Best of Eastern Africa and Southern Africa Travel including Trips to Egypt
Cultural Tours in Africa, Cultural Safaris in East Africa
(African Culture, Cultural Tours in Africa, Eastern Africa Cultural Safaris, People of Kenya, Maasai Cultural Practices, Tanzania Cultural Adventures, Uganda Cultural Tours, The African People and their Culture, African Tribes and Ethnic Communities)
Africa, a continent of drums is a cultural continent among the six continents of the world.
Travelling into Africa has always been about discovery, and it is through visiting other continents that we learn about the world. Tourism is not just a financial exchange; it is about the exchange of experience- learning about new places, faces and people. The best way to understand another culture is to experience it firsthand, and this is the true value of the tourist trade.
World over, tourists seek cultural experiences, from the cosmopolitan streets of Washington DC, from the cathedrals of Europe to the Egyptian Pyramids and London to remote villages in the country side of Kenya. Cultural tourism is one of the fastest growing and most popular niche markets today.
Africa has over 700 tribes, each of whom has its own culture, all together combined create a complex of cultural behaviours and norms. Africa is the most visited continent of the world as far as cultural tourism is concerned. Tourism being a dynamic and complex industry, cultural tourism is currently superseding world life tourism. The west is changing their interest from wildlife tourism to cultural and community development tourism. It is important for the current tourists to know the cultures and norm of various tribes wherever they visit in Africa in order to understand the day to day livelihood of the people in Africa. In view of this, Niche Africa Holidays, being a tour operator in East Africa has developed different packages for it’s clients to visit the rural and the urban citizens of East Africa, South Africa and the Northern Africa including Egypt for them to immerse in the African culture.
Cultural tours and safaris in East Africa
A trip to East Africa is about more than just
wildlife or scenery; the real face of East Africa is
found among the combined faces of its peoples many cultures.
It is the people who bring the destination to life,
each of our landscapes has a different cultural significance
to a different community, and the wildlife has long
been an essential part of our peoples' traditional cultures.
When you consider the importance of cultural tourism
around the world, it is easy to see that East Africa
offers more than any other destination
East Africa currently has five countries
thus forming the East Africa community. These countries
include: - Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania
which combines Zanzibar and Pemba islands. Out of the
five countries of East Africa, different tribal activities
take place in these countries since each tribe has its
own cultural beliefs and norms. There are over 150 tribes
in East Africa, some of whom have not been exposed to
modern English life, the likes of the Maasai, Dorobo
and the Bush men of Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. Even
the most elite tribes of East Africa some of whom still
practice cultural norms, these include, the circumcision
of men, the female circumcision (Genital Mutilation)
among the African tribes, the naming of the children
after birth - ceremony which is being practiced by the
Bantus among others. The tero buru of the Luos
after the death of a village elder, the burial ceremonies
which are being conducted and pre and post burial day
rituals. The wife inheritance among the Nilotics. All
the above scenarios are still being practiced by many
tribes in East Africa. Niche Africa Holidays has prepared
cultural packages which take into consideration, the
cultural immersion by a visitor who has visited Africa
for the first time; these are being taken into consideration
when planning cultural tours and safaris in East Africa.
Cultural tours and safaris in Kenya
Cultural tourism is not just about foreign visitors
coming to ones country. Kenyans can learn a great deal
about themselves and their country by experiencing the
broad cultural diversity that surrounds them. Exposing
themselves and their families to other cultures teaches
them and future generations to respect others and live
in peace. For anyone interested in cultural tourism,
there are endless opportunities available in Africa
and Kenya in particular.
Travelling through Kenya is to experience
a unique cultural mosaic as old as creation. At the
Coast, meet the Swahili sailors of the coastal region
and the Mijikenda community; visit the thorn-enclosed
villages of the Maasai in the South, and walk alongside
Samburu warriors in the Northern wilderness, or fish
with the Luo, master fisherman of Lake Victoria in the
West. Anywhere you travel in Kenya, you will find new
and fascinating cultures, and cultural events. Some
may argue that many tourists visit Kenya to experience
only our famous wildlife, or our beaches, the truth
is that for these visitors it is the experience of our
culture that makes their stay so special.When we conduct
exit polls with our departing guests at our airports,
we always receive one common compliment- an overwhelming
vote of thanks for the warmth and welcoming spirit of
the Kenyan people.
Kenya’s heritage stretches back
longer than most, and the depth of our history can be
seen in the three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kenya.
At Koobi Fora, some of the earliest evidence of human
habitation on earth has been found, while the streets
of Lamu echo with the history of centuries of sea trade,
and Mt Kenya is a biosphere reserve that combines respect
for a traditional symbol of creation and the need to
conserve Kenya’s environment for the future.
Cultural tourism shows us the great
value of our traditions and our community spirit, and
by encouraging and celebrating culture, we ensure it
is preserved and protected for the future. Increasingly,
more and more communities are turning to tourist projects
as means of sustaining and enriching their lives. The
success of many community tourism projects, supported
by the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Trust Fund,
is a testament to the great value of culture in Kenya.But
there is a greater value in cultural tourism. At a time
in history when racial and religious conflict threatens
to divide and conquer the world, it is only through
a better understanding of all human cultures and beliefs
that our global community will come together and achieve
lasting peace. From the annual Maulidi celebrations
in Lamu to the bullfights of Kakamega, the Maasai
Eunoto to the Mombasa cultural carnival, there are enough
festivals, events and ceremonies to fill a calendar
and ensure that there is always something new and exciting
to experience, anywhere, anytime.
Tribes of Kenya
with its 42 tribes have different cultural activities
and norms, these include the following ethic groups;
Bantu, Nilotics, Nilo Hamatic, Kalenjin, Hamitic. Equal
to its number of tribes, kenya has 42 cultures with
countless languages and dialects and one of the most
richly diverse social tapestries on earth. Yet the tribes
respect ones culture and remain a peaceful nation united
by a common Kenyan culture; a strong, proud people who
warmly welcome the world to its beautiful country
The Ethnic groups of Kenya
Kenya occupies unique position in Africa as a crossroad
of major ethnic groups. In very broad terms, these can
be divided into the following;
- Nilotic The only large Nilotic group in Kenya is the Luo tribes on the shores of Lake Victoria in the Western Kenya.
- Nilo Hamitic The major tribes are the Maasai, Samburu and the Turkana, nomadic people who inhibit plains and semi desert areas from the from Southern to Northern Kenya.
- Kalenjin Similar to the Nilo Hamitic, the major tribes are the Kipsigis, Nandi and Tugen from the Central Rift Valley.
- Hamitic The major tribes are the Somali, Boran, and Rendile who tend cattle and camels in Northern Kenya.
- Bantu the major Bantu tribes are Kikuyu, Meru, Embu the Mijikenda (the nine coastal tribes of which the larges are Giriama and Digo), Luhya, Kamba, Kisii, Taita and the Kuria. They are the most widely distributed group ranging from the coast to the Southwest and around Mt. Kenya.
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Last Updated 1st February 2013