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Unique things to do in East Africa besides safaris

East Africa is well-known for its adventure-packed safaris. However, people often forget that East Africa is steeped in tradition, culture, and history. There are many unique things you can do in East Africa besides safaris.


Locally inspired art pieces will blow you away. The striking colors and the rich history they portray is something to witness. Even more unique is making a masterpiece yourself. There are many places and markets in East Africa where you can take painting lessons and learn the unique styles of the locals. It is a fun way to learn about culture while enhancing your skills.

Mto Wa Mbu

Mto Wa Mbu is a village in Tanzania where you can learn more about the local culture. It is a farming village that has opened its doors to tourists. Many visitors come through the village to interact with the locals while also observing the unique ways they work on the farms. You can even choose to cycle through the farms for a gentle and calming ride.

Stone Town

Stone Town is another destination steeped in culture, tradition, and history. Situated in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Stone Town is an iconic marketplace with stalls with local sellers. You can find many exceptional cultural items, such as sandals, jewelry, spices, and other crafts. Apart from the stalls, walking through Stone Town is a unique experience itself. The marketplace has many architecturally beautiful buildings inspired by Arabic, Indian, and European designs. Stone Town is also a very aromatic experience, with many restaurants.

Tanzanite Experience

Tanzania is famous for its Tanzanite mines. The Tanzanite Experience is a museum in Arusha dedicated to demonstrating every step the gemstone takes before it can be sold or used to make jewelry. The Tanzanite Experience also has a replica mine shaft that tourists can tour to get the whole experience of the tanzanite mines.

Maasai Market Curios & Crafts

It is another fun marketplace located in Arusha, Tanzania, where you can purchase local goods, souvenirs, decoration pieces, and local arts. The marketplace is filled with vendors willing and ready to bargain. They will always quote a high price, so you should bargain to make sure you get the best price.

Enjoying the Local Cuisines

East Africa is known for its cultural heritage, and one of the best ways to learn about a culture is through food. If you enjoy trying different cuisines, you should try local foods. Some of our top picks include:


  • Ugali (flour porridge)
  • Nyama Choma (roasted goat or beef)
  • The Zanzibar Pizza (a unique take on pizza)
  • Pilau (a rice dish)
  • Wali Wa Nazi (coconut rice)
  • Chipsi Mayai (chips & eggs)

Bar-Hoping in Nairobi

If you are in Nairobi, you must bar hop. Nairobi is a fun and exciting city that has a unique nightlife. Bar-hoping is part of the way of life in Nairobi, and many locals spend their nights out with their friends, going from one bar to another. There are many bars to try in Nairobi, including Brew Bistro, Golden Ice Bistro, and 40Forty Lounge.


East Africa is an exciting place to visit, which is not only limited to grueling safaris. Tanzania is one of East Africa’s most popular destinations. In our Guide to Air Travel in Tanzania, you can learn more about the country.