CULTURAL SAFARI

Bringing “worlds apart” together
Learn about Tanzania – its people and places – from those who manage and depend on its precious natural resources. Search for breakfast with Hadzabe hunter-gatherers or join the Maasai to water and graze 100 head of cattle before sundown.transparent and allows for structured but un-staged encounter. The areas have a wilderness character so that visitors (and we ourselves) have the privilege of learning about wildlife, nature, and the land through a synergy of traditional and scientific knowledge.

Since its beginning, Excess Africa has based its travel concept on the philosophy that our natural environments (and wilderness and wildlife) are intimately and irrevocably linked to people – both locally and globally.

Based on a sound natural sciences background and a thorough knowledge of the peoples of East Africa, Excess Africa has designed cultural travel for individuals and groups that provide stimulating educational experiences. African cultures are serendipitously met while on camping and walking safaris in wilderness areas of Tanzania. These special adventures engage participants in issues of ecology, culture and development.

The Masai Tour
Visits with the Maasai, as with most of the cultures we visit, are designed to provide a cultural experience within a wilderness context. All the areas we visit provide an opportunity to learn about the Maasai within their traditional environment, a glimpse into their daily lives rather than a portrayal for the “outside world” to see.

For visits to Maasai villages, tourists will get the chance to have a fascinating experience learning about the Maasai way of traditional life and their pastoral ways, marked by the herds of cattle the people collect to show their wealth.

Camel rides through the village can be arranged with enough advance notice. If you are lucky, you will get to catch them performing their traditional initiation ritual which marks the transition for their young teenagers into manhood.

The Hadza Activities
The Hadza, a small ethnic group of hunter-gatherers, are the earliest known inhabitants of the Yaida Valley, though no one can say for sure when they arrived or where they came from originally. Linguistic studies show that while their language is superficially similar to the Khoisan language group of the Bushmen and Hottentots, it cannot be placed in any of the recognized major ethno-linguistic groups.

The Yaida Valley Tourism Program began in the early 1990’s when the Hadzabe community invited a small, family-owned safari company to bring tourists to the Yaida Valley. The relationship between the Hadza (as they are called in English) and the Peterson family goes back some forty years, and it was of concern to both parties that tourism in the valley serve the Hadza’s needs and values. The Hadza’s invitation led to a series of powwows, resulting in a carefully monitored program.

Hadza have valuable knowledge
Hunting and gathering cultures, with their foundation of ecological prudence, have lessons to teach all people. What the Hadza would like you, as a visitor, to take home is an appreciation of their culture not as an antiquated tradition disconnected from the modern world but as a valid part of it. This approach to tourism bolsters self-identity among a people victimized by severe prejudice and discrimination across the board.

Community values.
Because Hadza land is a communal resource and Hadza society is egalitarian, tourism is judged worthwhile only if it enhances community land and resource rights. In particular, tourism should not permit individuals to profit at the expense of the community. Tourist proceeds go primarily to community accounts, though smaller fees (structured by the community) may be paid to local individuals who take part in a given tourist visit.

The Hadzabe Bushmen 
We also provide visits to Hadzabe Bushmen, who live in the dry terrain near Lake Eyasi, south of Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania and who have existed in this region for over 3000 years.
The Hadzabe people are nomads and thus don’t live in the same place for long. They only set up camp for several days or even months and then when they have harvested the resources of their current location, they move to another area. Their moves are normally influenced by climate changes and the availability of wild fruits and vegetation for their animals.