Discover Enchanting Travels’ handpicked selection of top nine cultural experiences in East Africa during your African vacation!
Whenever you travel – whether as a getaway, a planned family vacation or just to experience the exquisite nature of a new place – you intentionally or unintentionally learn about the culture of that place and maybe share some of your own. Learning about different cultures changes one’s perception about life and humanity.
1 Jacaranda Workshop, Kenya
The organisation provides employment, training and other assistance to artisans with mental and or physical disabilities. During your visit to the workshop, you can meet the individuals involved who gain meaningful and fair livelihoods out of this venture. As the products are all lovingly made by hand, every single piece is unique and whisper the stories of their makers. Many pieces take on the quirks and trademarks of the individuals who shape the beads or paint them giving them soul as well as beauty.
Enchanting Travels purchases all our gifts for guests entering East Africa, as a means to support this worthwhile, heartfelt organization.
2 Browse Masaai markets
When you visit a new place it’s always fun to bring one or two souvenirs back home for your friends and family, not least when you head out on an exotic African vacation!
The Masaai market in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya is an ideal location for you to find a variety of articles, ranging from clothes, fabrics, paintings, drawings, woodcarvings, soapstone products, jewelry and much more! The market shifts venue every day so it is a good idea to speak with your Trip Coordinator or Local Guide to find out the schedule for the week ahead so you can fit in a visit during your city tour!
3 Camel trekking in Laikipia
To make the most of cultural experiences in East Africa, venture into Laikipia, the land of the Samburu people– semi nomadic pastoralists who mainly herd cattle, including camels!
You can walk alongside the camels, while being led by a Samburu guide from the region, who will give you many insights into his culture, from the foods worn and clothing eaten to their social and tribal beliefs. When the terrain gets rocky and doesn’t easily facilitate walking, you can also ride on these hardy and well-cared for desert creatures.
Treks range between three days to two weeks, and allow you to explore this unique region of Kenya at close quarters.
4 Camel races in Northern Kenya
The camel race in Northern Kenya is called the Maralal Camel Derby, where both local and international competitors take part in this fun race. The atmosphere around the town on race day is astounding. If you are looking at a competitive and electric experience during your African vacation then this must be on your travel wish list!
5 Annual event: Masaai Olympics
Your list of cultural experiences in East Africa is incomplete without meeting the Maasai. The Maasai warriors hunt not for lions but for prizes and trophies!
The Maasai Olympics, held every year in Amboseli, Kenya, began as a local initiative to eliminate lion hunting from the Masaai culture, and has taken on a grand event of its own. Imagine the amount of energy and vigor channelized into this event by the strong Masaai peoples. Witness a variety of indigenous and traditional Olympic sports played during the Masaai Olympics.
6 Coffee Plantations Visit, Tanzania
A visit to the coffee plantation provides a unique experience for all your senses, as you venture into the breathtaking plantations where coffee is grown in Tanzania. Learn about the entire process from planting to ready to drink coffee bean on this unique tailor-made tour, from local coffee planters and experts. The most famous coffee lodge in Tanzania is Arusha Coffee Lodge, which is located within one of Tanzania’s largest coffee estates.
What is the best part of any coffee tours? The taste test, of course! You can stay a few nights at the lodge, and everyday wake up to smell and drink a delicious cup coffee right from source!
7 Visit to Shanga, Tanzania
If you wish to appreciate art in all varied forms, then Shanga in Tanzania is a paradise to venture to. Similar to Jacaranda, this is a social enterprise that employs people with disabilities. However, all the products made here are from recycled materials. Shanga allows you to interact with the artisans and watch them in action! Shanga also offers workshops where you can learn glass bowling and make your own necklace!
Established by Arusha Coffee Lodge, you can visit Shanga after you’ve had your cup of morning coffee.
8 Cultural Experiences in East Africa: Tanzania
Your African vacation can be best experienced by spending time with the Amini Life in West Kilimanjaro! Be a guest of one of the local families and have a unique and very special access to the traditions of Maasai and Meru culture. Being at the heart of the culture and among the people, rather than at a closed-off hotel, gives you the chance to experience real Tanzania like very few visitors do.
9 Medicinal Walk, Tanzania
Do you appreciate home remedies for cures? Then come to Tanzania and get one or two traditional natural remedy tips from the people living in Isoitok, Manyara. Venture out on a natural medicinal walk with the Maasai, and learn all about the varied and native root and plant extracts that are still being used today by the locals to treat ailments. The trips are usually arranged early mornings, so you can walk through terrains without the heat of the African sun to burden you.
With our local presence and destination expertise, we will be happy to arrange any of these cultural experiences in East Africa as part of your next Enchanting Travels adventure.