The Maasai Community of Masai Mara

Masai Mara Maasai People - Safari car

The Maasai people are an indigenous African ethnic group of semi-nomadic warriors, primarily located in Kenya’s Masai Mara and Amboseli regions and northern Tanzania. They are renowned internationally due to their residence near the many game reserves of East Africa.

The Maasai are traditionally pastoralists, and their culture is centred around their cattle. They survive predominantly on dairy products from the cows they herd, as well as meat from hunts and blood drawn from the animals.

The traditional clothing of Maasai men consists of red shukas (blanket-like garments) with black beaded necklaces worn over the top. The women wear long colourful skirts, and they all wear sandals made from animal hides.

The Maasai are fiercely proud people who live in harmony with their animals and nature in general.

Contact Us to Book Your Maasai People Cultural Tour

Reach us today at or to book the best tour packages for Masai Mara. We are also available through phone and WhatsApp at +254-748-258-880.

Our Most Booked Tours of the Maasai National Reserve

Masai Mara Safari Deals/Offers/Tours High Season 1st Nov 2023 – 15th Dec 2023 Festive Season: 16th Dec 2023 – 3rd Jan 2024
3 Days AA Lodges Offer KES 46,784 Per Person KES 60,280 Per Person
3 Days Miti Mingi Eco Camp Safari KES 48,400 Per Person KES 53,400 Per Person
3 Days Orng’atuny Mara King Camp Tour KES 49,400 Per Person KES 58,400 Per Person 
3 Days Sentrim Masai Mara Offer KES 50,800 Per Person KES 63,000 Per Person
3 Days Zebra Plain Mara Deal KES 53,500 Per Person KES 71,100 Per Person
3 Days Mtito Safari Camp Offer KES 55,100 Per Person KES 62,650 Per Person
3 Days Basecamp Masai Mara Package KES 55,950 Per Person KES 64,520 Per Person
3 Days Mara Sopa Lodge Package Tour KES 56,035 Per Person KES 66,050 Per Person
3 Days Mara River Lodge Deal KES 57,400 Per Person KES 68,400 Per Person
3 Days Crocodile Camp Tour KES 58,500 Per Person KES 71,100 Per Person
3 Days Mara Maisha Camp Package KES 59,800 Per Person KES 77,400 Per Person
3 Days Mara Crossing Camp Tour  KES 79,400 Per Person KES 96,400 Per Person

Things Included in the Maasai Mara National Reserve Packages

  • A private tour for 2 adults (contact us to get a quote for a quote tour)
  • Pickup and return to your resident in Nairobi
  • Use of a safari van  – Upgrade to a land cruiser at KES 14000 Per Person
  • Professional safari guide 
  • Masai Mara Park Fee
  • 1-liter of bottled mineral drinking water per person per day
  • Afternoon game drive at Masai Mara on day 1
  • Full-day game drive at Masai Mara with picnic lunch on day 2
  • 2-night accommodation at Masai Mara on full-board basis (Supplement of KES 3000 Per Person Per Night will apply on 24th & 25th Dec & 31st Dec & 1st Jan)
  • High season runs from 1st Nov 2023 to 15th Dec 2023, Festive Season runs from 16th Dec 2023 to 3rd Jan 2024

10 Fascinating Facts About the Maasai People

The Maasai People are one of the most interesting groups of people in Kenya and Tanzania. Here are some facts that you may not have known about them:

  1. The Maasai language, also known as Maa, is a tonal language spoken by the tribe’s approximately 850,000 members throughout East Africa.
  2. Despite their reputation as fierce warriors, Maasai are famous for welcoming outsiders and providing them with hospitality.
  3. The Maasai are traditionally semi-nomadic, meaning they move between different areas in search of pasture for their animals.
  4. Maasai men practice “jumping” or “adumu”, which is a traditional dance of the tribe that involves leaping as high as possible.
  5. Their diet consists mainly of milk and meat from their own herds, supplemented by fruit and vegetable crops grown in the rains.
  6. The Maasai traditionally live in an age-set system where young men must go through a series of stages before they are accepted into adult society.
  7. The Maasai have been known to practice female genital mutilation and forced marriage of young girls.
  8. Maasai are well known for their beadwork creations, which are made using tiny glass beads that are hand-strung onto string or wire.
  9. The Maasai use a wide range of traditional medicinal treatments to heal ailments ranging from cuts and bruises to more serious illnesses.
  10. Maasai culture is heavily based on the concept of respecting nature and living in harmony with the environment.
Masai Mara - Maasai with victor
Having a Good Time at the Masai Mara with the Maasai People

The Ultimate Guide to the Maasai Tribe

Are you looking to learn more about the Maasai people and their culture? This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about the traditional Maasai community.

The History of the Maasai Tribe

The East African Maasai society is believed to have begun in the 15th or 16th century when they migrated south from Sudan into what is now southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, along the Great Rift valley. They are believed to have been part of the larger Nilo-Saharan language family.

The Maasai were traditionally semi-nomadic herders and hunters who lived in small groups known as ‘sambos’. They were renowned for their skill with a spear and bow and arrow, and they were feared by neighbouring tribes for their fearsome reputation as warriors.

Over time, they developed a culture that was based on pastoralism and warriorhood.

Maasai Beliefs and Traditions

The Maasai believe in a single God, known as Engai or Nkai. He is seen as the creator and sustainer of the universe. They also practice ancestor worship and believe that their ancestors are able to influence their lives both positively and negatively.

They also have beliefs about ‘Moran’, or young Maasai warriors who are sworn to protect the tribe in times of danger. The Morans have traditionally been responsible for safeguarding the tribe’s cattle and protecting their borders from raids by neighbouring tribes.

Maasai traditional ceremonies such as weddings, initiations and funerals all involve elaborate rituals that are a reflection of their culture and beliefs.

taking photos with the Maasai at Masai Mara
Taking a Photo with the Maasai Women at Masai Mara

Maasai Language - The Maa Language

The Maasai language, also known as Maa, is a tonal language spoken by the tribe’s approximately 850,000 members throughout southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The language consists of two dialects: Il-Maasai and I-Aramanik.

It is estimated that about 40 per cent of the Maasai population is monolingual in Maa, and the language is still widely spoken by older generations.

Maasai People Population

The Maasai began to migrate from their traditional Maasai homeland in the late 19th century, leading to a gradual decline in their population. Today, it is estimated that there are approximately 850,000 Maasai living in Kenya and Tanzania.

The majority of these people live in rural areas near the Masai Mara game reserve and Amboseli National Park where they still practice traditional pastoralist lifestyles.

Maasai dancing around a bonfire
Maasai Warriors Dancing Around a Bonfire in the Evening

Maasai People's Cultural Practices

The traditional culture of the Maasai people is centred around their pastoralist lifestyle and warriorhood. They are renowned for their skill with a spear and bow and arrow, and they are feared by neighbouring tribes for their fearsome reputation as warriors.

The traditional clothing of Maasai men consists of red shukas (blanket-like garments) with black beaded necklaces worn over the top. The women wear long colourful skirts, and they all wear sandals made from animal hides.

The Maasai also practice various customs such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage of young girls and ritual scarification. The Maasai tribe’s rite of passage from boyhood to adulthood involves a complex series of ceremonies and rituals.

Many years ago, a ‘morani’ or warrior proved themselves by killing of a lion at the forest.

Lions at the reserve resting
The Maasai People Would Kill a Lion During the Rite of Passage

Maasai Clothing

The traditional clothing of Maasai men consists of red shukas (blanket-like garments) with black beaded necklaces worn over the top. The women wear long colourful skirts, and they all wear sandals made from animal hides.

The traditional Maasai attire is often decorated with intricate beadwork patterns and colourful fabrics. Beaded necklaces, bracelets and anklets are also worn to identify the wearer’s age group and marital status.

Maasa dressing and cloths
Maasai People Have Colorful Dressing

Maasai Diet

The traditional Maasai society diet mainly depends on their cattle. Milk and blood are staples in the diet, and meat is usually only eaten on special occasions or for ritual purposes.

The Maasai also consume fruits, vegetables, honey and other wild game. They have a traditional drink called ‘mursik’, which is made from sour milk mixed with cow’s bile, herbs and spices.

The Maasai are also well known for their traditional medicinal treatments to heal ailments ranging from cuts and bruises to more serious illnesses.

Maasai Music and Dance

There are many traditional Maasai singing and dancing practices. The ‘aduilis’ or warrior dance is a common performance style and involves leaping, stamping and chanting.

The ‘entebea’, or marriage dance, is used to celebrate the union of two people as well as the joining of families. It is also believed to bring fertility and good luck.

In addition to singing and dancing, the Maasai are also well-known for their traditional jewellery and beadwork. Beads are used to create intricate patterns and designs that are often symbolic of the culture’s beliefs and values.

Among the most popular music and dance practised by the Maasai is the ‘adumu’ or ‘jumping dance’. This is a traditional celebration in which Maasai men wearing colourful shukas jump high into the air!

This traditional form of entertainment is often performed by young Maasai warriors and involves leaping, stamping and chanting. The purpose of this dance is to celebrate the bond between the people and their lions.

Performing the Maasai dance
Performing a Maasai Dance and Jump

Maasai Shelter and Cow Sheds

The Maasai and people around the community live in small, circular structures known as ‘manyattas’. These structures are composed of mud and sticks and covered with cow dung.

The manyattas serve as both a shelter for the people, as well as a place to store food. The Maasai also construct temporary shelters known as ‘kraals’ which are used while herding the cattle.

The Maasai also build cow sheds that protect their livestock from the elements and predators. These sheds are usually made of thorny branches.

Maasai Warrior - Maasai Men

A Maasai man is known as a Maasai warrior. The Maasai warriors are considered to be the guardians of their people and will protect them against external threats.

The traditional rituals, ceremonies and protective roles of the Maasai warriors have been a part of their culture for centuries. Today, many Maasai men still take part in traditional ceremonies such as circumcisions, weddings and funerals.

In addition to protecting their people, the Maasai warriors also serve as ambassadors of peace and goodwill between neighbouring tribes. They are often seen wearing traditional red shukas with colourful beaded necklaces and carrying spears or bows and arrows.

Traditional Maasai warrior with shield
The Traditional Maasai Warrior with Shield

Influence of the Modern World

The Maasai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania has been heavily influenced by the modern world. The traditional lifestyle of the tribe is slowly being replaced by a more modern way of life, which includes access to Western education and technology.

Despite this, many of Kenya and Tanzania Maasai people still embrace their traditional values and beliefs and strive to maintain them even in this rapidly changing environment.

The Maasai tribe continues to be a symbol of strength, perseverance and resilience. They have managed to survive the test of time and remain one of the most distinctive tribes on earth.

The Maasai are also renowned for their hospitality, generosity and warmth towards both visitors and other locals alike. As members of this proud tribe, they continue to uphold their ancient customs and strive for peace and harmony in their community.

The Maasai tribe is an integral part of the cultural fabric of East Africa, and its members continue to serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving traditional values and practices even in this modern world.

modern Maasai man as safari guide
Today Maasai Men Work as Safari Guide in Masai Mara

Conservation Efforts & Tourism

The Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania are two of the most important nature reserves for Maasai culture. Both areas attract thousands of tourists and have become essential to the Maasai’s livelihood.

The government of Kenya has made conservation efforts to better protect the Maasai’s traditional way of life and to keep their cultural heritage alive. As such, these areas are no longer just tourist attractions but instead serve as safe havens for preserving Maasai culture and traditions.

As the Maasai people continue to embrace their traditional values and practices, they have helped create a unique cultural identity that is respected by both locals and tourists alike. With their strong sense of tradition and culture, it’s clear why the Maasai remain such a beloved symbol of East African life.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is also home to the famous Great Migration. Every year, millions of wildebeests and zebras make their way across vast grasslands in search of food and water, providing a remarkable spectacle for visitors.

These efforts have helped bring much-needed attention to the plight of the Maasai people, as well as other conservation issues facing East Africa today. The Masai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park are now both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, helping to further protect these areas and the Maasai people who call them home.

The Masai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park offer a unique insight into Maasai culture for visitors from all over the world.

Sunset at Masai Mara - Cheetah
Sunset at Masai Mara National Reserve & Cheetah

Commonly Asked Questions About the Masai Mara's Maasai People

Below are some of the most common questions asked about the Maasai people living in and around the Masai Mara National Reserve.

1. What is the difference between Maasai and Masai?

Masai is the name of an ethnic group in East Africa. The people are often referred to as Maasai, which is a shortened version of the original term “masarwara” meaning “speakers of the language”

2. Are there any famous Maasai warriors?

The most famous Maasai warrior is renowned for leading the Maasai people during a period of conflict with British colonialists. His name was Laibon Lenana, and he is still remembered as a symbol of courage and resilience among the Maasai today.

3. What is the Maasai culture most known for?

The Maasai is most known for their vibrant culture, colourful traditional dress, and deep connection to the land. They are also famous for their age-old tradition of cattle herding and warrior culture which has been maintained by generations of Maasai people.

4. What are Maasai traditions?

Maasai traditions are a set of practices and customs that are passed down through generations. These include ritual ceremonies such as circumcision, weddings, funerals, and more. The Maasai also practice a traditional form of animal husbandry where they herd cattle in the wild.

5. What do the Maasai tribe believe in?

The Maasai tribe believe in a single, all-powerful and all-knowing God whom they call Enkai. They also believe in respecting their elders, living with nature, and self-discipline. The Maasai also have an oral culture where stories are passed down to the younger generations through storytelling.

6. What is unique about the Maasai?

The Maasai are unique in East Africa for their colourful and vibrant culture. They are also nomadic people, meaning they move from place to place with their herds in search of new pastures and water sources. The Maasai also stand out for their traditional warrior lifestyle where young men must go through rigorous training and participate in various rituals before they can be considered a fully fledged warrior.

7. What's the Maasai stable food?

Most of the Maasai have depended on their cattle and the land around the conservancies for food. The Maasai began to replace the pastoralism lifestyle with a more settled way of life, thus embracing the cultivation of crops such as maize and sorghum to supplement their diet.

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