DAY 8 of trip 2nd day of Safari
Ever wonder what it’s like living the day and life of Maasai people?! I did! I’ve seen their vibrant colors and extreme fine detail of jewelry on social media but I wanted to immerse myself into their culture and see how they live day to day, so we did just that!
Day two of our safari we left Lake Manyara NP (which btw was incredible post coming soon) and headed to the Maasai Village. It was so nice just sitting back and having our driver take us everywhere. We didn’t have to think about a thing! Since it was separate from our whole travel package Ron and I paid $50USD to enter. I believe it’s per car so it could be cheaper with more people. We didn’t mind paying since we don’t get this sort of experience every day.
Be sure to read our experience and scroll to the bottom to learn some wild facts about how the Maasai people! Lets just say drinking blood is a normal thing for them!
Once we stepped out of the Rover we were greeted by a Maasain man (I am awful at remembering names). He spoke really good English and looked to be around 25-30 years of age. He was our guide. They dressed us in their local attire.We then watched a traditional welcoming song with all the village people. Two men would blow through the horns while the other men would tap their sticks and sing making music. They slowly moved closer to us all while walking in two circles.He was checking someone out, hah!The women joined in and sang the harmony in the background. They would shrug their shoulders, making their necklaces make noise. The sound was beautiful.
We then entered the village. They sang another song and asked Ron to join! He was leaving me to join the Maasai Village because he heard they can have up to six wives ;)! The Maasai People are known for their jumping, so they did just that! Honestly, we didn’t know anything about the Maasai people so it was awesome to watch! These guys can jump insanely high!They had Ron join in on the song! I have to say he is a natural, lol! I couldn’t stop laughing!Ron even got his own breakdown in the song! He stood in the middle and showed them how it was done!While he was doing that I stood with the women.We would shrug our shoulders making music with our necklaces all while humming while the men jumped.
The woman took my hand and we started to jump! It was a cool motion. As we jumped, we shrugged and then hummed!After the song we all got together for a photo.We then learned how they make fire! They use a softer wood for the bottom and a stronger wood for the stick on a knife. You put your hands together and roll the stick quick as possible.It quickly started to smoke and made some hot ash. He took the ash and put it in the middle of some dry grass. Raised it in the air for oxygen/wind to enter. I didn’t think it was enough to start the fire but I was wrong! It quickly started to smoke! What does this pose remind you of :P!? It’s from my all time favorite movie!Gave it an extra blow and then…POOF! We have fire people!
Ron tried to make his own ash. Lets just say the guys had a good laugh! Its not as easy as it looks!
We then had a tour inside one of their homes. They are called manyattas, which are circular mud huts.The Inkajijik (maasai word for a house) are loaf-shaped and made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow’s urine. Yup, you heard that right! The home inside fits a family of four. Typically a husband, wife and two kids. The bed is about the size of a queen mattress back home, the only difference is that it’s made up of the ground floor and a cow hide, that is it! You can sit in the bed while your feet is in the kitchen. That is where they have a fire to cook and heat the place. Truly makes us thankful for our lifestyle back home thats for sure!
Once we were done hanging out in the hut they brought us around several tables of hand made soveniers. Each table was designated to a specific hut. The money we spent supposedly went to that family. We are not the souvenir type but out of guilt we though we would get some for our nieces and nephews back home. He held the gifts for us while we went to check out the school.
The kids were counting 1-10 in english and singing ABC’s. You could make an extra donation however they didn’t pressure us to do so.
I will admit Ron and I felt the school area was a little staged. However, we didn’t care if it was a show or not. We do hope they use the money for the betterment of their village and the people though.
I kept staring at their sandals. Who wore them better? I am obsessed with my safari style Tevas! Which are currently on sale! Just checked!This little girl was adorable.We went over what the souvenirs cost. We didn’t bring any extra money so we borrowed $50USD from our driver. We were socked at what they wanted. They started out by saying 7 pieces were $120USD. We were like, NO WAY! We had $50, which we felt was quite generous . We got five little wooden souvenirs and a bracelet. We could of easily got them much cheaper on the streets but again, we felt guilty and hoped they put the money to good use. So be aware and don’t be afraid to barter or get nothing at all. All in all we think the money was worth the experience. We spent $100 total and was an hour of our time. It didn’t mess with our Safari tour at all. We were the only ones there. This is something you don’t get to experience everyday so why not! Who knows if we will ever come back to Tanzania! We don’t mind playing tourist in places like this.
Now for some crazy cultural facts about the Maasai people that will make you shake your head, disagree with and possibly barf!
- Mixed blood and milk is used as a ritual drink in special celebrations, mornings, or given to the sick.
- They rely on meat, milk and blood as their main diet. Recently they grown dependent on maize, rice, potatoes and cabbage. Though some feel land for crop farming is a crime against nature. (vary between tribes)
- Men can have multiple wives but women can only have one husband.
- Maasai girls are typically circumcised between ages 11-13 (now illegal in Kenya).
- They have arranged marriages chosen by their fathers for exchange for cattle and cash. (varies between tribes) and shortly after bear several children. Half only survive by the age of four.
- Boys are responsible for herding small livestock (we saw them throughout our whole trip along the roads, as young as 5 years old).
- Cattle, goats and sheep are the primary source of income
- Estimated that 1 million Maasai people live in Kenya and Tanzania. Though its said that censes could be incorrect.
Though, we may disagree with their way of life, that is their cultural norm. I find it quite interesting and sad for many reasons. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter and if you would visit a village!
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MAASAI VILLAGE TOUR
COMPANY: Altezza Climb & Safari
COST: $50USD per car entrance fee + $$ for souvenirs if wanted.
DURATION: 1-2 hours.
ITENERARY: Dress like a local, two welcome songs, one interactive song, house tour, make a fire, explore the school, support huts by purchasing souvenirs, ask many questions.
TIP: It is a separate cost from our safari tour since it goes directly to the village. It does not affect time spent at the National Parks. Be sure to ask your driver you want to go or mention it when booking your trip with Altezza.