Program & Schedule
To learn about the Maasai culture is one thing… but why not be a part of it!
A proud people, they do their best to preserve their unique culture, and yes, different tribes in Africa can have very distinct characteristics and customs!
The Maasai quite possibly the most emblematic tribe of East Africa. With a Nilotic ethnic background, they live in the northern Tanzanian and southern Kenya regios. The Maasai are known for their nomadic lifestyle (although, since the 90’s, the Tanzanian government passed a bill in which they were forced to settle in a single place), their colorful dress code, their beaded jewelry and awe-inspiring traditions.
Maasai have a very traditional way of living, with most relatives all living in the same family compound, which are traditionally known as bomas. They were nomadic people, as traditionally Maasai would move with their cattle. Today, these animals are still how they get their income. Through the sale of their cattle and cattle products, they get just enough money to survive and move on. Interestingly, the NGO, Oxfam, claims 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, this status usually dependant on how many cattle he has! There are actually financial reasons for a Maasai family to have many wives, as a larger family allows more hands to take care of their cattle, cow, goats, sheep and donkeys.
During this homestay, you will be staying with in their village to learn about their culture while participating in their daily tasks. Tasks are always divided, with men usually taking care of or selling the tribe’s cattle, while women will take part in milking, cooking, finding firewood and taking care of babies. You will find that there will be plenty of opportunities to explore Maasai culture more, in the way of interaction, communication, as well as, exchanges of ideas and experiences.
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.This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: -
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Signup
Passport copy required: No
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
There are no further requirements for this program.
Living & Location
You will be staying in an authentic Maasai village known as Emboreet. It is located in the “backyard” of Tarangire National Park, and this is the place the animals choose to migrate to when there is no water left in Tarangire at certain months of the year. Being here will truly get you off-the-beaten path in Tanzania and allow you to see and experience how authentic Maasai people live.
This tiny village is composed of a few shops, a school, a church, and Maasai bomas. To every direction, you will find nature and not much else, an unique experience that will truly allow you to experience the African bush! The people who live here are extremely warm compared to the bigger cities, which will make you feel right at home!
You will be staying in the local village with a Maasai family. This will mean none of the western accommodation standards you may be used to. Be prepared for no electricity or hot water.
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.
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.
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Expanding over plains, forests and savanna, Ngorongoro Conservation Area hosts Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera where incredible wildlife coexists with the Maasai. In here, you will be able to find wildlife… in a crater! A must when in Tanzania as it is one of the most emblematic locations of the continent.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is famous for its population of elephants and the symbolic Baobab tree. During the dry season, wild animals inhabit the park and you will be able to find zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, wildebeests and more! While not as common, you might be able to find a lion here as well if you are lucky!
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is probably the most worldwide known National Park in the world. It is believed to hold the largest population of lions in the world! Aside from that, cheetahs, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos live here. Make sure you allow yourself at least two days to visit and stay overnight in either a campsite or a lodge. Serengeti cannot be done in just one day as it is so huge!
Arusha National Park and Mount Meru
The home of Mount Meru, the second largest peak in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro. While it is not the best place to spot wildlife compared to Ngorongoro or Serengeti, it is still the home of many species including giraffes, warthogs, Cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, flamingos and more! However, the main attractions here are the landscapes that line the park to every side: to the west, you will find Meru Crater and the Jekukumia River. To the south, you will find Ngurdoto Crater and to the north.east, Momelia Lakes, which vary in color due to algae and are made even brighter by many different species of birds who love to have a swim in the water!
Lake Manyara National Park
During the wet season, pink flamingos brighten up the lake, which make it the go-to place for bird watchers. They do leave during the wet season, but Masai Lions, Leopards, hippos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles and cheetahs can be found here year-round!
Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro
Moshi is a sleepy town with a Western vibe as it is the starting point of the Mount Kilimanjaro climb! On a clear day, you can get excellent views of the highest mountain in Africa (tip: head over to Moshi Train Station for a top-notch view. This station is no longer in use for transportation purposes, but the locals have made the most out of it by placing some chairs and selling drinks and snacks with a view!).
Kikuletwa Hot Springs
A lesser-known but still amazing attraction located between Arusha and Moshi are Kikuletwa Hot Springs. The water isn’t actually hot, but its temperature is perfect for swimming and relaxing. It is known as an oasis as it is covered with jungle and the water here is so blue that you wouldn’t believe! It is a favorite go-to place for locals and expats alike and there is even a rope you can use to dive into the water with style.
Arusha is one of the main cities of Tanzania. From here, most safari companies depart to many of the national parks surrounding it, so it is your go-to place for wildlife! In Arusha you will be able to find a myriad of things to do - from Maasai markets selling crafts to bring back home, to cinemas, shopping malls, Western food, and more!
From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):
Name: United Republic of Tanzania
Population: 52 million
Language: Swahili, English
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Time zone: EAT (UTC +3)
Tanzania is a large country in Eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. 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.
Climate varies greatly within Tanzania. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C during cold and hot seasons respectively.
The rest of the country however has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20°C. The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31°C) while its coolest period occurs between May and August (15–20°C).
Tanzania has two major rainfall regimes: one is uni-modal (October–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, central, and western parts of the country, and the latter is found in the north from Lake Victoria extending east to the coast.
Tanzania's large population is diverse, composed of several ethnic, linguistic and religious groups.
Christians and Muslims make up the large majorities, but 2% still practice Traditional African Religion.
Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa. All four of Africa’s language families are spoken (Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic, and Khoisan), but Swahili and English are its official languages, though Swahili is pushed officially as a unifying language, to the detriment of other minority languages, even English.