Africa Travel News

Meet the Maasai

In a fantastic and inadvertent display of globalization, Maasai warriors from East Africa have embraced the notably British sport of cricket. It may be wonderful to see cultures mingling on the playing field, but reciprocation seems to be in order. A trip to Kenya is a fantastic opportunity to meet this iconic African tribe and the rugged, rich landscape that has shaped their way of life and, apparently, their cricket skills. 

Under pressure
The Maasai is a pastoral tribe from East Africa whose members' striking visual presence - tall, thin, athletic, clad in scarlet robes - may already be familiar. Long anti-agricultural, steeped in tribal custom, they have been romanticized by many over the past couple of centuries, including the likes of Ernest Hemingway, but Western imperialism and pressures to modernize have stripped the Maasai of much of their former glory. Originally a nomadic tribe, they have been forced to set up more permanent villages, and much of the youth flocks to cities to escape enduring poverty.

With a bit of friendliness, an open mindset or perhaps the help of a private tour, you can both see some of their enduring customs as well as meet Maasai going about their day business as usual. Indeed, it is still possible to see Maasai warriors roaming the fields of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. There are also volunteer opportunities to work closely with the Maasai, as their educational and medical infrastructure are in need of support.

A Constantly Changing Culture
There is more to see of the Maasai, however, than just the old way of life and their modern-day struggles. The Maasai are gaining traction economically by putting their assets - milk and animals - to self-sustaining entrepreneurial use. Some communities have set up milk processing plants under the guidance of tribal leader Saningo Kariongi, which has given way to energy firms and other potential business ventures. 

"Culture is not static; culture is dynamic, it grows; it's like a fire - in order for the fire to keep on burning and giving light and heat, somebody has to be putting new fire wood,"said Kariongi of his work.

These new business efforts could finally put the Maasai way of life in better step with the modern world without completely obliterating traditional customs. What that culture will look like years from now, only time will tell. 

Share
Recommended Tours

South Africa Cape & Kruger Safari

7 days from $2,212 pp*
Custom Private Tour
Enjoy a front row seat as the sunrise casts a golden hue across the endless savannah and the wild local residents begin their daily parade.
More Info

Tanzania Highlights

8 days from $3,544 pp*
Custom Private Tour
Your personal guide will take you through Tanzania’s greatest parks where you can search for big cats, elephants, and giraffe as you explore some of the best highlights East Africa has to offer.
More Info

Botswana Highlights

8 days from $4,424 pp*
Custom Private Tour
There are few experiences that can alter your reality and impress you with the grandness of life on Earth. An African safari through Botswana’s breathtaking landscapes is one of those experiences.
More Info
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

Meet Our Experts
Curators of extraordinary experiences, you won't find a more skillful team.
30,000 Delighted Customers
"Kensington, you've done it again...perfection!"

Don't take our word for it.
Here's what our clients say.

"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent."

Newsletter Subscription
Have our hand picked trips, news & specials delivered to you.
Thank you for signing up!

Your details have been received and processed successfully.
Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award 2014 Family National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime Travel Leisure Award 2015