Travellers who seek authentic experiences can look to the island of Dominica, which provides a unique opportunity to visit with and learn about the island’s only indigenous people who live in the Kalinago Territory.
Culture and tradition, seemingly unpolluted by outside influences, live a mere 90 minutes’ drive from the city of Roseau, and Kevin Dangleben, owner of Kalinago Tours is a highly recommended conduit into the Kalinago Territory. His deep connection with the Kalinago rich and unique cultural patrimony is evident throughout conversations held with him, and the depth of the tour experience provided by Kalinago Tours, the only tour entity in Dominica specializing in a rich and authentic experience with the Kalinago people provides further evidence that this knowledgeable is intimately acquired – he revealed that his mother was Kalinago.
Kevin is a tour operator extraordinaire. He confidently states, “No one knows the Kalinago Territory like we do”, the mantra of Kalinago Tours. For the past 5 years, he and his team have facilitated unique experiences in the Territory for visitors from all over the world. Be it through vacations arranged directly with his company, or through collaborations with hotels and resorts on the island, guests leave Dominica with a deeper appreciation for the island and the history it has protectively cradled, from generation to generation.
Authentic experiences offered by Kalinago Tours in the Kalinago Territory
The Homestay Program – this is a rich educational and interactive experience, allowing you to revisit history, learn from the descendants of the island’s first people and live hands-on, like a Kalinago. During your stay you will fish, cook, explore, witness and participate in indigenous culture and traditions.
- Traditional Kalinago Hut – you can live for a few days in a private traditional thatch-covered hut. Meals will be eaten in the home of your host Kalinago family.
- A room in the home of a Kalinago family – you’ll be a guest in their home which will be a modern bungalow, located in the Territory. Meals will be enjoyed with the family and you can assist with its preparation and also help with the daily family chores, if you are so inclined as well as exploring various aspects of Kalinago life.
- In a private, modern bungalow within the Territory but still has the opportunity to explore the best that the Kalinago people have to offer.
Experience the Kalinago Territory for a few hours – Interact with the indigenous people, observe them as they basket-weave, see how traditional meals are prepared, partake of a traditional Kalinago meal, enjoy cultural experiences – song, drumming, dance; explore areas of importance within the Territory; visit the Territory’s herbalist where you will learn about herbs and its traditional uses. These and other authentic, memorable experiences are facilitated by Kalinago Tours.
When you leave the Territory, be sure to depart with some of the high-quality craft items skillfully made by the Kalinago artisans. These are pieces to be treasured as they are historical in nature, the art of making them having been passed down through generations dating back to before Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean region. It is part of the heritage of the Kalinago people and each piece of craft carries with it a story, generations-old. Kalinago craft are the most authentic and sought-after souvenirs in Dominica, meticulously hand-made from 100% local material, all grown within the Territory.
Interactive History Lessons for Students – Kalinago Tours also provide interactive history lessons to students from the neighbouring islands of the Caribbean including Guadeloupe and Martinique who travel to Dominica to engage hands-on with the island’s indigenous people. Kalinago Tours are also open to accommodating students from other countries.
It is instructive to note that although the original way of life of the Kalinago people have been somewhat diluted over the years, thankfully many elements of their culture have survived. The elders in the communities are unwavering in their attempts to ensure their way of life is not further dissolved by non-indigenous influences. A constant reminder of their heritage remains at the Kalinago Barana Aute which Kevin Dangleben managed until 2015. It is a cultural village where history resides. Traditional huts, story-telling, canoe-making, cultural expressions in song and dance, cooking and many other aspects of the island’s indigenous people can be witnessed here.
Although Kalinago Tours are specialists of the Kalinago Territory, they also offer packages that allow visitors to enjoy other aspects of Dominica. Tours can be created according to your interests, so whether it is a visit to the island’s water falls, to the world-renowned boiling lake or just a scenic drive around the island, Kevin and his team knows that you deserve the experience and will make it memorable.
Kalinago Tours can assist with
Accommodation arrangements for your Dominica visit
Island Tours, including their specialty tours to the Kalinago Territory
Kalinago souvenir items