Six Days of “Being Maasai”
An opportunity to find out about the day-to-day activities of the Maasai, their bush survival skills, and experience some of their unique ways of life.
Drive from Nairobi via Narok to our Maji Moto Maasai Cultural camp, nestled at the northern foot of the Loita Hills. Maji Moto means hot water in Kiswahili and true enough a pure, steaming spring pours out of the rocks. After watching the sunset from a hillside view-point you can bathe in the natural hot water as people have done for thousands of years before you. Around you are glassy volcanic flakes, used for making stone tools from before the times of iron. Next, an evening meal cooked on wood fires under the stars before you retire to your tent, protected through the night by Maasai warriors.
After an early breakfast walk with the Maasai up into the Loita Hills. This is a very remote part of Maasailand, seen by very few visitors. You will be introduced to the sounds, sights and smells of the bush – each plant, or bird, or insect has a story to tell. These will become familiar to you on future walks, and you’ll feel a closeness to the land that no tourist in a minibus will ever understand.
Return to the camp for lunch, followed by an afternoon visit to a Maasai boma or homestead. Here you’ll be introduced to the work of the women and life of the children. There will be time for sitting down in the shade and making the famous colored bead work jewelery – necklaces, earrings, bracelets – and if they don’t come up to professional standards, you can buy beautifully crafted jewellery from the women of the village as souvenirs. You might also get a chance to try your hand at milking goats, fetching water with the kids from the spring or cooking chapattis on the always-lit fire in the huts. The day ends with an evening meal and a chance to learn Maasai songs round the camp fire.
Wake early, have a light breakfast, and set off into the bush. Everything you need for the next two nights will be carried with you or found in the bush. Along the way you will learn the essentials of survival in the bush, such as how to throw spears and clubs, make and shoot slingshots and make arrows with a deadly paste of the poison tree made from boiled leaves. You’ll learn how to light fire without matches, and be introduced to many different plants and herbs that are used as traditional medicines and tonics. You’ll begin to spot the tracks of animals – large and small – where you previously just saw earth, and to recognize the signs and sounds the animals make when danger threatens. After sundown you’ll fall asleep under the protection of the Maasai whilst listening to the evocative sounds of the African night all around.
Begin with a morning walk to arrive at a bush camp where you will prepare for a rite-of-passage ceremony. You’ll receive a rungu (carved club) and traditional blanket as you begin a celebration that can go on into the night with dancing and honey beer for blessings.
Return to Nairobi or on to Maasai Mara for a game drive safari.
Accommodation is camping in tents in the bush, which allows us greater access to wilder areas. All equipment is carried by local porters, you only carry a day-pack with personal gear. You are welcome to participate in camp chores if you wish but it is not required. We buy fresh produce and other food locally, and to ensure high standards of hygiene all food is prepared by our own staff. We can cater for special dietary requirements with advance notice, and there are no additional food charges during the trip.