Nomads for a day in Tanzania

‘Maasai’ means people that speak the ‘Maa’ language. They are a semi-nomadic ethnic group living in southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania whose lives majorly revolves around caring for their cattle. In the past, they have been known to be fully nomadic, moving their herds to wherever they can find food and water. But that lifestyle is beginning to change as many of their lands have been turned into wildlife reserves.

In Tanzania, we visited a Maasai village situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. For a fee ($25), they offered us a tour of their village and a glimpse into the daily lives of the people. We were met outside the enkang (village) by a representative and shortly after, they lined up to welcome us with a traditional (warrior) dance.

We were then led into the enkang and taken on a tour of their school (above) and homes. The Maasai homes are usually built by the women and are made with sticks, cow dung, urine and mud.

The houses are usually dark with a single source of light carved out in the ceiling. The one we visited had two beds, one meant for the man of the house, the other for the women and in the middle of both beds was the kitchen. It was pretty stuffy inside and the ‘window’ in the ceiling didn’t help much.

We really enjoyed this tour. It was optional on our itinerary and we almost passed it up but I’m glad we went ahead with it.

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