An African cultural experience is varied and manifold . You can meet individuals living traditional lives – and the meeting leaves you with a mutual understanding and respect.
Safari Elegance offers you a simply luxurious or budget cultural safari all through our lovely Africa!
Kenya offers a rich variety of cultural experiences with plenty of involvement with local villages.
On your cultural Safari with us, you will very much get the opportunity to learn about Maasai, Samburu, Turkana, Swahili and others. You can visit a village on a market day or walk with the herds when going out to pasture in the morning.
While nomadic lifestyles are circumscribed these days by the conventions of modern life, these communities are still rooted in traditions very different from those most visitors are used to.
The country has at least 40 different ethnic African groups (including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin tribes, Luo, Kamba, Somali, Kisii, Meru & Embu, Mijikenda, Turkana and Maasai) who speak a variety of mother tongues.
South Africans are a diverse group and offer a cultural immersion that is both fascinating and insightful.
It can open one’s eyes to different ways of doing things, or to new insights into corporate structures, conflict resolution and leadership styles.
They also have an incredible history and our fight for freedom from oppression has allowed them to be open, accommodating and welcoming to all who live there and all who visit their shores.
The Zulu and Xhosa speakers are the two largest groups – accounting for nearly 40% of the population – with Pedi, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Swati/Swazi, Venda and Ndebele speakers making up the rest.
Botswana has an array of ethnic groups living side by side in what has for many years been known as a very peaceful country.
The San (Bushmen), are the most attractive ethnic group to cultural tourists who are hunters and gatherers too.
The San lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle, with a culture that’s very different from most other African tribal groups.
Several camps offer fantastic Bushmen walks, with authentic San trackers, happy to share their wealth of knowledge about the bush with you.
Mozambique can offer really unique African cultural experiences – which have their roots in its Bantu and Swahili history, overlaid with Portuguese colonial rule and more recently its struggles for independence.
All this has left a lively arts culture including exotic cuisine, and music and dancing with a vibrant Latin edge.
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilha de Mozambique as a fascinating destination, was once a Portuguese strong hold, and the stone town boasts amazing architecture, including churches, a museum and several colonial buildings.
You can stay in lodges close and visit communities and villages where you’ll experience a warm welcome, learn about the culture and lifestyle, and be able to meet and interact with local people.
Namibia isn’t an exception for cultural experiences in Africa. Being a country with lowest population densities, you get to know people of a radically different cultural background.
To engage with more traditional cultures, Safari Elegance recommends a visit to a Himba settlement which offer sensitive insights into the interesting lifestyles of these semi-nomadic, desert-dwelling people.
For us, one of Africa’s very best cultural experiences has always been a longer and more involved stay in a traditional Bushman village, where you can take part in a wide range of activities with the Bushmen and learn in detail about their hunter-gatherer culture.
Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s only Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site has one of Africa’s largest concentrations of ancient rock art and is well worth a visit.
Tanzania offers many contrasting African cultural experiences. With a population of around 50 million, the majority of whom are living in rural areas; it’s possible to interact with a wide variety of people. Tanzania offers real insights into many different cultures, backgrounds and religions.
Across Tanzania the cultural groups and traditional practices differ greatly. A few examples of these contrasting groups are the iconic Maasai people who live mostly in northern Tanzania, the largely Muslim population of Zanzibar (see our comments on cultural experiences in Zanzibar), and the waMeru people who settled at the base of Mount Meru hundreds of years ago, to name but a few.
Our recommendations below feature the lodges that we feel offer the most authentic and enjoyable Tanzania cultural experiences.