Cultural Experience – to truly experience a country, you need not just to visit it and see its beauty but to meet its people, understand how they live and why they live as they do…………then you become a traveller not just a tourist. And in so doing your life will be enriched.
The phrase ‘cultural experience’ can mean different things to different people – to me it means interaction with locals in their environment. it does not / should not mean them putting on a show for the visitors.
Some of the best cultural experiences involve visiting local schools, where the children will be so incredibly happy to see you that you have no reason not to smile, or excuse not to join in. If you know in advance that you’ll be visiting a school, try and take some basic but useful items with you as gifts such as pencils or notepads.
Visits to villages, such as in the Ngronogoro Highlands as you drop down towards the Serengeti are more formal affairs and you often be shown around by one of the head villagers; he’ll be deeply proud of his village.
In Namibia, from a camp called Serra Cafema, you ride a quad bike out through the dunes to a small collection of huts to visit the local Himba people. The Himba are one of Africa’s last true nomadic people. You’ll be amazed at just how basic their existence is but also how beautiful are the surroundings in which they live.
Top Tips for Cultural Experience
- not everyone feels comfortable visiting a local village, so ask your tour guide exactly what the experience entails and who benefits – imagine that the roles are reversed
- ask your tour guide for guidance as to local customs it may save embarrassment all round
- do not take a photograph of someone or of the dwelling or child without their permission
- if you at any time feel uncomfortable or uncertain about anything then stop and seek guidance.
Cultural Experiences – gain a better understanding of how the locals live.