Travelers can also stay with the Wandamba Tribe, traditional rice farmers, and fishermen known as the ‘People of the Valley’, due to their origins in Tanzania’s Kilombero Valley area.
it’s a four to five-hour canoe ride along the Kilombero River to the village, and you might get to spot a hippo en route. You’ll arrive at Mikeregembe, the last village before the Selous Game Reserve, known as one of the largest faunal reserves in the world.
After a warm welcome from the villagers, and a fresh fish supper, you’ll be encouraged to sample the local brews at the pub – a wooden thatched kiosk encircled by benches and chairs.
Run by jovial resident barman Mensa, the pub stocks a range of local tipples: from the gin Machozi Ya Simba (which translates to ‘the lion’s tears’) to the palm wine Pombe Mnazi. Only the brave try and survive Teka – an alcoholic maize-based porridge. You’ll also be taught the national board game of Bao.
On the second day of the tour, there’s time to explore the village, including watching how fishing nets are made and how the early morning catch, including the funky razor-toothed tigerfish, is prepared for smoking and drying. There’s a guided walk into the surrounding Miombo forest, populated with thin trees with umbrella-shaped crowns and shrubs and grasses growing below. The village guide will point out tracks and signs of wildlife, whilst keeping a careful eye out for marauding elephants.
The late afternoon is spent participating in the locals versus visitors fishing competition. You’ll be shown how to make traditional fishing lines and enlist the Wandamba children to help you find worms for bait. Out on canoes on the river, it’s a race to see who gets the catch of the day. As you gently float, waiting for the fish to bite, you can sip a beer against a backdrop of a superb sunset behind the mountains.
The Ndamba are an ethnic and linguistic group based in south-central Tanzania whose population was 79,000 in 1987.
They are found in everywhere in Tanzania especially south central, the Morogoro Region, northeast of Bena, southeast of Hehe, west of Pogolo and southwest of Mbunga.
The Chindamba language has a lexical similarity of 69% with Mbunga and 56% with Pogolo. Speakers also use Swahili. Although it has been reported that Ndamba and Mbunga are two different tribes, the reality is that they are one tribe and the difference between them is purely dialectic. All three are Rufiji–Ruvuma languages of the Bantu family.
In recent years some Ndambas have volunteered to write a dictionary on Chindamba. The first standard Ndamba dictionary was published in 2008 by Agathon Kipandula, a language researcher who was an employee of the Bank of Tanzania.
Oral tradition states that the Ndamba people were originally an offshoot of the Pogoro people. Their first chief was Mbuyi Undole I, who led a small group westward away from the Pogoro.
It was Mbuyi Undole I who registered the Ndamba as a tribe with the German government in 1901. The Ndamba flourished and spread through the southern part of the Morogoro Region. The tribe is now found in Mlimba, Masagati, Chisano, Chita, Merera, Malinyi, Igawa, Biro, Ngombo, Mchombe, Mngeta, Lwipa, Mbingu, Mofu, and other parts of Kilombero District and Ulanga District areas.
The tribe, also known as Wandamba, is well known for eating rice and fish only.
Most of them belong to the Roman Catholic Church.