Tribal Tourism: 11 Travel Routes To Discover the Undiscovered

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Himba People

A journey to indigenous tribal life, also known as tribal tourism, is unique and surprising. If you enjoy traveling in places far from the destinations, where everything is commercial for the tourists, a travel route to witness tribal life will please you.

Those who seek an alternative experience rather than buying a magnet as a souvenir should see tribes and witness their authentic lifestyle. This unique and surprising kind of travel is known as tribal tourism.

What is tribal tourism?

Tribal tourism is a travel type in which people visit special destinations to observe and witness indigenous people, their culture and lifestyle. It is also known as ethno-tourism or ethnic tourism. In today’s global world, urban people don’t know much about the tribal lifestyle. What travelers hear and read about tribal lifestyle attracts them as it is authentic and carries its own mysteries and traditions in itself, which is a great source of curiosity to explore it.

A fact about tribal tourism

Even if all these places are amazing to see, there is a rightful argument about how ethical it is to visit tribal people. What you are going to do in such travels is to show up suddenly in their homes, which is not usual for them. Because of that reason, it can be disturbing for them to be under the eyes of many tourists. Please consider this before making your plans.

All tribal tourists should remember that they are not going to a museum or what they see is not a stage set to please them. If you are planning to visit a tribe, please be kind and friendly.

Here are 11 destinations where you will be able to witness the local tribe life:


1 – Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Omo Valley people tribal

Tribal life in Ethiopia is unique. Omo Valley is located in southern Ethiopia by the Omo River. You can witness the amazing daily lifestyle of Mursi tribe. You can also meet the famous Hamer tribe.


2 – Ancient Odisha, India

Ancient Odisha tribal tourism

Get ready for an old-world India experience. Start the journey from Kolkata, the cultural capital of India and continue exploring and witnessing east India’s layers of history. You can join the festive markets and witness the local tribes, interact with the friendly people, and learn more about their daily lives.


3- The San Bushmen, Botswana

The San Bushmen tribal tourism

If you are ready to start a journey through the bush of Botswana with the local tribe called San Bushmen, check this out. This tribe would be gladly showing you the local plants and roots, which they use for medical purposes. You would need a local translator to learn more about their life.


4- Himba People, Namibia

Himba People

Himba people are indigenous people living in the north of Namibia, in the Kunene region. Women and girls are known as performing heavy jobs unlike the men in the tribe. The people believe that the only way to communicate with God is through the fire. You might want to see their rituals to talk to God.


5- Baliem Valley, Indonesia

Baliem Valley tribal

Baliem Valley is located in the Papua, neighboring another amazing country; Papua New Guinea. You can start the journey in Wamena and if you are interested in trekking, you will enjoy the amazing scenery and meet the local tribes on the way. You will be amazed by tribal life in Indonesia.


6- Sentinelese Tribe, Sentinel Island

Sentinelese Tribe tribal tourism

If what you are looking is more than an adventure, welcome to Sentinel Island. The tribe is known to be one of the most dangerous tribes living. Their exact number is still unknown. Watch out and prepare accordingly before you set out for your journey.


7- Miao Tribe, China

Miao Tribe life

The Miao people are an ethnic group living in South of China. They live in the southern mountains of China. Compared to the rest of the country, Miao women are known to be less culturally strict but independent. Even though they are considered as a minority group in China, their population is known to be around 7 million.


8- Namphake Village, India

Namphake Village tribal tourism

Dibrugarh, the closest city to Namphake village is known as the Tea City because of the tea plantations. The people living in the village are followers of Buddhism and they are very strict on their belief. There is a monastery and a festival celebrated in March.


9- The Maasai Tribe, Kenya and Northern Tanzania

The-Maasai-Tribe-tribal-tourism

Maasai people are semi-nomadic ethnic group living in the southern part of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Their nature is known to be very patriarchal. Mostly elderly men make the decisions for the whole tribe. They believe in a God named as Engai or Enkai. Music and dance have a big part in their lives. You would enjoy watching them dance.


10- Mongolia

mongolia tribal life

Here is a vast country where you can observe plenty of tribes living. In the Mongolian steps, there are a number of people still living in smaller communities, traveling often, and still keeping their traditions. Horses still play a big part in their daily life. They have their festivals where they perform horse races, wrestling, and archery competitions. The whole country is like a route where you can observe the local tribes.


11- The Makassar People, Sulawesi, Indonesia

The-Makassar-People-tribal-tourism

Makasserese people are an ethnic group of people living in the southern part of the South Peninsula of Sulawesi, Indonesia. They are mainly rice farmers and they are famous all over Indonesia for their skills in trading and fishing. Polygamy is accepted by most of the Makassarese people. They are a Muslim community in which only men are allowed to marry more than one woman. Their cuisine is worth trying because it is a mix of marine.

For more interesting travel plans, see our selection of dark tourism destinations.


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