Ilkiding'a Cultural Programmes  

Half day tour

 

In this tour you start at Eliakimu house and you can walk to Sembeo’s household where several traditionally built, round house 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 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, jeweler, knives and traditional clothing are made by the members. If you have had enough walking you can be picked up by car or can carry on to the canyon of Njeche. Scrambling into the canyon is an adventure. Abundant plants cover caves and rocky walls.

Full day tour  

From the same starting points you cross the Ngarenaro River, walk through the fields in the direction of the forest reserve of Mount Meru national Park and start climbing Leleto hill. From here you have a view on Arusha town, the Maasai steppe and its volcanoes. At Eliakimu’s house the Mainyoito women’s group is waiting for you with a traditional meal.

Maize, red beans, bananas and milk are the basic ingredients of the dishes. In the afternoon you will pass by a big fig tree, a traditional place of worship. Take a rest at IIkisongo view point before walking down to visit the traditional healer, the craftsmen and the Njeche canyon.

You visit the primary school where money from tourism as Development Fees is used to rehabilitate the tourists who still want to walk can continue down to Arusha in less than 1.5 hours. You won’t walk alone. People are going to and from town. You are one of them.

Arusha – Iikiding’a – Arusha  
This is an 8 hours trip for people in good walking condition. The guide will pick you up at your hotel in the morning. Along narrow paths, passing the suburbs of town, you walk uphill till the starting point and connect with the full day tour.

South – west Meru Cultural Hike – 3 day’s

The first day you walk up hill town towards at Mainyoito women group place where you will have lunch. Afterwards you cross the Ngarenaro River and walk through Milk-hasi Forest towards Njeche campsite, where you will spend the night.

The second day you go to the water fall and walk up hill in the forest towards Oloigeruno Village where you will have lunch. Walk further towards IIkisongo where you will spend the night at the campsite.

The third day you walk down towards Kimnyak and ngaramtoni where on Thursday’s and Sunday’s Maasai come from far away in different places for the market. These days you will have barbeque and learn what Maasai people trade most these days. After lunch walk or drive back to Arusha.

Our trip has two different kind of accommodation. The first one is campsite and the second one is by staying in local houses. We have camping gears which we can rent for you in an affordable price.

All our meals are served while hot and we also care for the people with special request of diet. We provide meals with fresh season fruits. Each day you will be provided with 1.5 litres of bottle drinking water on this tour. We appreciate a three days advance booking for this trip.

Optional
We can do the same tour above for a day using mountain bikes for those people who are keen in bike riding and return in the late afternoon.

Traveler’s code
The natural environment is precious. The villagers asking visitors not to leave litter on their journey. Always take rubbish back to your starting point or to place the guides will assign you. While swimming in our rivers don’t use soap, the water comes pure from the mountain and people living down hill are using this water for daily use. Our culture is also precious. Please respect the customs of the people so that tourism will not disturb our culture. Decent clothing and behavior is required. Ask your guides permission before you take photo, so that nobody will be offended.

Guides
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 E.N. MASARIE art and cultural group. They were honored to be chosen by the authorities to welcome President Bill Clinton of USA at the airport. All the guides of the Cultural Tourism programme can be recognized through an identity card and you are strong advised not to walk with unauthorized guides.

How to get there
Ilkiding’a lies at 7 km north of Arusha town, a 20 minutes’ drive. At Mianzini junction cars can be hired. Walking is also possible but it will take you 2 hours to reach the starting point. From Arusha town, take the small road North at the Ilboru junction on the Nairobi – Moshi Road. Follow the Ilboru Safari Lodge sign as you leave the signboard of the Ilkiding'a Secondary School on you right. Follow the main road, leaving the signboard of the Ekenywa secondary school on your left, follow the main road, at the primary school of Ilkiding’a on the left close to the Ilkiding’a Lutheran church, and go left. From here you go to Eliakimu house twenty minutes walking or 4 minutes driving.