I visited a Maasai village in the Serengeti. Ben, the safari driver, escorted us to the village, which consisted of two bomas: fences made of thorny shrubs that keeps out animals. The houses are built between the two bomas. The inner boma housed a huge acacia tree under which the tribes people collected in the evenings. The houses are very small and made of dried grass. The houses are circular, with a diameter of approximately 12 feet, and a tiny opening to the side. A single house has a central fire-place and two beds.
Traditionally, the men of the village perform a ceremonial dance outside the boma to invite a guest into the inner boma. Once escorted into the inner boma, the welcome dances is performed by both the women and the men. It is said that the dance done by the men is inspired by storks: jumping straight up into the air, while the rest of the troupe sing. There are no musical instruments, but the acapella is beautiful in its own right.
If you get the chance, you should definitely try to visit a maasai village
Dubbed the "Crade of Mankind", this is where the bones of the earliest hominids were found. An Australopethicus skull which was estimated to be about 1.8 million years old were discovered by Mary Leakey.
Today, the attraction consists of a visitor center with an excellent museum that documents Dr. Leakey's discoveries.
It is possible to hike down to the gorge with a official guide. We didnt do this for lack of time. Although it was lovely enjoying our picnic lunch in the outside covered dining area overlooking the beautiful gorge.
There are also vendors selling various knick knacks outside the visitor center. Basic restroom facilities are also available next to the parking area.
- Museum Visits
Visit to a Masai Village
Because of governmental restrictions due to conservation efforts in the Serengeti, Masai people are now mostly nestled in the Ngorongoro Wildlife Area. If it's possible to arrange a visit to one of thier villages, do so. It's a cultural journey into the ways of the oldest surviving people that once freely roamed these plains.
There are lots of villages along the road between Ngorongoro and Serengeti.
Our safari driver stopped at a Masai village just west of the crater, where we met Lazarus, a Masai headman who took us into the Masai compound where we met and danced with the Masai, entered a hut and also had the opportunity to visit a kindergarden school newly started inside the masai village!!!
Lazarus spoke brilliant english, but be warned that that's an exception, not the rule. Most masai dont even speak or understand Swahili or Kiswahili, but speak only thier own Masai tongue. Photographing Masai men without permission is definetly not a good idea. When they are in black garb, with faces painted black and white, they are graduating to being warriors, and being photographed is definetly taboo!
Most safari tour companies can arrange for Masai Village visits if you request it beforehand. Our visit costed a group of 4 $50 total.