- The cultural villages make a great part of the attractions drawing visitors to see their cultures, lifestyles, cattle rearing and farming.
- With the entire Arusha town this time around freezing cold, I ventured off the Arusha to Moshi highway recently to enjoy a day outing.
Guaranteed to take a visitors’ breath away with its beauty, the areas around the slopes of Mount Meru, in the north of Tanzania, reward visitors with a pack of experiences.
The cultural villages make a great part of the attractions drawing visitors to see their cultures, lifestyles, cattle rearing and farming.
With the entire Arusha town this time around freezing cold, I ventured off the Arusha to Moshi highway recently to enjoy a day outing.
It was easy to see the contrasts of panoramas from the landscapes, hills, valleys and farmlands, on arrival at Mulala village. Visitors are greeted by lush green grass and grazing goats and cows.
A visit to the village wouldn’t be complete without a bit of cheese tasting at a local family run project. Here, you can sample a range of cheese products, including mozzarella and Gouda, as well as learn about the cheese-making process.
Mulala is a typical Wameru village in which a sprawling countryside reaches out to embrace the highlands. It borders large natural forests where the lush vegetation is protected. Visitors can view a wide and rich diversity of rainforests nearby and enjoy the lush green surround almost all year round. Farming of banana and coffee starts from their homes extending to big pieces of land.
The multitude of undulating forests offers the opportunities for varied vegetation to grow in this area, while the wide expanses also allow visitors to discover the solitude and serenity.
The Mount Meru forest reserve trails lead visitors to discover plant species and the medicinal trees, among others. Many locals’ criss-crossed the entire moving up and down for various errands. After wandering around we settled down for a lunch break. I came to learn that the Mulala Agape women’s group led by Mama Anna Pallangyo this year marks its 20th anniversary. The group was formed by ten women.
Since 1997 women of Mulala united to form Agape group. It is a first women’s group to organise a cultural tourism programme in Tanzania.
The group’s focus was meant to develop income generating projects, and it encouraged an integrated approach to cultural tourism through the Mulala Cultural Tourism Enterprise.
A traditional dance performance was one of the entertainment activities that we watched at Mama Anna’s home. It is part of welcoming visitors in the placid village. At the home, there is a camping site and a homestay is being made ready to accommodate up to 20 guests in 8 spacious rooms
Later after lunch we converged in an open area where we sampled the cheese. A big table was laid and a few pieces of different sizes of cheese, butter (salted and unsalted), honey from small bees and gees made from purified milk, were on display in colourful packaging. And tourists are served locally made loaves of bread.
In all this, the women have been making some income to sustain their livelihood, pay school fees and use part of it for buying motorcycles and so on.
The communities are benefiting directly from the revenues and the 3,000 residents share fees paid by tourists through the Village Development Fund (VDF).
The money is used to support Community development projects: Education and health; School fees, materials, classes, a kindergarten, a primary school, secondary school, and a dispensary.
The communities benefiting directly from the revenues and the 3,000 residents share fees paid by tourists through the VDF.
The village offers great hiking opportunities to acclimatise before venturing into mountain climbing. The good news is that this area has a great neighbourhood that extends a short distance from one part of the Arusha National Park.