Cultural Safaris in Africa

“Home is not far away when you are alive.” – Maasai Proverb

Often referred to as the “Mother Continent”, Africa is the oldest inhabited continent on Earth. It is also one of the largest, home to 54 separate and unique countries, and over 3,000 indigenous tribes. Tribal influences are a dominant force, and traditional customs and beliefs are still practiced in most regions.

A cultural safari invites travelers to discover new cultures and learn the customs of the indigenous people who have carved and shaped the African landscapes for centuries. 

Ker & Downey® Africa has crafted a set of sensitive, culturally aware itineraries that directly benefit these local communities. From cultural village tours to meet locals and learn traditions, to exploring the bush by foot alongside a Maasai warrior for a fast paced run through the wilderness, and discovering ancient Khoisan rock art in the Cederberg Mountains, the opportunities are endless. And life-changing.

Renowned Tribes in Africa

The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania

The red-clad Maasai are renowned East African warriors and pastoralists, synonymous with the great plains of Africa. Their most famous traditions include the wearing of the colourful shuka, and the Adamu – a jumping dance for men performed as part of an initiation right to show prowess and fitness.

The Zulu of South Africa

The Zulu people are the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Traditional dress for men consists of animal skins and feathers, indicating the status of the person wearing them. They are warm-hearted, generous and hospitable and it is to them that we owe the concept of Ubuntu which refers to the human virtues of compassion and humanity.

The San or Khoisan of Southern Africa

The San or Khoisan are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, having lived in the region of over 20,000 years. They are renowned for their nomadic lifestyle, deep connection to nature, language of clicking sounds, and their extraordinary rock art – found in caves and rocks throughout the region, dating back thousands of years.

The Himba of Namibia

The Himba are a nomadic tribe who call the northwest region of Namibia home. They are hunter-gatherers and pastoralists who are identified by their distinctive red ochre body paint and elaborate hairstyles which signify status, age, and social standing.

The Samburu of Northern Kenya

Hailing from the northern arid region of Kenya, the Samburu are pastoralists, closely related to the Maasai. They too are known for their colorful cloth attire, and the women apply ochre to their bodies, similar to the Himba of Namibia. The warriors, or Moran, have long braids in their hair, while the women keep their heads shaven.

The Southern Ndebele of South Africa

The Southern Ndebele people are found in the north-eastern provinces of South Africa. While they share some language with the Zulu, they have their own unique culture and beliefs. What really sets them apart is their striking traditional geometric designs and patterns that adorn their bodies and their homes. 

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