Claire's meaningful travel with the Maasai in Tanzania
Are you looking for unique and authentic experiences that bring you closer to the people and their culture in places that you're visiting? Claire from France traveled with us this summer. She stayed with the Maasai in Moipo, out of the Northern Circle in Tanzania. She stayed in a Maasai village (boma), where she and other travelers created a deep connection to the Maasai women with whom they spent most of the time. One of the most memorable experiences was a trip to fetch water with Maasai women. She also attended to observe Maasai boys' rite of passage ritual, participated in ceremonial dancing and singing with the Maasai, and enjoyed a game drive in Mkomazi National Park with her native Maasai guides who know the wild animals and their habits best.
One of the best ways to have meaningful travel experiences is to mingle with the indigenous peoples. Instead of staying in a posh lodge, consider staying with the Maasai, for example. On our trips, you live the everyday life of the Maasai in your Maasai village. You sleep in a tent that is set up close to Maasai's houses. This experience takes you closer to people but also connects you to the beautiful African nature. Experience what life feels like listening to the nocturnal sounds, like hyena's laughing, of the wild African night, and waking up in the most beautiful sunrise. Before having your breakfast, you can observe and participate in milking cows and then join the Maasai for herding their cattle. Every time you do something that you never thought you dared to try, you grow a bit. It gives you the confidence to face the minor challenges in your life. But let's ask Claire!
How did you experience the Maasai way of life compared to the western lifestyle?
Quite well. I feel in a way more connected to things around me (people and nature) because we got rid of our consumerism.
What cultural things did you value most? What would you like to bring in your culture?
Without a doubt the sense of sharing and living in community, generosity. I was amazed at how people help each other and share food, and how old people are being respected by all.
I found myself thinking, this is the right way to behave. It was like evidence. But obviously something we should learn in our occidental's societies.
The indigenous peoples make bout 5% of the world’s population, but makeup 15% of the world’s extreme poor. Were there any things that were difficult to face due to poverty?
Yes, the fact that they can't have access to proper health care.
Was there anything you learned on this trip or did it change a way you think?
I knew already the "price" of water but I realized it better, experiencing what it is not having water coming from a tap. I realized how we waste potable water and how it's tragic for our future.
The Maasai don't live on a capitalized economy. Did this experience make you more environmentally conscious? If so, how?
More environmental conscious no that much because I am well informed about this subject, but how could it be living an almost "zero waste life" without being surrounded by useless objects, how free you feel.
Would you recommend this kind of trip to others?
Definitely, it's totally different from every other trip I have made before and this is for sure my best one. I'll do a new one as soon as I can with the amazing team of Visit Natives.
We believe that travel can be of enormous social and environmental benefit, and our mission is to change the way we travel for better. We strive to preserve and support indigenous peoples like Maasai pastoralists and Hadzabe hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, and the Sami reindeer herders in Norway through small-scale sustainable indigenous tourism. When you book a trip with us, you can observe and participate in indigenous people's unique lifestyles and learn from the way of life that it's sustainable and in balance with nature. Indigenous peoples account for most of the world’s cultural diversity.
For example, Maasai are the native people who have herd their cattle in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area for hundreds of years. Still, now, they are the only people permitted to walk inside the Ngorongoro Crater for watering and grazing their cattle. The Maasai live in harmony with the wildlife and the environment in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area that contains over 25,000 large animals. We believe that there is no better way to visit Ngorogoro than with the Maasai. In each of our destinations, we support indigenous communities. These range from health projects like buying health insurances to Maasai women and their families to NGOs empowering women through girls vocational training. Are you striving more information or interested to travel with us? You can book Claire's trip with the Maasai in Tanzania here. You can see all our sustainable safaris and cultural tours in Tanzania here.