Ngorongoro Masai

Information about visiting the Masai of Ngorongoro, Tanzania safari information, cultural tours, where to stay and general tips of visiting these nice people.

masai

 

People and Culture

For thousands of years a succession of cattle herding people moved into the Area, lived here for time, and then moved on, sometimes forced out by other tribes. About 200 years ago the Maasai arrived and have since colonized the Area in substantial numbers, their traditional way of life allowing them to live in harmony with the wildlife and the environment. Today there are some 42,200 Maasai pastoralists living in the NCA with their cattle, donkeys, goats and sheep. During the rains they move out on to the open plains; in the dry season they move into the adjacent woodlands and mountain slopes. The Maasai are allowed to take their animals into the Crater for water and grazing, but not to live or cultivate there. Elsewhere in the NCA they have the right to roam freely.

 

For thousands of years a succession of cattle herding people moved into the Area, lived here for time, and then moved on, sometimes forced out by other tribes. About 200 years ago the Maasai arrived and have since colonized the Area in substantial numbers, their traditional way of life allowing them to live in harmony with the wildlife and the environment. Today there are some 42,200 Maasai pastoralists living in the NCA with their cattle, donkeys, goats and sheep. During the rains they move out on to the open plains; in the dry season they move into the adjacent woodlands and mountain slopes. The Maasai are allowed to take their animals into the Crater for water and grazing, but not to live or cultivate there. Elsewhere in the NCA they have the right to roam freely.

 

Visitors are welcomed at two designated Maasai cultural bomas one on the road to Serengeti and another close to Sopa Lodge at Irkeepusi village. The Datoga, Nilo-Hamitic-speaking pastoralists, who arrived more than 300 years ago and were subsequently forced out of the Serengeti-Ngorongoro area by the Maasai, today they live just outside the NCA, in the Lake Eyasi basin and beyond.

Cultural Bomas

One can visit the Maasai Cultural bomas in the NCA to learn more about their unique culture, to take photographs, and to buy mementos. There is an entrance fee to be paid but it is well worth it. Please be sensitive to the fact that it is considered bad manners to take photographs of people along the roadside without consent. A visit to one of the following is highly recommended:

 

Kiloki Senyati Cultural Boma

Situated on the main road to Serengeti, 7 km south-west of the Olduvai Gorge Information Center

Loonguku Cultural Boma

Situated on the main road to Serengeti, 10km before the turn-off to Olduvai Gorge

Irkeepusi Cultural Boma

Situated 2km north-east of Lemala mini gate, on the main road to Empakaai

Seneto Cultural Boma

Situated just west of the Seneto Gate, within the Malanja Depression

 

 

Visitors are welcomed at two designated Maasai cultural bomas one on the road to Serengeti and another close to Sopa Lodge at Irkeepusi village.

 

The Datoga, Nilo-Hamitic-speaking pastoralists, who arrived more than 300 years ago and were subsequently forced out of the Serengeti-Ngorongoro area by the Maasai, today they live just outside the NCA, in the Lake Eyasi basin and beyond.

 

Lake Ndutu

 

Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek form shallow basins where water accumulates from the nearby areas of slightly higher altitude. The water in both lakes are extremely saline, too saline for human consumption. Lake Ndutu becomes alive with animals during the migration because it is surrounded by the Ndutu woodlands and the Short Grass Plains, which provide ample cover and food

 

Oldoinyo Lengai

 

Located just outside the NCA, to the north-east near Lake Natron, this Volcano, whose Maasai name means ‘Mountain of God’, has had a major influence on the development of the area. It rises 1830m above the Valley floor. Its ash has been blown westwards onto the plains and helped shape the landscape and ecology. It is the only active volcano in the area, having erupted in 2006 and more recently July 2007.

 

The Shifting Sands

 

This remarkable black dune, composed of volcanic ash from Oldonyo Lengai, is being blown slowly westwards across the plains, at the rate of about 17 meters per year. Some 9 meters high and 100 meters long in its curve, it can be found to the north of Oldupai Gorge.

 

Olkarien Gorge

 

The Gorge is ecologically important because it is a vital nesting site of the Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture. The best time to visit Olkarien Gorge is from March to April when the vultures are breeding. This coincides with migration when there is plenty of food available.

Where Else Do You Find The Masai in East Africa?

You can find the Masai during your Kenya safari, the trip will offer a unique experience. In Uganda and Rwanda you do not find the Masai but when you go for Uganda safaris, you will find the Karamojong in the Northern Part of Uganda, such a rewarding African cultural experience.