The “Maasai Village visit” is an optional activity we offer to enhance the cultural aspect of a client’s safari. It is fairly easy to incorporate a visit to a Maasai village on a traditional wildlife safari, as there are several villages dotting the NCA landscape on the drive between the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. However, based on recent feedback from returning clients, the Maasai village seems to be falling short of most visitors’ expectations.
Although the villages we take our clients to are authentic, residents are beginning to get used to tourists stopping by. Tourists are often willing to pay money in exchange for Maasai jewelry and other wares. As a result, many of the Maasai residents have started soliciting our guests for such transactions. Although completely harmless and without foul intention, such solicitations can still make many guests feel uncomfortable. In an effort to mitigate our clients’ exposure to such behavior, we have strived to take our clients further and further off the beaten path to more remote villages where the residents are less likely to solicit our guests. It was only a matter of time, however, before residents of the more remote villages started soliciting behaviors as well.
We will continue to offer a visit to a Maasai Village to all interested clients. However it is important that all guests’ expectations are in line with reality before making the choice about how to best spend their time on safari. If you choose to incorporate a village visit, you can expect to see real Maasai residents in an authentic setting. You can expect to see how these unique people live, where they sleep, and maybe even see a school in session. However, you should also expect to be approached by at least some residents selling their wares. If this type of solicitation makes you uncomfortable, we recommend skipping the optional visit to a Maasai village. Please don’t hesitate to discuss with your driver-guide if you have additional questions or concerns about the option of incorporating a Maasai Village visit into your safari.