Maasai Tribal Experience in Tanzania
To learn about the Maasai culture is one thing… being a part of it another.
The Maasai are one of the biggest tribes in Africa. Most of the population in the Monduli district are from the Maasai tribe, with the result Monduli is commonly referred to as a Maasai township.
As proud people, the Maasai do their best to preserve a unique culture. They have a very traditional way of living, with most relatives all living in the same family compound.
The Maasai were a very nomadic people, traditionally moving with their cattle. Through the sale of their cattle and cattle products, they get just enough money to survive. Incidentally, the charity Oxfam insists that the lifestyle of the Maasai should be embraced as a response to climate change because of their ability to farm in deserts and scrublands.
Maasai culture can seem very different to the modern West. For example men can be married to several women depending on how rich the man is (and which is usually dependant on how many cattle he owns). There is reason in a man having many wives though, say the Maasai as more wives mean more people to take care of the cattle and other animals.
Tasks tend to be divided, with men usually taking care of/selling the cattle. You’ll find women milking, cooking, finding firewood and taking care of babies.
You will be staying with Maasai in their village to help them in their daily tasks, where you can explore Maasai culture more via daily interaction and communication.The villager’s founder is a great proponent of formal education, and you will be expected to arrange activities for children in the village or manage an English class in the primary school.. The school was started by the Maasai villager leader to accommodate his many grandchildren, but is today also open for any neighbouring children.
Aims & Objectives
- Provides you with the unique experience of living as one of the Maasai tribespeople
- Share your experiences and ideas with the local community
- Gain valuable insight into the culture, traditions and landscape of Tanzania
We will start the day with an introduction to the village, as well as Maasai culture. In the morning, you will be taught useful phrases in Maasai, that you will be able to use throughout the week. Moreover, you will get to learn about the lifestyle of the Maasai people through an introduction to their cultural rules, the dos and don’ts, etc.
After lunch, we will take a trek through the wilderness that surrounds the village. During this hike, you will be able to see Tanzania’s nature at its best. Those coming between the months of June and July will likely see wildlife, including ostriches, impalas, and more!
The Maasai are a tribe well known for their herding traditions. Today, it will be 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), this activity involves even more work: the nearest river to the village gets completely dried up, so the villagers are forced to dig holes in order to get to the water that is underground so their livestock can drink – don’t be surprised if you are invited to partake!
In the morning hours, we will join the women of a boma in their traditional activities, you can expect to participate in activities such as milking cows, walking to the river with donkeys to fetch water, etc.
After lunch, we will join an exciting workshop in which you will be taught how to make gorgeous beaded Maasai jewelry – the kind that has made the Maasai such an emblematic and colorful tribe.
We will end the day with a cooking class lead by one of our hosts. This will be your dinner, so pay close attention!
Today is another day of grazing the livestock! Grazing days are filled with adventure as they involve long walks through the African bush.
We will take a hike through the African wilderness once again! After a few hours of adventurous roaming, we 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.
You will be staying a very simple, traditional, family home in a Maasai Village in Arusha. Located many kilometers away from the paved main road which leads into the nearest large city Arusha, with many smaller towns along the way. Moita is quite a bit off the beaten path. 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.
Accommodation & Food
Expect a very ‘back to nature’ approach during your stay here! 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 Maasai generally live without any electricity, and though some houses have recently acquired solar cells, you should not expect it. There is no running tap water and no western toilets. You can expect squatting toilets will be available and the occasional showering is done by using a bucket. All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with extreme restraint, especially water, paper, and electricity. This accommodation is in a Maasai village in Arusha, but to increase immersion you may get spread across various villages.
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.
3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
The village is quite small, but it does have a few local shops where you can purchase snacks, mobile data (Vodacom), detergent, soap, etc. There is a tiny pharmacy and a local clinic not too far away. However, do expect the facilities around to be lacking. There are no ATMs nearby, so make sure to bring enough cash for your stay.
Trip Country Info
Population: 55 million
Language: Swahili, English
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Time zone: EAT (UTC +3)
Parts of the country are in Southern Africa and it is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and by the Indian Ocean to the east. 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
|Sturdy Walking Boots/Shoes|
No requirements have been provided.
- 24/7 support in case of emergencies
- Airport Pick up
- English speaking coordinator
What's not included
- Airport drop off
- Travel insurance