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“Very expensive!”

Cultural Heritage Centre
Ranked #12 of 63 things to do in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Cultural Heritage Centre established in the year 1994. Is the first of its kind in Africa dedicated towards exploring the rich treasures derived from African Culture. This family business is the result of culmination of hard work, unwavering dedication and knowledge acquired from the forefathers. At the helm of the affairs is the versatile managing director, Mr. Saifuddin Khanbhai, who has a solid knowledge of African Culture and traditions. Culture Heritage Center has acquired iconic status due to the unique structure of the buildings within its compound and having the treasure chest of African art which is keeping African Art alive. The main building is designed to resemble the Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro. It also has an impressive array of arts and crafts including unique masks, Verdite carvings and paintings by famous African sculptures. Cultural Heritage now boasts an impressible Art Gallery was build on his vision which was to promote the work of the local artists. The exterior of the Gallery is imp rived by a drum, shield and spear, all major African symbols. The symbols resonate with the role of the Gallery that is to represent, communicate and celebrate Africa's Cultural Heritage. Among its many world famous pieces of Art is a 18 feet family tree which took 20 years to make. People from all over the world also visit Cultural Heritage, for its unrivaled reputation of having the finest Tanzanite stones which are also found in the Mererani hills of Tanzania, best in the world. The interior has three areas (i) History, (ii) Wildlife and (iii) soul. Ethnographic artifacts fill the History area, the wildlife area consists of contemporary paintings and sculptures of the curvatures roaming the African Savanna and the soul area captures Africa's energy allure and essence. The art gallery also has an amphitheatre which often shows on the life of special Tanzanian tribes like the Maasai, Pygmies and Hadzabe. It is also used for conferences. Also offered at the centre are day rooms found on the top of the building. They serve as resting place in the calm environment after a long safari trp. The spa at the Gallery offers a verity of personal care and treatments. The proceeds from the Gallery go to the conservation of elephants in Africa and the main concept of this is anti poaching clearly defined by the sculpture of the large unique beaded elephant. However, other causes such as orphanages, schools and boreholes and well drilling benefit from the proceeds. The centre also has a restaurant, coffee chop, spice centre, beads centre, and flea shop, which offers a variety of artifacts at different prices. Apart from the art the centre vibrated with warm hospitality. Cultural Heritage is visited by tourists from all over the world. It has been honored by visits from distinguished guests and state leaders such as President Bill Clinton, The prince William of Holland and his wife, Former UN secretary Mr. Kofi Annan, and celebrities such as Cindy Crawford. However every visitor who visits Cultural Heritage is treated as a Celebrity.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

We stopped for lunch here at the end of our safari. The food in the restaurant was good and it was a nice enough place to while away a couple of hours before resuming our journey. Two things let the centre down. Firstly each potential customer was more or less 'shadowed' by a member of staff which meant that browsing without buying was difficult. Secondly the majority of the cultural and clothing items being sold at the centre were much more expensive than elsewhere so consequently very few sales were made.

Thank Brian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"for sale"
in 88 reviews
"art gallery"
in 96 reviews
"wood carvings"
in 19 reviews
"one stop shopping"
in 11 reviews
"fine art"
in 11 reviews
"local crafts"
in 10 reviews
"souvenir shopping"
in 9 reviews
"treasure trove"
in 8 reviews
"curio shop"
in 9 reviews
"shopping experience"
in 8 reviews
"interesting place"
in 9 reviews
"masai market"
in 8 reviews
"east africa"
in 10 reviews
"artifacts"
in 53 reviews
"jewelry"
in 75 reviews
"tanzanite"
in 196 reviews
"artists"
in 42 reviews
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603 - 607 of 755 reviews

Reviewed January 10, 2013

We visited the Heritage center before heading out to Tarangire. We had already been to the Masai market in Arusha. After being cattle herded into stores there and pressed to purchase stuff at the market it was a nice change of scenery. You felt like you could look at items without being forced into purchasing them. My mother and brother arent for the bartering so they really enjoyed visiting here. And the prices were comparable to shops in your lodges or the markets with out the hassle.

3  Thank alliecat46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

This place is enormous and is guaranteed to have whatever souvenir you came here expecting to buy. Almost anything can be haggled down for a lesser price, and the tanzanite here is the best quality we saw anywhere. They do take credit card, and will eagerly tell you they ship anywhere in the world. The gallery of fine art next to the main shop area is absolutely incredible and huge (the largest museum in Tanzania!). Plus they have wi-fi in the restaurant!

The name is a little misleading, making you think this will be some kind of museum or craft workshop. It's really just a really well-stocked gift shop, and it's unclear who has made these items and where the money you're paying will go to. A word of advice, especially for those on Thomson Safaris: there's a workshop down the street that we also went to called Shanga Shangaa. It employs local handicapped Tanzanians, especially women, to produce crafts-- many of which are identical in appearance to the ones at Cultural Heritage Centre. If you can, buy things like coffee, fabrics, and clothing at Shanga Shangaa instead-- you know the money is going to a good cause!

2  Thank ajhorse21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

The artgallery/museum was great. Big and a lot of art and historical craft. It was interesting and enjoyable to walk around the whole museum.

I don't recommend the shopping area. Go to a local market instead, then you will know who you are giving your money to..

Thank elsapalm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 19, 2012

The Museum is worth the visit. Beautiful art pieces.
The rest of the Centre has very little interest, and the shops' prices are extremly high!
We had lunch there too, they were not friendly and food was below average.

4  Thank Dom-Michelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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