of this waterfall and its cultural history has attracted a greater number of visitors. Its environment and rich history will leave you stunned. The waterfall gets its water from the melting glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro. Life in this big village is entirely different. Trees, flowers and fruit nurseries help to portray mountain life and give visitors the chance to see a wide range of unique flora and fauna.
- Visit the Mamba Makundi Blacksmiths where a group of men make iron tools using traditional methods to make spears and other tools. Visitors to the black smothery could be able to see blacksmiths using traditional methods to prepare spears and other war tools still used by the Maasai.
GETTING THERE / HOW TO GET THERE
Marangu is easily accessible by public transport from Moshi. It is nearly 40 kilometers away from the Moshi urban.
MARANGU VILLAGE – MOSHI RURAL AT A GLANCE
The name Marangu originates from the 19th century when Wagweno now living in Mwanga district visited the township of HIMO (near Marangu), and found waterstreams nearby. They shouted Mora! Morang! – meaning land of water. When the Europeans came to the area had difficulties to pronounce the word – Morang – instead they pronounced Morang.
UNDERGROUND TUNNELS IN MARANGU
- Underground tunnels in Marangu, believed to have been built in the 17th century to protect the Chaggas from attacks during the intertribal conflicts Chagga – Masaai war, are found in the area of Marangu village.
OTHER NUMEROUS TOURS IN MARANGU VILLAGE
- There are numerous tours through Marangu village that offers sighting of huge trees, flowers, fruit nurseries, including a visit to the home of LAUWO, a native who accompanied Dr. Hans Meyer on the first recorded climb of Kilimanjaro in 1889 and read the original log books of the late LAUWO .
Kinukamori waterfall situated along the MUE RIVER, the starting point for a trip – deep in the well – maintained coffee and banana fields within the precincts of Marangu surrounding neighbor hoods. The beauty of this waterfall and its cultural history has attracted a greater number of visitors. Its good environment and rich history will leave you interested. With more than seven waterfalls in Marangu one can spend a whole day enjoying the picture postcard views. Famous for some of the world’s sprawling collection of waterfalls in the neighborhood, Marangu offers KILASIYA, NDORO, and KINUKAMORI WATERFALLS, among others, which offer home to plenty of water life as well as high – rise cliffs. It is the magnificent views of valleys and waterfalls that offer great entertainment for nature lovers and bird watchers here. Trees, flowers and fruit nurseries help to portray mountains life and give visitors the chance to see a wide range of unique flora and fauna. The bird life is prolific and monitors and lizards are frequently sighted. The vegetation changes dramatically as you gain altitude, beginning with forest on the valley floor and changing to valley bushveld then fynbos and grassland on the summit.
MAMBA MAKUNDI BLACKSMITHS
Mamba Makundi Blacksmiths in the area of Marangu is where they make iron tools using traditional methods to make spears and other tools. Visitors here are able to see blacksmiths.
- During a market day Monday and Thursday only in Marangu Mtoni village, there are all sorts of things on sale; food stuffs, second hand clothes and so on. And here the famous sweet bananas (Ndizi kisukari) are plenty and natural ones, liked by many. The strategic Marangu Mtoni offers on electric day and with global trekkers meeting and getting to know one another. Here the bananas, the staple food, are cooked in different cooking’s such as Machalari, Kiburu, Kitawa and Ngararimo, which attracts many visitors.
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A home in a typical Hadzabe homestead comprises four to five different families who stay together. There is no dowry. However, a bridegroom before moving with the “wife” to their hut is expected to kill a huge animal that will provide eatery on the wedding day.
Decision making is consensual and includes both men and women. They do not traditionally have chiefs or leaders or even a village elder but occasionally a single powerful man influences the community. In contrast to surrounding tribes the Hadzabes are very egalitarian.
HOW TO GET THERE
It is nearly 270 km from Arusha. A 4WD is a must for this route.
THE BUSHMEN OF TANZANIA – HADZABES (HADZAS) AT A GLANCE
The Hadzabes or simply known as Hadzas are the last people of the East and Southern Africa to continue to carry out the life of the wandering hunter – gatherer using a single weapon, the bow and arrow.
PRIMITIVE NOMADIC LIFE
The Hadzabes live a very primitive nomadic life. Hunting is a must do activity for men, who are expected to bring back a kill to their home each time they go out hunting. If a killed animal is too big to carry home, the family moves with all their belongings to the place of the kill. They hunt small antelopes and baboons, although in rainy seasons gazelles and antelopes come down from the Ngorongoro or Serengeti to their bushland, offering them richer pickings. Testimony to their animal hunting are a few skulls of gazelles and antelopes as well as few horns hung over the huge baobab tree in the vicinity. What catches the attention of many visitors here, are the skills displayed by the young children (at the age of 5 to 12 years) armed with a bow and a few arrows ready to hunt in the bush. The string on their lethal bows is made from giraffe tendons and arrows are coated with a strong poison made from different trees. When it starts to rain, they cover their poison – tipped hunting arrows to prevent the moisture from diluting the poison, a seemingly old precaution. During rainy season, they seek shelter in caves. As the Hadzabes move constantly, there are no permanent houses. They drink water that they find from the tree roots, on leaves and occasional rock dent. While the men go hunting, the women look for wild fruits and roots. They also survive on honey. But the Hadzabe exodus from the forest to their new life will not be without problems. When peaking to anyone else, one of their own will reveal that Hadzabes have one important ultimatum; they must smoke marijuana (bhang), as they are very much used to it, and treat it rather religiously. And that Hadzabe men hardly ever cause any problem even after smoking marihuana.
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There are two ways one can use to get to Mbaga Manka: From Same Town drive past to Mkomazi National Park gate on via Kisiwani village nearly 48 kms away; and another way from Same Town passing through Mwembe village, 40 kms. A 4WD is must for this route. The south Pare Mountains are an ancient range in north - eastern Tanzania, “forming the heart of Same district”. Same district offers many cultural tourism attractions of historical and cultural interest and its forest. Mbaga is perched on the Mbaga hills overlooking Kisiwani village, Mkomazi National Park and Kenya’s Taita hills on the plains far below and to the East. In Mbaga Manka, a Cultural Tourism Enterprise was started in 1998 with the support from SNV and Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB).
MBAGA MANKA VILLAGE AT A GLANCE
Mbaga village perched on a hill has still retained its standing as a hiking destination of repute. The nature walks take visitors through the village which exposed tourists to the local’s lifestyles and give tourists an insight into the Wapare village setting. The Lutheran church in the area built in 1908 is one of the tourists first sighting. The church has a rich history and generations of local church leaders.
The huge rock has its amazing stores dating back up to the 1930s, which was used for killing abnormal children. On the climb up, tourists are passing villages and meeting locals who hike up and down daily as they go about finding schools, health care and other social needs down to the village.
The Bashay village is only twenty minutes from the Ngorongoro Crater Gate (Loduare gate) in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), in the Ngorongoro district, Arusha region, northern Tanzania – making it an added attraction for the Ngorongoro which has always been a great holiday break for city slickers and tourists. Campers, homestays and 4x4 enthusiasts are welcome, as well as visitors who prefer to take their holiday breaks with a healthy dose of history. There is an outside entertainment area, a traditional house and enclosed garden, making it well suited for families or large groups to get together and enjoy the outdoors. With a host of quaint roadside stalls and neighboring reserves nearby, visiting BASHAY VILLAGE is the perfect base from which to explore the IRAQWI TRIBE HISTORY, a tribe who are believed to originate from present day – IRAQ.
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Ukerewe is the largest island in Lake Victoria (Nyanza) and the largest inland in Africa, with an area of approximately 530 km2. The island is situated in the Ukerewe District, nearly 50 km north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, and it takes 3 to 4 hours to travel.
UKEREWE islets are an ideal place to go if one wishes to get a feeling of the life of the lake people. The journey takes two hours by boat from Mwanza. Usually, the boat leaves for the island twice a day, at 09 am and 02 pm. Large boats sail in the morning at 09: 00 am from Mwanza’s northern side of the port and in the afternoon from Mwaloni, Kirumba, or Mwanza Port Dock. From Ukerewe, you may return in the morning or in the afternoon. Accommodation is available in a few small hotels in Nansio. The list includes; Labima Hotel, Kondeni Hotel, Holiday Motel, Monarch Beach Resort and Bwiru Cultural Thatched Simple Traditional Houses. Camping grounds are available in some villages; the Ukerewe cultural tourism programme guides visitors accordingly. Monarch Hotel is only one kilometer from the ferry terminal to the west, although a newer and better equipped hotel is located near the main road into the interior of the island, a bit far from the lake. At the Monarch Gallu Hotel one can take a bicycle tour to a village located under the banana and orange trees. By a motor cycle taxi (BodaBoda) one can travel to Halwego view point, the highest point on the island with rocks and caves. In the very west of the large island, which is about 35 kilometers long, is Rubya Beach Forest, an enormous pine tree forest with a fine wide, white sand beach for safe swimming. The large catholic church of Kagunguli was built by the missionaries in the very beginning of the twentieth century. The nearby Bukindo chief’s palace is believed to have been constructed in 1920 and completed in 1928. For a visit to the neighboring Ukara Island one would need to see the dancing stone and for crossing one has to catch the ferry from Ukerewe. Then, a tedious journey on a bodaboda to the quiet beach in the north of the island. The large population of Ukara cultivates intensively Cassava or Manioc fields and engages in fishing. Ukerewe is the largest Island in Lake Victoria (Nyanza) and the largest inland in Africa, with an area of approximately 530 km2. Ukerewe Island is situated in the Ukerewe District, nearly 50 km north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, and it takes 3 to 4 hours to travel. Ukerewe Island is situated 45 km (25 nautical miles) north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry crossing of only 3.8 km also links the island across the Rugezi Channel to a dirt road on the eastern lake shore, which runs to Kibara and Musoma. The shoreline of Ukerewe Island is carved into numerous bays and it is surrounded by 38 small islands surrounding the neighborhood with 3 of them not occupied by humans and the rest are occupied by fishermen with their families. Its largest community is Nansio. Its simple lifestyle and rocky terrain broken by lake vistas and tiny patches of forest, makes an interesting, unusual entertainment. The few proper sights include the usual agricultural activities whereby residents cultivate maize, sweet potatoes, millet, cassava and rice. The main activity here is fishing. At Kagunguli, there is the oldest Roman Catholic Church built in 1895 located near a hill with the same name; the old school and dispensary which were built between 1902 and 1913. Bukindo was built in 1928 in the modest European – style palace of the Island’s former king, Kasyeza Ruhumbika. The building is still in use and is a must see place if you are in the area. you may find out from the palace guide why one of its rooms has remained closed more than half a century. Others include, Irondo point where visitors of Mwanza City, Entebbe in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya; a chance to be part of a traditional dance group Buzegwe staff band that is sure to leave you fascinated: a visit to the historical sites, including graves in the area. As part of the activities here, visitors are introduced to local fishing, canoeing, biking, and village tour and more are mildly interesting but the deeply rural life between them is the real attraction.
UKEREWE ISLAND AT A GLANCE
It is advisable and recommended to book a local guide to take you around simply because there are 3 tribal languages spoken on the island, so even if you know Swahili you will have a difficulty communicating. The easiest way to get to UKEREWE ISLAND is by ferry from MWANZA. Mwanza can be reached by bus, train or plane from Dar es Salaam or by bus or plane from ARUSHA. From MWANZA, you may have two ferry operators to reach UKEREWE ISLAND. The ‘MV RAFIKI’ leaves the Lake Ferries terminal in MWANZA CENTRE (near the central POLICE STATION) at UKEREWE ISLAND around 5;00 PM. Tickets are priced at 10,000/- or 15,000/- for VIP, and are sold at the ticket window in the ferry station. The MV RAFIKI departs from UKEREWE ISLAND to return to MWANZA at 8;00 am. The MV BUTIAMA usually sails daily from MWANZA NORTH PORT to NANSIO – UKEREWE at 9;00am (1st & 2nd class – cost 10,000/- or 8,000 THS, and departs at NANSIO – UKEREWE for MWANZA at 2.00pm. The journey is approximately 2 hours. The ‘MV NYEHUNGE 1’ leaves the KIRUMBA MWANZA DOCK at 8;30/ 9;00am and arrives in NANSIO – UKEREWE at 12;00pm. It returns to MWANZA at 1;30pm/ 2;00pm, and gets into MWANZA around 6;00pm. Tickets are 7,000/- TSHS – FIRST CLASS , and 6,000/- TSHS – SECOND CLASS. The ‘MV NYEHUNGE 2’ leaves the KIRUMBA – MWANZA DOCK at 1;30pm, and arrives in UKEREWE at 6;00pm. It returns to MWANZA at 7;30am, and arrives around 11;30am. Tickets are 15,000/- TSHS – FIRST CLASS, 7,000 TSHS – SECOND CLASS.