Maasai Tribe, Kenya & Tanzania
The Maasai are some of the most recognizable and well-known tribes in Africa due to their distinctive dress, culture and the fact that many of them live near some of the most famous national parks and reserves in Kenya and Tanzania. They are an extremely proud tribe who are hanging onto their semi-nomadic way of life, even though both Kenyan and Tanzanian Governments are trying to get them abandon their traditional way of life.
Within their society, most major decisions are decided by the elder men, while a full body of oral law covers many aspects of their behavior. For the Maasai their cattle mean wealth and they believe that at some stage all the cattle in the world belonged to them and on occasions they still go on cattle raids, stealing cattle to bring back to their bomas. They use the cattle for milk, blood which they drink and on special occasions for meat. The meat of lamb and goats is also eaten.
From a very early age, boys are sent out to look after the calves and lambs, while the girls learn different chores from their mothers, including cooking and milking the cows. Every 15 years a new group of Morans or worriers will be initiated. The boys aged between 12 and 25 are circumcised and then sent to a “manyatta” or village where they remain for several months. After their initiation, the worriers spend most of their time exploring their Maasai lands, often bartering cattle to improve their own stock. It is believed that to become a worrier a boy must kill a lion. This has now been banned across Tanzania and Kenya, so is no longer practiced. On occasions if a lion kills a Maasai’s livestock, they may hunt and kill it, although this is becoming very rare nowadays.
Stanley Safaris’ preferred Maasai experiences. With many of Kenya’s and Tanzania’s popular national parks and reserves within close proximity of Maasai villages, most camps and lodges within these areas will offer some form of a Maasai Village visit. These are sometimes seen as tourist shows and not the authentic experiences, we prefer at Stanley Safaris. For us, the most authentic experience is the one listed below.
Maasai Land Walking Experience
The Maasai Land Walking Experience is a 3-day walk, starting from Arusha and ending in Tarangire National Park. This adventure takes you through some of the remotest Maasai villages in East Africa and way off the tourist trail, offering the most authentic Maasai experience in Tanzania. You will be guided by the Maasai and will have the opportunity to stop in their villages to learn more about their traditions and cultures.
Whilst out walking with your Maasai guides you will learn about the different medicinal uses of the plants as you go. On your second evening the team will prepare “nyama choma” which is a traditional roasted goat. Guests are encouraged to assist in the preparation. That evening guests and Maasai often end up dancing and singing around the fire.
This is a rustic fly-camp with simple dome tents with camp beds and there is a shared toilet and solar shower.