Tanzania Travel Guide | Meet The Famous Maasai Tribe

Maasai Warrior Herdsmen
Come and experience a cultural safari in the land famous for the Maasai tribe. Tanzania has over 120 different ethnic groups, making it one of the most culturally diverse countries in the World. Perhaps the best known of the tribes in Tanzania is the iconic Maasai tribe with their distinctive red tunics. The Makonde tribe are also well known for their intricate carvings, and the Mbugwe are famous for their beautiful basket work. Visitors can also learn about the fascinating traditional culture of the Hadza Bushmen.

Meet the Maasai

Masaai tribe.One of the most famous tribes in Africa have to be the Maasai, known for their bright red tunics, jumping feats and intricate jewellery.

These people still lead a nomadic existence and move from place to place with their herds of cattle. The tribes became famous due to the fact that they live in proximity to some of Africa's most famous reserves. This is the tribe visitors are most likely to encounter on a cultural safari in Tanzania.Visitors can spend some time learning about these friendly people. In some areas you can visit local tribes who still practice their ancient way of life. This is no cultural village, but an authentic experience that allows you to experience another culture.

Song and dance are very important aspects of their culture and singing in harmony is common.

Culture and Traditions

Masaai ceremony.The society is patriarchal and all important decisions are made by the male elders. They are pastoralists and cattle are very important to their way of life. A man's prosperity is measured in the number of cattle and children he has. The cattle are not just important as a show of wealth, but as a source of food.The cattle are seldom killed, but rather their milk and a little of their blood was traditionally the main source of food for the Maasai. Today, milk and a form of thick maize porridge called ugali is what many Maasai live on.

The Cultural Safari Experience in Tanzania

Masaai decoration.While on a cultural safari in Tanzania guests can visit their traditional boma's and be entertained by their energetic dancing performances. The men are known for their dance where they spring straight up into the air for several feet - the higher the better.

Listen to their traditional songs and learn as a guide and translator explains about their culture. Visit a traditional homestead which is called a Manyatta. It is built out of stick frames and cow dung walls.

The Maasai are very friendly, and their intricate jewellery and brightly coloured (usually red) tunics mean they are very photogenic.

However, you should first ask permission before taking their photos.

Where to go on a Cultural Safari

Maasai safari guideExclusive Mobile Camps Like the semi-nomadic Maasai, the luxurious tented camps move throughout different locations in the Serengeti National Park, so the game viewing experience is always outstanding.

Kambi Ya Tembo This spectacular camp has stunning views of the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro. This tented camp offers all the comforts in the heart of Africa. The region is home to Elephants with some of the biggest tusks in the World.

Tloma Lodge has a scenic location in the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area with its dramatic landscape of lakes and land set aside for local tribes to live their traditional lifestyles.

by Michael English
African Safaris Guide to South and East Africa
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