Trip Details

Maasai Tribal Experience in Tanzania

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend an evening around a Maasai tribe bonfire, and hear stories of old straight from the lips of the Massai warriors?  Our Maasai Tribal Experience in Tanzania is a once-in-lifetime adventure that you will never forget!  You will stay with the Maasai in their village, helping with their daily tasks, and getting to know them as you experience their way of life. Our volunteers often tell us that this programme is one of the most positively life-changing experiences they have ever had!

Immerse yourself in the Traditional Maasai Way of Life

The Maasai are one of the biggest tribes in Africa, and have a very traditional way of living, with most relatives all living in the same family compound. During this exciting Tribal Experience Week, you will learn about their way of life. This will involve herding cattle, making jewellery with the Maasai women, and even helping with the children in the village, giving basic English classes! But it doesn’t end there!  You will also be milking cows, fetching water, and wandering through the Tanzanian wilderness as you gather food for the evening meal!

Experience a Truly Rural Existence in a Remote part of Tanzania

During your Maasai Tribal Experience here in Tanzania, be aware that you will not have running tap water, western toilets or electricity (although some homes have solar cells).  Consequently, you will have to be very careful with resources such as water, paper and electricity.  Of course, you’ll also want to explore further afield, and there are many beautiful places in Tanzania to visit. Why not plan a weekend trip with others who are also on this once-in-a-lifetime programme!

Why Book our Maasai Tribal Experience in Tanzania?

  • Enjoy the unique experience of living as one of the Maasai Tribe
  • Gain valuable insight into the culture, traditions and landscape of Tanzania
  • Stay in a Maasai homestay, and challenge yourself to live without your home comforts!
  • Experience Tanzania and its beauty with new-found friends at the end of your stay
  • All meals and water included – but you may be gathering and cooking some of it yourself!

Get in touch to find out more or browse through our many other volunteer experiences.

Trip Itinerary

You will arrive on Sunday and have time to get used to your surroundings before you embark on your Maasai Tribal Experience.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day to get used to your surroundings, as well as the local culture. Your Maasai Tribal Experience programme will continue as usual from Tuesday onward throughout the rest of the week.

Orientation Day Schedule (Monday)

  • Welcome, introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
  • Tanzanian and Maasai Do’s and Don’ts, Culture introduction and country history and Intensive Swahili Language Lessons.
  • Tour around the compound and local area
  • Lunch
  • Excursion to local area sites (may include a local crater or nature walk).
  • Dinner

Weekly Schedule

Tuesday

Today is all about grazing the livestock! You will join a Maasai warrior on his grazing activities through the bush. Be prepared for several hours of walking! During the dry season (June to October), the nearest river to the village gets completely dried up. Consequently, the villagers are forced to walk further or dig holes in order to get to the water for their livestock. So don’t be surprised if you are invited to participate!

Wednesday

In the morning, we will join the women of a boma in their traditional activities, and you’ll be busy milking cows, as well as walking to the river with donkeys to fetch water, amongst other daily tasks.

After lunch, you will learn how to make gorgeous beaded Maasai jewellery – the kind that has made the Maasai such an emblematic and colourful tribe. Lastly, we will end the day with a cooking class led by one of our hosts. Pay close attention, as this will be your dinner!

Thursday

Cattle gotta feed! Today is another day of grazing the livestock, and grazing days are filled with adventure as they involve long walks through the African bush.

Friday

And we’re off through the African wilderness once again! After a few hours of adventurous roaming, you will enjoy a picnic with a view of the valley.

In the evening, we will set up a bonfire where you will get the chance to hear legendary tales about the Maasai and other stories from the village. This is the part of the Maasai experience that many volunteers love most!

Please note:

This schedule can change depending on weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances during your Maasai experience in Tanzania.

Places to Visit

At the end of this amazing experience, you might choose to explore further afield and get a taste for the wider must-sees of Tanzania! These are some of our favourite landmarks …

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Expanding over plains, forests, and savannahs, you will find the world’s largest crater here, where incredible wildlife coexists with the Maasai. This area is a must-see when in Tanzania.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is famous for its population of elephants and the symbolic Baobab tree. During the dry season, you will find zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, wildebeests and more! While not as common, you might just find a lion here as well if you are lucky!

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti is probably the most worldwide known National Park in the world. It is believed to hold the largest population of lions in the world! Aside from that, cheetahs, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos live here. Make sure you allow yourself at least two days to visit and stay overnight in either a campsite or a lodge. Serengeti cannot be done in just one day!

Arusha National Park and Mount Meru

This is the home of Mount Meru, the second largest peak in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro. While it is not the best place to spot wildlife compared to Ngorongoro or Serengeti, it is still the home of many species including giraffes, warthogs, Cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, flamingos and more! However, the main attractions here are the landscapes that line the park including the Momelia Lakes, which vary in colour due to algae and are made even brighter by many different species of birds who love to swim in the water!

Lake Manyara National Park

During the wet season, pink flamingos brighten up the lake, which make it the go-to place for bird watchers. They do leave during the wet season, but Maasai Lions, Leopards, hippos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles and cheetahs are here year-round!

Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro

Moshi is about two and a half hours away from Monduli, easily reached from Monduli by taking a “dala dala” to Arusha and then another one to Moshi from there. This is a sleepy town with a Western vibe as it is the starting point of the Mount Kilimanjaro climb! On a clear day, you can get excellent views of the highest mountain in Africa (tip: head over to Moshi Train Station for a top-notch view.

Kikuletwa Hot Springs

A lesser-known but still amazing attraction! Located between Arusha and Moshi are Kikuletwa Hot Springs. The water isn’t actually hot, but its temperature is perfect for swimming and relaxing. Known as an oasis, the water here is so blue that you have to see it to believe it! It is a favourite go-to place for locals and ex-pats alike, and there is even a rope you can use to dive into the water with style!

Arusha

Arusha is one of the main cities of Tanzania and is easy to reach from Monduli in less than an hour and a half. From here, most safari companies depart to many of the national parks surrounding it, so it is your go-to place for wildlife! In Arusha, you find a myriad of things to do – from Maasai markets selling crafts to bring back home, to cinemas, shopping malls, Western food, and more!

Hiking Around Monduli

Monduli is set amidst lush mountains that are a great opportunity for hiking off-the-beaten-path. There are numerous trails, one of which leads to a gorgeous waterfall. Speak to our coordinator to arrange, as the government needs to grant you permission (for a fee) to visit beyond certain spots in order to conserve the area.

Iringa and Ruaha National Park

A great place to visit if you have the time after finishing our programme! Ruaha National Park is the largest National Park in Tanzania and boasts cheetahs, the second largest population of Leopards in Africa, buffalos, hippos, and more!

Zanzibar

Whilst a bit of a journey, it is possible to fly to Zanzibar for a weekend from Arusha airstrip, a small airport that operates domestic flights and is not too far from our centre! While here, don’t miss Stone Town, a place that is emblematic for its mazes and spices (take a spice tour for sure!). Another must is a visit to Prison Island, where you can spot dolphins and marine life. Travel north or east of the island for some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world and enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best!

 

Trip Accommodation

You will stay in a very simple, traditional, family home in a Maasai Village in Arusha. Located far from the main road which leads into the nearest large city Arusha, Moita is fairly isolated. The terrain is rough and scantily covered by grass, bushes, and trees. In the dry season, inhabitants of Moita village must walk several kilometres to fetch water for cooking, drinking and occasionally for bathing.

About your Accommodation

Expect a very ‘back to nature’ approach during your stay! You will live as a visitor in a home-stay residence which may include the traditional house made from wood, sticks, cow dung and clay soil. The Tanzania Maasai generally live without any electricity or running tap water, and though some houses have recently acquired solar cells, you should not expect it. In short, be prepared for a lack of home comforts!

Food Arrangements

Our programme includes 3 meals on weekdays and 2 on the weekends. Meals are inspired by the local cuisine and consist of a lot of corn, rice and bananas. Beef, goat meat, beans, and green leafy vegetables will help to add nutrients to your daily meals. You can bring some snacks with you from the local township, but remember that there’s no refrigeration!

Facilities

There are no shops within walking distance, so if you are a picky eater or feel that you might struggle with local meals, please feel free to bring supplemental food items with you from Monduli or Arusha.

Please note: Due to the remote location of this program and limited local transportation, volunteers may need to stay the first night in Monduli and travel the next morning to the village. Additionally, placement is in a Maasai village in Arusha, but you may have the opportunity to live across a few villages during your stay here.

Trip Country Info

Tanzania

Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa and includes the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia. About twice the size of California, this African country is bordered by the Indian Ocean and eight countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. It is home to Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, in its northeastern region and is considered the Safari capital of the world!

Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital city has been Dodoma, where the President’s Office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital and its largest city, retains most government offices and is the country’s principal port and leading commercial centre.

Volunteer holidays to Tanzania are enjoyed in a land of spectacular beauty, and one of the largest countries in Africa. It lies on the east coast of Africa and is bordered to the north by Kenya and Uganda, to the west is Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia and to the south are Malawi and Mozambique. Tanzania comprises of coastal lowland, volcanic highlands, the Great Rift Valley and the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. We have a selection of volunteering programs in Tanzania with placements at orphanages, teaching & medical placements.

Tanzania is the only country in the world which has allocated at least 25 per cent of its total area to wildlife national parks and protected areas, including the world famous Serengeti National Park. We provide exciting gap adventures to Tanzania, backpacking holidays and volunteering work experience programs.  If you are interested in volunteering in Tanzania or trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro have a look at our latest programs below or give us a call for more information.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

DBS, Criminal Background Check
Travel Insurance
Under 18, Parental Consent

Additional Requirements

Recommended Vaccinations
Sturdy Walking Boots/Shoes
Sleeping Bag
Warm clothing for the night

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Airport drop off
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa