Meet the Maasaï
Meeting the Masaai
Unlike a traditional National Park, the protected area of Ngorongoro allows for specific human existence.
The Maasai have the right to remain on the land of their ancestors provided they retain their traditional way of life :
Nomad shepherds who do not practise any cultivation. This vast area of the N.C.A more than 8,500 km² is a part of Africa as it has been for hundreds of years. Here, humans and wildlife co-exist in harmony.
Around the main roads, some villages are organized to welcome visitors interested in their culture and way of life.
- The Bomas, a small “village” of homes are made from mud,dung and thin branches and consist of about twenty low houses, surrounded by a wall of intertwined acacia thorn branches as protection.
- Between 20 and 50 people live in these villages and follow their ancient traditions.
- Guests are welcomed with songs and dances and invited inside the village, including the interior of their homes.
Visitors experience mixed feelings; interest, curiousity and perhaps a sense of sympathy tempered by admiration but also , for some, a more worrying voyeuristic aspect. It should be remembered that a monitored opening up to tourism is the free choice of the community who live in the more accessible Bomas in a quite well organised rotation.
The fee and selling of souvenirs is an undeniably useful source of extra income which goes some way to assuage the seemingly very arduous living conditions of their lives...
Recommended, if permitted, to come to the village on foot accompanied by a Maasai tribesman from this area – rather than just roll in a cloud of dust...our Olduvai Camp is ideally sited for such more sensitively organised visits.