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“The best quality tourist gifts and a great art gallery”

Cultural Heritage Centre
Ranked #5 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.
Reviewed 13 August 2014

This place is good for about 2-3 hours. We were in Tanzania and Zanzibar for 2 weeks and the gift shop here has the best quality stuff on the trip with expectations in Stone Town Zanzibar being second.

Thank Tom P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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411 - 415 of 659 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2014

The gallery is full of gorgeous art and artifacts. All are for sale and the price is negotiable. The prices here are cheaper than in most other outlets and you will know with certainty the origin and history of the piece you purchase.

Thank Brooklynite_Abroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

we had to spend some time between flights, and got there to see and to have lunch. Not bad, but not in tune with the impact that being on safari has on you.

Thank Lavivita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We were in Arusha for a day before we began our safari and didnt know what other opportunities we would have to shop for merchandise and souvenirs. We found the merchandise to be of good quality and there was a very wide variety - it was good to have a lot of options in one place. Everything we chose was discounted from the "list" price - and I thought the prices were fair enough, although i am sure if had the time, energy and desire I could have gotten lower prices. We spent about $350 and were satisfied with what we got.

HOWEVER - we had to ship it back to the USA and that is where the frustration set in. I had no idea what that would cost and we were getting close to closing time. My wife and I spent over an hour picking things out and given we didn't know what other shopping options lay before us we felt committed to the shipping. DHL said US$360 for shipping and Fedex said US$600! When we said we would have to walk we were able to get a better deal from DHL with the help of the owner of the cultural center - but still felt it was too high. I also felt like the two shipping companies played off each other. In other words, Fedex said US$600 to make DHL look good and they probably take turns doing that for each other. It also disturbed me that one of the sales people at the cultural center told me it costs US$90 to send a letter - so what they are asking isn't that bad - a blatant lie.

If shipping isn't an option for you, then you obviously won't have this problem. I also understand that these are separate entities, but since they are there to ship cultural center goods everyone is accountable.

1  Thank katonahkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

This is a very huge shopping complex that sells everything from bead necklaces to very expensive wood carvings from around Africa. It seems to specialize in catering to tourists who are not particularly knowledgeable about local arts and crafts traditions, nor know much about local prices. As a result the "Center" has a hodgepodge collection of items from all around the huge African continent, sold in separate little pavilions depending on the type of good sold. I found the gallery exhibiting paintings by various local artists the most interesting. If you don't have a lot of time to buy some souvenirs and you don't mind paying disproportionately high prices for things, then this will be your most convenient one-stop shopping experience. Be careful, though, because the place takes a hefty surcharge if you do not pay in cash but prefer instead of use your credit card! Shopping there also costs quite a bit in taxi fees because the Center is located quite a distance outside town and you will have to ask your driver to wait for you to get back into town. It might be more convenient to visit the Center on your way back from Ngorogoro Crater or the Serengeti National Park, as it is located on the main road to both places.

3  Thank Angkor2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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