MAASAI BOMA EXPERIENCE
The Maasai are one of the ethnic tribes inhabiting northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations internationally due to their residence near the many game parks of African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress. For hundreds of years the Maasai have kept their traditional way of life and live in harmony with nature. Maasai are pastoralist and have resisted the urging of the Tanzanian government to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. Today there are about 42,000 Maasai pastoralists living in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area with their cattle, donkeys, goats and sheep.They have demanded grazing rights to many of the national parks in the country.
It is an interesting learning experience passing by one of the Maasai bomas (villages) after a game drive at Serengeti National Park or Ngorongoro Crater. Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their villages to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle. You may participate in the warrior dance accompanied by Maasai music traditionally consisting of rhythms provided by a chorus of vocalists. You also get to visit their huts with a Maasai guide explaining about their living arrangements. A quick trip to the primary school follows where you listen to the children do recitations. On certain days you may also witness the women doing chores like repairing huts with mud and cow dung in preparation for the short rain. The Maasai women are your literal homemakers and domestic goddesses. They are the ones who build and repair houses in addition to their tasks of taking care of the children, gathering water and firewood, cooking meals, keeping their living areas clean, and making trinkets for personal adornments and for extra income.
My most favorite member of the antelope family is the eland, which also happens to be the world’s largest antelope. Though heavy, it has the endurance to maintain a trot and can jump a 4-feet fence from a standstill. My first encounter with an eland was in October 2011 in a lodge adjoining a national park in Arusha. The lodge has a watering hole and various types of animals would go there in the afternoon to drink water especially during the drier months...
Driving in the parks is allowed between 6 am and 6 pm only.
The speed limit in the parks is 50km/h and 25km/h in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Animals always have the right of way.
Never feed animals. It will upset their diet and lead to an unnecessary dependence on people.