We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“One stop shopping for travelers with little Arusha time”

Cultural Heritage Centre
Ranked #4 of 62 things to do in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“One stop shopping for travelers with little Arusha time”
Reviewed March 13, 2013

If, like me, you have only a couple of hours to spend in Arusha before needing to get to the airport, the Cultural Heritage Center is an obvious stop. Large selection of quality masks and carvings from various African nations, plus lots of other touristy stuff. Owner, Saif Khanbhai, is very knowledgeable about Tanzanite gems and jewelry. A bit of a fast-talker, and very proud of his achievements, but I suppose it is justified. If you are famous, be prepared to sign a photo that he can post on the wall.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank TexasWindsurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

603 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Arusha, Tanzania
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Treasure trove of great art”
Reviewed March 10, 2013

It looks and sounds cheesy, but the CHC is a wonderful (and free) multi-story showcase of incredible Tanzanian art. From sculptures, paintings, and photos, to furniture, masks and more, it's got a bit for everyone.

As with most museums, skip the curio shop and cafe and enjoy the beautiful art.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Josh D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Enjoyed this place”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

You need about an hour and a half to see the museum and do some shopping. Water fountains and outdoor sculptures give this place a tranquil atmosphere. Our group enjoyed it. It was the last thing we did before catching a plane back to the USA and a good place to finish shopping.

Visited August 2012
Thank AnneG0772
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vail, Colorado
Level Contributor
106 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“great one stop shopping!”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

I enjoyed the Cultural Heritage Centre and loved the art gallery. The architecture of the place is quite surprising for Arusha as it reminded me of the Guggenheim museum's architecture (inside). The art is exceptional (and very pricey) - the rest of the place is more or less a souvenir shop of very good quality. The tanzanite were impressive. I would definitely make it a stop on the itinerary again when i come back to Arusha

Visited March 2013
Thank amimastri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
246 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“A lunchtime retreat”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We arrived for lunch, placed our order and were then able to spend the 30 minutes of so wandering. The curio shop is huge with every possible object you could wish to buy, and the tanzanite is beautiful. Of more interest was the art gallery. It is a mix of traditional African artefacts, covering much of Africa south of the Sahara, with some lovely ancient Nigerian leopards and Benin bronzes, for example. However, it was good to see modern sculptures and art work too. The sculpture at the entrance of wildebeeste entering a river, being attacked by crocodiles and escaping whilst vultures keep a wary eye from the trees on the other side was quite magnificent. The gallery is definitely worth a visit. Lunch was OK, nothing special but tasty, and our hour or so here a pleasant break

Visited February 2013
Thank Diomedia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cultural Heritage Centre also viewed

Arusha, Arusha Region
Arusha, Arusha Region

Been to Cultural Heritage Centre? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing