We visited here twice pre-safari and three times post-safari, so clearly we enjoyed it a lot. The art museum is incredible. Between the stunning architecture and the large collection of African art, it was really interesting. The owner personally gave us a tour of the museum, even though he knew we were not in the market to buy art. He knows each piece of art like it's from his personal collection - he can describe who made it, where it's from, what it's depicting, etc. I would've paid admission to go in this museum.
The buffet lunch was very good with a wide selection. The owner, Saif, said that it was his mother-in-law's place (or maybe his mother's - I'm not positive which). There were also a lot of smaller shops within the shop, and we took our time checking them out.
I read reviews that said they thought the prices here were higher than elsewhere. That was not our experience. In fact, when we went to the Mount Meru Curio Market in Fire, we compared a lot of prices. Our conclusion? The Cultural Heritage Center was competitive in its prices. We did not experience any high pressure sales at the Cultural Heritage Center Actually, the owner, Saif, could not have been nicer and more helpful. In contrast, when we were at the market, there were so many people pulling at us (literally physically pulling at us), calling out to us, and really hard-selling. Yes, I get it - that's Africa; however, it was much more pleasant shopping at the Cultural Heritage Center (or Tanzanite City as my husband has nicknamed it).
Saif is really knowledgeable about tanzanite. Yes, he does pull out a lot of tanzanite to show you if he thinks you're interested in the stone; however, it's a lot of fun, not pressure. He showed us stones that I've never seen before - who knew that tanzanite came in greens and golds? When we were fortunate to visit during a quiet period, he showed us stones that cost far more than my car even AFTER we had already made a purchase of a small stone. He knew I liked the stones, and he was just being nice and letting me have some fun. There was nothing pushy about it. It was incredible to hold in my hands stones that I could never afford.
So, overall, we found the prices competitive, the atmosphere much more pleasant than haggling in the markets (don't even get me started on the chaotic experience that we encountered in some of the smaller villages), and the owner to be a genuinely nice guy.
I'm not sure where to put this in the review, but there are also several CLEAN bathrooms on site.
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