The Maasai is a proud and independent tribal community living in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, along the Great Rift Valley. Unlike those around them, the Maasai managed to protect most of their traditions and culture from the outside world.
Each extended Maasai family live in enkang, large fenced-in compounds, with several mud huts. Cattle, sheep, and goats are kept inside the enclosure. The Maasai have great family values where children are raised collectively by the whole community. Food and labor is shared throughout the village. Land, cattle, and children are valued most in the Maasai society. Cattle are the backbone of the Maasai economy.
For the Maasai cattle is an equivalent of a checking account for a westerner. Cattle are sold in local trading markets for the purchase of clothing, beads, and grain. More recently income from the cattle is used to pay for children’s school fees. More Maasai girls and boys are attending schools for a formal education.
The Maasai believe in a participatory learning system where young people shadow their parents and peers and learn life skills needed to perform critical activities such as livestock herding. Traditionally, young boys and warriors are responsible for cattle herding while women and girls are in charge of household chores. It is the responsibility of men to feed and clothe their families. However, with changing times, the Maasai way of life has also evolved. It is no longer uncommon to see a Maasai woman doing paid labor and bringing food and cloths to her family. For example, several women work at Maasai Simba Camp and are responsible for their family’s income. Tribal elders are advisers for day-to-day activities. When you stay at the Maasai Simba Camp you’ll have the opportunity to visit a traditional Maasai village and experience it yourself. You may even have a chance to milk or brand a cow.
There is intricate relationship between the Maasai and Africa’s wildlife. The Maasai have coexisted with lions and elephants since time immemorial. For the Maasai wildlife is perceived as neighbors with equal rights to roam across the vast Maasai country without property limits. This is a different perspective from neighboring tribes who regard wildlife as nuisance and threat to commercial farmland.
In the past 10 years the Maasai warriors hunted lions as a rite of passage. However, things have changed for the better. Today the Maasai warriors are working as conservation stewards and protecting lions among other wildlife in the Maasai country. It is common knowledge that successful habitat and wildlife conservation requires genuine collaboration with the local people who must be part of the decision-making body. From experience, the local people are dedicated to protect wildlife especially when they receive tangible benefits such as employment, water, and education from wildlife related activities such as eco-tourism.
Maasai Simba Camp not only expands employment and economic opportunities to the Maasai but also inspires the local people to care and protect their land and wildlife for future generations.
A portion of your stay at Maasai Simba Camp supports a local school, village clinic, women cooperative, and habitat and wildlife conservation projects. An estimated 20 villagers (tour guides, drivers, room attendance, security guards, cooks, and waiters) are employed by Maasai Simba Camp.
At the end of the day each Maasai working at the camp will walk back home with a hot meal at hand for his family. Your visit to Maasai Simba Camp will leave a positive mark in the Maasai region. Come and experience our world with us.