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Tanzania Tribal Diversity in Africa


Tanzania is home to some of the most incredible tribal diversity in Africa. The country includes all of the major ethnic and linguistic groups on the continent an amazingly varied population to inhabit a single country.

Home to approximately 120 tribal groups, most of these comprise small communities that are gradually being assimilated into the larger population due to changes in land use and the economic draw of city life. Tribal diversity is prized and far from being a source of division, Tanzanians place a high value on their countries multicultural heritage. Over the past few years, cultural tourism has become an increasing attraction for visitors from around the world and visits to tribal villages are often a highlight of safari itineraries.

The Masaai are perhaps the most well known of Tanzanias tribes and inhabit the northern regions of the country. Pastoralists who fiercely guard their culture and traditions, Masaai tribal life revolves around protecting and caring for their herds of cattle and finding ample grazing land in their region. The tribes live in circular enclosures called manyatas, where small mud huts surround a secure open circle where their cattle and other herd animals sleep protected during the night. Woven thorn bushes form a thick fence around the enclosure to protect the herds from attacks by lions and other predators. Because good grazing land fluctuates according to the seasons and yearly rains, Masaai settlements are temporary and easily relocated to where grazing and water access is best. Tribal tradition separates men and women into different age groups: the youngest herd sheep and goats while the young male warriors, or moranas, job is to protect and care for their familys cattle. Male elders hold a position of respect in Masaai society and once a warrior becomes an elder, he may marry to begin a family of his own.

Tanzanias Northern Circuit is renowned for some of the finest wildlife viewing throughout Africa and safaris here are memorably rewarding. With the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and extensive parks and game reserves adjoining, this region has a natural abundance of wildlife, and protects the annual migration of millions of animals across these northern reaches.

A Northern Tanzania safari provides some of the most exciting and varied wildlife viewing in Africa. How to do it depends on your personal preferences, this vast area may be explored by 4×4 or as a flying circuit, staying in elegant, stylish private camping concessions, mobile camping or permanent tented camps, or otherwise opting for lodge based accommodation.

At Tanzania Odyssey we specialise in arranging personalised Land Rover safaris through all of the regions of Northern Tanzania, in which you experience these stunning landscapes up close and personal, in the comfort of a private vehicle, with your own highly experienced and informative driver guide. We strongly recommend that you take a private driving safari in the north, even if there are just two of you.

Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Tanzania Rental Site