Those wishing to incorporate an insightful cultural element into their safari may wish to include a day spent with the Maasai people (note that Maasai is sometimes spelt Masai – in Kenya especially – though never Maasi) close to Lake Manyara, as well as a day with the Hadzabe.
Perhaps the Most Prominent Tribe in Africa
Safari Tours | Tanzania has a minimal-impact lightweight camping site close to Mount Longido, within easy reach of several Maasai communities that still observe traditional subsistence lifestyles. A full day spent with the Maasai will usually involve a walking safari, beginning from our campsite, in the hope of seeing families of giraffe. The walk will usually be led by a local Maasai guide with translation being assisted by your safari guide. Where possible, we aim to ensure that the local Maasai guide is not merely a professional group leader who has migrated away from village life into town to learn English and commerce, but is actually an active member of one of the nearby local communities, someone who still supports his community by means of the techniques that he will be revealing to you.
Walking through the hills with the Maasai is fascinating, particularly if visitors aim to take full advantage of their local guide’s knowledge and to frequently pause and question him. A good dialogue will provide some amazing insights as to how the Maasai derive medicines from the many varied plants; how Maasai social life is ordered by age and what are the respective duties of each group; how the Maasai hold to the belief that all cattle are properly theirs by divine right and how the Morani should be tasked with marauding neighbouring tribes and ‘stealing back’ these cows; how such missions often sadly cause the death of several participants; and a great deal more that – if one is prepared to delve deeply – will reveal a world view and offer perspectives that contrast very greatly with those of home.