ee-Yeiyo Museum and Cultural Tours

ee-Yeiyo Cultural Tourism is located 25 kms northeast of the town of Arusha, off Arusha-Moshi road on Momela road next door to the Arusha National Park. With a breathtaking view of Mt. Meru (14,980 ft /4,566m) the home of Varwa (Wa-Meru), a Bantu speaking group who live around the revered mountain. Varwa were skilled farmeres and livestock keepers. They made use of domestic animal manure to increase crop yields, practiced terrace farming in hilly terrain to minimize soil erosion and used cover crops such as cowpeas, pumpkins, beans and peas to control weeds and add nutrients to the soil. They also grew bananas, finger millet, yams, seet potatoes, maize and arrowroots.

Facts about Varwa

* NRWA – One who walks up (the mountain), VARWA (plural), KIRWA (their dialect).

* Population – 250,000 (2012).

* The Merus were buried in cow skins within the homestead.

* They enjoyed more than 34 types of food dishes.

The Museum

ee-Yeiyo Museum, an epitome of eco-architecture and natural beauty, houses a collection of artefacts from the past that reflect the cultural identity of Varwa, the Meru people of northern Tanzania.

The museum plays a role in preserving and documenting the traditions, customs and culture of the mountain dwellers, and serves as an educational platform for schools and the Tanzanian community in general.

Guided cultural tours

ee-Yeiyo tour – 3 to 4 hours

The tour will take you inside the traditional domed houses where you will learn the history and cultural heritage of Varwa. Participate in various activities, experience their hospitality, share their food and language.

* Meet the traditional folk singers in their handicraft workshop, indulge yourself and exercise your creative abilities. Join in their song and dance. A therapeutic experience.

* Take a walk around ee-Yeiyo farm, pick and enjoy seasonal organic fruits, learn about medicinal plants, shrubs and trees that help the small (harmless) bees make delicious healing honey. Visit the apiary. A chance to sample the unique flavour.

* Take part in the preparation of biodegradable tree-seeding holders in preparation for planting day.

* Help prepare a traditional barbecue lunch.

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Usa River tour (3 to 4 hours)

A 15-minute nature walk to the water catchment forest reserve, a magical ecosystem with its many rivers, this tour will take you past hills and valleys into the life-preserving forest in Nkoanekoli village.

* Walk through a maze of streams and rivers, listen to the tranguil sounds of water, birds and insects, meet the shy colobus monkeys hiding in the forest canopy. The source is renowned for its life giving water for hundreds of people who live in its vicinity.

* Visit the local secondary school where we will talk about environmental concerns and our role in making sure the catchment area is not threatened.

* Lunch with a local family.

Nringaringa Tour - half day

This tour will take you to Poli Barazani, Poli village, the headquarters of traditions and customs of Varwa. Nringaringa is a historical place, with an old courthouse from the colonial era.

The Nringaringa tree serves as a meeting place for more than 20 Varwa clan leaders.

The Merus are known for their heroic stand against unjust eviction out of their land by the British colonial administration, forcing them to make a landmark decision at Nringaringa to send a representative, in 1952, to present their case bfore the United Nations General Assembly Trusteeship Council. The became famously known as the The Meru Land Case.

* A curator will take you through different sections, bringing the past to the present.

* Meet the people. Indulge in a cultural conversation over a cup of well-brewed tea.

* Take a short walk to the Mara waterfall. A steep but enjoyable undertaking.

* Share a picnic lunch with the Nringaringa traditional dance group.

* Dance away and have fun with the group.

* Support their handicraft business. Choose their colourful traditional dresses and jewellery.

Village Tour - 3 hours

Get to know the neighbours in the village.

* Visit the snake farm in the neighbourhood, if you don’t mind.

* Interact with local people, including vendors.

* Meet the village chairperson in the village ofice. Learn its function and the role it plays to efficiently serve the people.

* Visit the local primary school. Interact with students and teachers.

* Visit the health centre. See how health services are delivered.

* Take a hike in Arusha National Park. Observe flora and fauna. Enjoy your picnic lunch and the fresh air.

Tours start in the morning between 9 and 11 a.m.

Comfortable attire is recommended, including comfortable shoes, sun cream, insect repellent, binoculars and a hat.

A traditional wedding (just for fun) - 1 day

ee-Yeiyo offers a Varwa traditional wedding, with all its frills, for those who wish to extend their love story to Meru. The Bride and Groom are guaranteed a day to remember at an affordable package. You won’t need a wedding gown or suit. All will be provided, to your satisfaction. Let us have a list of your guests. Reserve your day, at least one month before the wedding.

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ee-Yeiyo for community development

We support and uplift communities by providing employment opportunities, financial and material contributions to:

* health centres

* housing for teachers and new classrooms

* village water project

* support for various women's groups

50% of our total earnings to to ee-Yeiyo Fund for Cultural Preservation. Through the fund, great strides have been made towards language revitalization, including a successful awareness campaign.

ee-Yeiyo is a Patron of three folk music groups, well known in the media, for their work towards “Kirwa” (language) revival.

Celebrating our cultural diversity

When visitors come to our community they don’t only learn from us, we learn from them, too. A rewarding and enriching cultural exchange experience.

Please, come and visit us. Karibuni sana.

Where to stay

* Stay at ee-Yeiyo. Sleep in traditional huts on traditional beds, or

* Camp outside within the compound.

* There are also a number of lodges a walking distance away.

We have both modern and traditional bathroom facilities.

How to get there:

ee-Yeiyo is on Momella road, about 5km from the Arusha–Moshi junction. Look out for the road sign on the left hand side.

For more information contact:
Tel: +255 712566070 / +255 754751446 / +255 786027248
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: ee-yeiyoboma.com

Contact Us

Tanzania Cultural Tourism Programme
Museum Buildings, Boma Road
P . O . Box 2348
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: + 255 27 205 0025
Cell: + 255 786 703 010 / 713 230 134
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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