Eco-safaris with the Maasai tribe
The concept of the eco-safari in Africa is on the rise as many travelers seek a greener way to travel while connecting with the local community. Rather than going with just any travel company now you have a wide array of options to choose from before booking that perfect safari for you and your family – all with sustainable tourism as its forefront.
For those looking to connect with the Maasai Tribe in central Africa, e a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people inhabiting Kenya and northern Tanzania, you have several options to choose from while planning your trip. The Maasai have entranced people the world over for decades with fascinating and rich culture of traditional rituals, warrior mentalities and nomadic lifestyle.
Fun Facts about the Maasai Tribe
- They hail from southeast Africa (after migrating south around the 15th century)
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and speak Maa (ɔl Maa) – a language related to Nilo-Saharan, while also speaking the official languages of Tanzania, Kenya, Swahili & English.
- Maasai believe in various passage of rights with one being ‘head shaving’ which represents a fresh start to being a new life chapter.
- The population was last known to number around 840,000 during the last census and covers a vast area of south-western Kenya
Eco-Safari options with the Maasai Tribe
1. Maasai Mara Volunteer Adventure Itinerary: an incredible opportunity to connect with the Maasai’s along with getting the chance to also give back – a greener way to travel with culture as your forefront.
The tour is described on the official site as a “mini peace corps” experience, you will live and work with the famous Maasai tribe. Learn endless amounts about their rich culture, develop friendships, and experience the deep satisfaction of helping with meaningful, life-affirming community projects.
Activities include a visit to Lake Nakuru National Park and the famous Great Rift Valley to explore the land of the Maasai. Here you can explore the Mara sanctuary for the “Big 5″ animals. Animals include rhinos, elephants, buffalo among many more. Not only that, guests will have the opportunity to search for game with the local medicine man, they will also get the chance to learn authentic methods of traditional medicine (exploring
the uses of plants and herbs indigenous to the African savanna) and sleep in the village. The volunteer work is completely up to the guest and can be in the form of professional services or helping out around town, options are endless.
2. Maasai-run safari in Kenya – featured in the Guardian An introspective look at how two men brought together the idea of putting the hands of big game reserves to the locals as opposed to outsiders from area such as Nairobi. Instead of offering high luxury stays, they offer simple accommodation and most of all – unique experiences for whomever visits with conservation of the culture and natural resources always kept in mind. Guests stay in the village and interact with the locals, this is also a tour adapted to kids.
3. Campi Ya Kanzi Campi – described as a pioneer of authentic ecotourism in Africa, this camp is run by an Italian couple, their three kids and best childhood friend (along with a variety of locals). Passionate about conservation and an environmentally-friendly Kenya, they live and work at the camp full-time. According to their site: Campi ya Kanzi has two goals: treat you to the most memorable vacation of your life, while helping the Maasai preserve their wildlife and cultural heritages. This eco-friendly lodge giving guests a chance to explore through the eyes of the Maasai via a special partnership between the two. A professional site and a variety of options for families and larger groups. Guests pay a contribution of $100 (conservation fee) per person per day to help preserve the Maasai community.