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“I Don't Think this is Authentic Africa”

Cultural Heritage Centre
Ranked #4 of 62 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.
Amelia Island, FL
Level Contributor
109 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“I Don't Think this is Authentic Africa”
Reviewed June 7, 2013

After having seen real Maasi jewelry and baskets being made, this place comes off to me as a tourist trap. Our driver was keen on us stopping there (unplanned) and we accommodated him. But we quickly left as it seemed to be a place where most of the items come from China or India. I could be wrong but this place isn't the real African art that we saw elsewhere.

One the positive side, if you want some cheap mementos of your trip and you just want to remember that you bought them in Arusha, Tanzania by all means you will find it here. Restrooms are scrupulously clean and the shops are well laid out for easy browsing.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank offtheclock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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606 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Educational”
Reviewed June 5, 2013

It was very interesting and educational as well. Our guide was very informative and was eager to explain if required

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Gina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle, wa
Level Contributor
55 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Inflated prices, twice as much as the Masaai market”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Definitely caters to the tourist crowd. Prices were significantly higher than other shops in town. They have interesting carvings, but they are way too high prices to be able to afford.....Not worth the trip....

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank hi-wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
92 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“The best place to shop”
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Extremely wide selection. Don't be in a hurry, or the prices will not drop enough, despite the obsequious verbiage. He does have high quality, and just about everything.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank riecke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Tourist Spot with Interesting Information”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

The actual cultural museum part is very nice - beautiful paintings and sculptures of African culture. I just wish there was more information about the culture, but the paintings were nice.

The shops area were very touristy - everything is overpriced and you can find anything you've ever wanted. There are nice animal statues outside.

The place is definitely for tourists, but it is a nice place to visit once.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank AlexisDorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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