Masai Village Visit in Nairobi - 1 Day
You’ve seen pictures of them – adorned with the brilliant red, blue and purple patterns of the shukas they wear. The men with their spears, tall and proud. The women bejeweled with bright beaded earrings and scarves. These are some of the oldest inhabitants of East Africa, the Maasai people.
They live in small mud-thatched villages, surrounded by their cattle and smaller livestock. For hundreds of years, the Masai have roamed these lands of Kenya and Tanzania, living a free, nomadic lifestyle. Their traditional lands now comprise much of Kenya’s national parks.
A highlight of your safari vacation is a visit with these Maasai people. Many of the tribes welcome visitors to their villages to view up-close their culture and lifestyle.
Traditional Maasai village
The traditional Masai village is called a Manyatta and consists of a number of small cow dung made huts with thatched roofs. The huts are placed in a circle with livestock in the middle and a thick thorny fence for protection against the nightly predators.
The Ngong hills Masai Village has around inhabitants and guests visiting this traditional Maasai Manyatta will spend time learning about their life, culture, and customs. Mornings are cool and usually busy for the women and girls with the milking of cows and goats; later the herders take the cattle for grazing on the Mara plains.
Arriving at the Village – An Explosion of Colour
The first thing you’ll notice as you enter a village is the many vivid colors of the Masai’s garments. The bright shukas or sheets they wear contrast strongly with the greens and browns of the landscape.
Adding to this display of color is the brightly beaded jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, and amulets – worn by the women and men.
This beadwork, while very appealing, has more than just an ornamental value. The women who create it express their identity and social status with these handcrafted pieces.
You’ll see displays of this beaded jewelry for sale, and you can help support the village with a purchase… as well as bringing home an authentic souvenir from your travels.
Music and Dance
You may get to experience the villagers singing and dancing… and you might even be able to join in! The Maasai are known for their rhythmic call-and-response singing. Perhaps their most widely known dance is the adumu or “jumping dance”.
The warriors form a circle with one person entering the center. This dancer will jump higher and higher to the rhythms of the singers. As he jumps higher the singers will raise the pitch of their voices.
Sometimes guests are invited into the circle, adding to the dancing fun!
Standing in muted contrast to the colorful villagers, you’ll see the browns and grays of the Maasai’s houses, called bomas. Small structures with thatched roofs, it is the job of the Maasai women to build these sturdy dwellings.
The women begin with a framework of timber poles and interweave smaller branches to form a structure. This is then covered with a mixture of mud, grass, cow dung, urine and ash. The entire structure is no more than 3 x 5 m in the area and stands only 1.5 m tall.
Yet the family cooks eats, sleeps,, and socializes in this modest structure – even sharing space with small livestock! You may be able to peek inside to experience a very different lifestyle.
The men also participate in constructing this homestead. It is their responsibility to build the protective fencing around the village to keep lions and other predators away from the livestock.
A visit to a Masai Boma (Maasai village tour) in an interesting experience. As you arrive at the village, excited children and adults welcome you with song and dance, At certain times, one of the dancers will jump up and down gracefully. The jumps are several feet high! You will be invited to try jumping- (dancing), too, to your dismay you will be no match for their levitation act!!
You will then be welcomed into one of the homesteads in the village, the village huts (called Manyatta) are made of cow dung and clay plastered over stick frames. This is quite practical, the masai maintain cattle herds, and the dung is always in generous supply, and it's free.
One of your hosts will give you an insight into Maasai life, some of them may not speak English but our guides will interpret for you and the elders so that stories may be exchanged. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history and lifestyle of these Maasai. You may ask many questions as you like and take photographs.
The Masai Market is held every day of the week in different locations in Nairobi shopping malls parking bays. You will see many villagers buying and selling a variety of goods including homeopathic remedies, local clothing, and other curios.
The money collected from this tour is plowed back to the local Maasai community to cater for social amenities and development of the villages.
We’ll Be Your Guide
We’ll provide you with opportunities to enjoy a visit to a Masai Village. On your Natural World Safari to the Masai Mara Reserve or Amboseli National Park, you can partake of this optional excursion. The cost is only $20 and payable to the village chief. Just ask your driver/guide who will make all the arrangements.
Should you have any other special requests for your safari adventure please don’t hesitate to ask your guide or contact our offices. You can contact us the below form or contacts
Or, you can speak directly with one of our specialists by calling +254 721 162 439.
Masai rural village & Maasai’s village day tour starts with a pick up by our driver guide from your Nairobi hotel.
The Maasai tribe (or Masai) is a unique and popular tribe due to their long-preserved culture. Despite education, civilization and western cultural influences, the Maasai people have clung to their traditional way of life, making them a symbol of Kenyan culture.
Maasai’s distinctive culture, dress style and strategic territory along the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania have made them one of East Africa’s most internationally famous tourist attractions.
The Maasai people reside in both Kenya and Tanzania, living along the border of the two countries. They are a smaller tribe, accounting for only about 0.7 percent of Kenya’s population, with a similar number living in Tanzania. The Maasai speak Maa, a Nilotic ethnic language from their origin in the Nile region of North Africa.
The Samburu tribe is the closest to the Maasai in both language and cultural authenticity.
A day trip to a Masai village near Nairobi is a half day affair where we visit the Masai people living next to the Ngong hills.
Drive westwards towards the Ngong hills which was named by the Maasai meaning the knuckles of the hand of God. This is the uncanny resemblance of the 5 peaks on the hill to the knuckles of a fist. Masai folklore has it that once a upon a time God was so angry with the Maasai people that he thrust his fist right above the ground and there it remains to date.
Arrive at the masai village and interact with the masai with a couple of activities to engage in including a mock wedding dance, masai warrior (moran) jumping dance, engage in some beadwork with the women, practice some traditional archery and spear throwing, learn the art of making a fire in the bush among many others things to see and do.
Enjoy a lunch (Own Account) at a mall in Karen area or a packed lunch.
Drive back to hotel in town.
Drop off in your hotel.
Starting From $95
- Transport to and from Nairobi in a Tour Van.
- Services of a driver-guide
- Bottled drinking water.
- Items of a personal nature
- Drinks and Lunch
- Tips to drivers and guides