Sarah had lived in Zanzibar for already ten years and had written three books* – two of them about Swahili culture and one with stories about daily life in Zanzibar. In addition, she had been working in tourism for many years and felt increasingly disappointed that the culture she had come to love, Swahili culture, was not sufficiently honored in the tourism industry.
Juma alias “Kaka J” had spent his entire life in the village of Pete when he met Sarah. He was managing a little café at the Butterfly Centre at the time, but his dream was not only to make a better life for himself, but for the entire village.
Juma and Sarah
When the two of them began to speak, they found how their interests met and came up with the idea of a tour through the village of Pete – a tour of Swahili culture in all its aspects. The two of them went to the Sheha of the village – the Sheha being the village elder or chief, Madame Zakia. When they told her about their plan, she immediately was in favor of it and decided to support it. And this is how Marimba Cultural Tours Ltd. was born, the first tour operator ever to open in the village of Pete in Zanzibar. And this is also how the tour of the village of Pete, created by Marimba Cultural Tours Ltd. and supported by the Sheha, Madame Zakia, and the entire village, was born: “With the Rhythm of Sagando”.
Madame Zakia and Sarah with the village elders
Marimba Cultural Tours Ltd. offers services like different excursions, hotel bookings, transfers, and even safaris, like all other tour operators on the islands. The difference to all others is that Marimba not only emphasizes local culture and proudly shows it to visitors, but makes sure that the entire village benefits from its presence there. “With the Rhythm of Sagando” works exclusively with people from Pete: the guides were trained by Marimba, the ox carts were designed for visitors with the help of the ox cart drivers of the village, the musicians and dancers of Sagando all are from the village, and – last not least – the cook who prepares our delicious lunch is a talented lady from the village.
Our cook, Faida, and our team of guides