Ilkiding’a Cultural Tourism Programme
We people of Ilkiding’a offer you :
- A view into the culture of the Wa-arusha.
- A warm welcome in a local household.
- Visits to craftsmen and a traditional healer.
- A walk through the farms where people produce cash crops to supply Arusha.
- A rest at impressive viewpoints overlooking Arusha town.
- Hikes along narrow footpaths, crossing a canyon and climbing small hills.
- Traditional food prepared by our women.
The profit is used to improve the primary school. Your visits helps to give our children a better education which is a base for leading a good life.
Ilkiding’a lies at 10 km north of Arusha town, a 30 minutes drive.
Half day visit
In this tour you start at Sembeo’s household where several traditionally built, round houses give you an idea of how an extended family lives together. The view of the Ngarenaro valley and Leleto hill is beautiful and the presence of the Mount Meru makes it unique. Sembeo will show you how knives are made and will explain how he runs his business.
From here you walk through a small coffee plantation and enter the open fields where potatoes, cabbages, maize, beans and other crops are cultivated. In Ilkisongo you will enjoy the view overlooking Arusha town. Afterwards you walk down to the house of the traditional healer. He is ready to answer all your questions and will give advice if needed.
From there you head on to visit a craftsmen group. Small wooden stools, jewellery, knives and traditional clothing are made by the members. If you have had enough walking you can be picked up by car or you can carry on to the canyon of Njeche. Scrambling into the canyon is an adventure. Abundant plants cover caves and rocky walls.
Full day visit
From the same starting point you go down to the Ngarenaro river, cross it and start climbing Leleto hill. From here you have a view on the Maasai steppe and its volcanoes. Then you walk through the fields in the direction of the forest reserve of Mount Meru National Park. You have a rest at Ilkisongo viewpoint.
From here you go back to Sembeo’s household where the women’s group is waiting for you with a traditional meal. Maize, milk and red beans are the basic ingredients of the dishes. You walk down to visit the traditional healer, the craftsmen group and the canyon. You visit the primary school where money generated from tourism as Development Fees is used to rehabilitate the school.
Tourists who still want to walk can continue down to Arusha in less then two hours.
You won’t walk alone. People are going to and from town. You are one of them.
The guides are all youngsters born and raised in the village. They all finished secondary education and are familiar with English. Most of them are members of the Maasai Cultural Dancing Group E.N.MASARIE and people enjoy their performances. They were honored to be chosen by the authorities to welcome President Moi of Kenya at the airport. All the guides of the Cultural Tourism Programme can be recognized through an identity card and you are strongly advised not to walk with unauthorized guides.