While the safari industry tends to focus on the Maasai, East Africa is home to hundreds of indigenous groups that each have distinct traditions. Even though we could spend hours immersing ourselves into each group’s culture, here is a closer look at five of the indigenous communities that enrich this region. 



The Hadzabe of Tanzania’s Lake Eyasi region are a true representation of African culture. As the last remaining bushmen of Tanzania, the Hadzabe still practice the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that has supported their community for centuries. Staying true to their traditional culture, the Hadzabe live in small, tent-like huts that can be quickly constructed or dismantled, depending on the location of food. If you are interested in a truly unique adventure, you can join young Hadzabe men on a hunt and catch birds or small mammals with bows and arrows. Complete your adventure with a visit to their communities for cultural immersion. 



Photo by WikimediaImages (pixabay.com)


The Batwa of Uganda were originally forest-dwellers who depended on hunting and gathering. They have strong spiritual and religious connections to the forest, and they consider specific sites to be integral to their existence. Unfortunately, the Batwa population has become displaced due to the conservation and ecological policies of the Ugandan government. If you are interested in supporting the Batwa community, we would love to set you up on a hike led by Batwa elders in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Through this tour, you will learn how the Batwa used the forest for hunting, dwelling, and medicinal purposes. You also have the chance to buy souvenirs from craft shops that are owned by the Batwa community. 



Adumu Safaris - Design Your OwnChagga

The Chagga, Tanzania’s third-largest ethnic group, live on Mount Kilimanjaro’s slopes. They are known for building complex and advanced irrigation systems. Thanks to Mount Kilimanjaro’s fertile soils, the Chagga are some of Tanzania’s wealthiest peoples. Since the Chagga were one of the first Tanzanian tribes to convert to Christianity, many members have received a religious education. If you ever take a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro, you may see members of the Chagga working as guides! If you’re interested in seeing a traditional Chagga house, our partners at Mama Shoo Cultural Tourism would be happy to treat you a traditional meal and show you around!  



Photo by William K Olwit (Wikimedia Commons)


The Karamojong are a nomadic pastoral community in northeastern Uganda. They pride themselves in preserving their customs, religion, and traditions. Body piercings, elaborate scar patterns, and facial markings are common features of the Karamojong. Tourists who visit Kidepo National Park have the chance to meet members of this unique community and can even take photos for lasting memories! 



Adumu Safaris - Samburu


The Samburu are an indigenous group who live in northern Kenya. Their traditional dress consists of vibrant colors, beaded jewelry, and face paint. The Samburu also share many similarities to the Maasai, including their dances, semi-nomadic lifestyles, and land ownership struggles. We offer Samburu village visits – the proceeds support the Samburu so that they can continue to preserve their culture.