Masai Tribe
Masai Tribe
3.5
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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3.5
385 reviews
Excellent
132
Very good
114
Average
72
Poor
35
Terrible
32

Ryan M
Hong Kong, China28 contributions
Feb 2016 • Friends
As long as you go into it knowing that it solely functions, ostensibly, to separate tourists from their cash it's okay, you'll likely enjoy your experience. They'll show you a ceremonial dance, their huts, their massive gift shop filled with accessories and ornaments you can buy for NYC prices, and then they'll lure you to a small dilapidated 'school' hut filled with adorable children staring at you where you'll then be directed to a 'donation' box that only the heartless couldn't contribute to. All in all, I have no regrets, it was a really cool experience, but being a bit conned into buying a cheap bracelet for $20 USD left me with a bad taste in my mouth (they make you select and wear all the items first, only later do you tell you the exorbitant price and they're more than happy to walk you to your car if you're a few dollars short).
Written July 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WorcesterMoray
Worcester994 contributions
May 2018 • Friends
The Masai live in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and from the number of vallages we saw quite a few live there.
They live with the wild animals and at night place livestock within thorn enclosures to protect them.
Throughout the NCA we saw Masai boys herding goats/sheep, cattle, donkeys and even a few camels!
If you stop almost anywhere on the road through to look at animals boys seem to appear wanting whatever you are prepared to give them and pose for photographs for payment. They are not allowed to do this and the approach of a NCA ranger vehicle sent them running. We did not give them anything on instructions of our guide,
It was however strange to see that the giraffes were not worried by their presence near our vehicle and we saw gazelles and zebra grazing with livestock with herd boys close by.
Although they live in huts it was noticeable many had mobile phones and satellite dishes seen! However they all seem to dress traditionally.
No villages are now in the crater itself. However they do shows of traditional dancing in the hotels and have shops selling there produce.
We did not visit a village so cannot comment on that experience.
Written June 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ejgCalifornia
california64 contributions
Mar 2017 • Couples
I felt uncomfortable gawking at villagers performing. I know--they make a living opening their village to tourists, but I was happier simply seeing, from a respectful distance, Masai herders or people at markets.
Written May 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cacio Pepe
1 contribution
Oct 2022 • Friends
I’m more than happy to donate the entrance fee. Looking back, I wish I could’ve donated without having to visit it because they really pressure and force you to buy things and keep donating to each person that speaks. It was a tourist trap. Not an actual village and arbitrarily setup on the roadside. The had small huts and a “school” but no one lived there. They sang and jumped, but in the center was basically a market for you to purchase items (and they’re not cheap). And you must purchase otherwise you will look like an evil privileged villain.

I was born in a 3rd world country and when I visit villages in my home country, you can tell what’s genuine and what isn’t. This isn’t it.

The weirdest part was the school. They kept telling us to take pics and videos of the students then told us to donate again. Can’t say no to kid’s face after you took their pic right? We’re not instagrammers. We’ll take pics if we want to. We were honestly there to learn but the entire experience was a turn off.
Written October 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kaitlin Z
Riverdale, NJ40 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
Educational but most definitely a tourist trap. Asking for donations and to buy things throughout the entire tour- and after re evaluation, my husband and I agreed that they definitely don’t live in that village. They asked for donations to send their children to school but they obviously don’t go to school because they are all on the road ways?
Written October 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

missvtravels
World1,542 contributions
Oct 2016 • Solo
During previous 6 days of safari, we drove past these Maasai tribes, I read that they are terrible tourist traps and decided to avoid them, however, towards the end, I thought since I was there already and never know whether I get to come back to Tanzania again, so I changed my mind, biggest mistake in hindsight. Asked my guide to take me to one on the last day, he let me know I would have to pay USD50 for visiting which I did so directly to one of the man in the tribe at the start.

He speaks fluent English and then took me inside the village, the villagers did a dance and song and the jumping ritual but most of them looked terribly bored (probably the xth they did so that day or week). Was then led into one of the huts, the guide explained it a bit and then ushered me out.

The real show then began, first were these few tables of 'handicraft items', you better buy them although they look like little kids projects, I let him that I am not interested / might take a look later, he talked about the village for a minute and then bring me back to the tables and guilt trip and pressure and cornered me until I bought something, saying the money helps the woman. Oh, so does this mean you just pocketed USD50 for yourself or the men? The prices are exorbitant, I got rid of the items that night as I did not wish to bring these home, they are that bad!!

Once I made some purchases, I was then led to a hut where a few kids shout out 1-10 and then I was promptly shown the donation box so "these kids get to go to proper schools when they reached a certain age". I do certainly worry about these kids, they learn how to make tourists donate more than anything else.

I never kid myself that these tribes and villages are authentic, but the whole experience was awful beyond belief. You learn almost nothing about them, they have a well rehearsed way - intimidation, guilt tripping, whatever it takes to get as much money as they can. Frankly I think they earn far more than my honest hardworking safari guide for the effort and time they give. I am reluctant to admit for falling for this scam but wanted everyone else to know what this involves, over USD100 left my wallet after this 15-minute visit. They might as well just pull out a hunting spear (but of course they can afford more sophisticated and pricey weapons), put it to my neck and asked me to hand over all the cash that I have.

Worst experience out of all the countries I have been to!!! I was on a longer trip and met indigenous people in other countries, Quechua in Peru and Bolivia, Berber in Morocco, Bedouin in Jordan, those that one come across are all likely to rely on and look for tourist money at a certain level, but none was so bad. JUST AVOID THESE VISITS! For the visitors, it's an awful experience. For the tribes, they are not making a living in an honest way.
Written May 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AussieSophia
Melbourne, Australia125 contributions
Oct 2016
Passing by on the way to the Serengeti I saw the village as we drove through the valley and it was a spectacular sight to see this village in the middle of the grand mountains.
I asked my guide if I could visit this village instead as it looked so remote and authentic.
On my return from 4 days in the Serengeti we dropped by. Before driving in, my guide warned me that gifts here are very expensive and overpriced for the tourists!
My Maasai guide "Ordernow" introduced me and the village people all scattered out prepare. Most of the Maasai men were welcoming.
We started off with a welcome song and chant with both men and women.
Once done, I was invited into the village and told I could take as many photos. There were many many beaded gifts and jewellery made by the Maasai women that made an inner circular rim. I was pushed to buy and support the women. I politely kept saying I would look closely at them later as I continued with my inner hut tour and meeting the ladies. The ladies heard I wasn't buying anything and would turn their faces as I took photos. My guide quickly rushed me through my tour which ended with the school. As soon as I stepped towards the school the children began their chants and singing. It was amusing to see how well rehearsed it all was. My guide pressured me to donate to the school. The kids continued to read their numbers and alphabet out load but it was very rehearsed.
I didn't have cash on me, but I explained my tour guide has paid for my visit into the village which will support the whole community. My maasai guide told me that was separate. These kids need to get to a level before attending primary school. I have to admit I did not appreciate the fibs. When he worked out I was not donating, he promptly ended my 15 minute tour.
I tried to take more photographs of the landscape, valley (non maasai village or people) and the men all walked off shaking their heads at me like I was a bad person for not supporting them! (I had given food and chocolate bars and what I could as well as paying for a tour)
From what I understand, my tour operator charged $50USD for a visit. About $20USD goes to the village. So this half day visit was 15mins in total.
I commented to my tour guide how terrible and awful the Village tour was and how they made me feel bad for not buying gifts or donating further. My guide apologised and told me he wanted me to try another village on the way to Arusha from Karatu. I was a little disappointed!
BUT I paid $50USD and used it as an experience to just take some portraits of the Maasai people and learn their way of life. I got a dance, the jumping and heard the lovely singing. So just take the good and ignore the other parts!
Written November 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Claudia 🌍🐶☀️🍫❤️
Sao Paulo, SP381 contributions
Mar 2018 • Couples
Even after reading some reviews here my husband and I decide to give it a shot, what a bad idea. I think it’s ok to pay the 25 USD per person but had the feeling that it’s all about money for them and not to show their culture as well.

First you have a welcome dance, then another dance where they put you some Masai clothes and you jump with them (not sure what the dance is for, when they dance that alone etc), then they show you how to make fire , they were kind of lost doing that and I asked if in the day by they they use matches, the son’s chief said no.. my guide later said they use matches and I cannot understand why they did not say and explain how they used to make fire in the past.. in the past they were not making art crafts with beads and were also not buying water as well.. anyway...

Next you see one of the houses with beds and cook supplies. After you leave the house he showed us art crafts from that specific house and said we need to buy from there to help that specific woman (according to him they rotate on every visit). He said money was to buy water for the tribe so i don’t understand but anyway.. we bought some things paying more then the double we would pay in another place (I did research by curiosity).

After that he showed us some teenagers that were circumcised and although we did not want to take pictures of then he told us a sad story that they are not from that village, that they need money to buy Masai clothes etc.. suggests minimum we should give them etc.. more money..

The last experience for me was the worst.. about 20 kids between 3 and 6 on a “classroom” that would be ok to fit 8 repeating numbers, doing “calculations” that kids that age are not even encourages at 3-4.. and more money asked. All kids clap when you donate.

I left the village confused and become sad thinking about it. I wish I can return in some years and see:
- The old villa there to show tourists how they used to live IN THE PAST and more explanations about their culture.
- new houses where they are living with water, electricity and some comfort.
- kids 3-6 running and playing on the fields and not decorating stuff to show to tourists.

I would be happy to pay 100 USD now to learn about the culture and hear what they are planning for the future or their real needs, projects we could support etc unfortunately I felt like it was fake (although they really live there) and a scam to get tourists money.

I am not generalizing on Masai, that was just the tribe we visited at Ngorongoro and seem to be a reality in all there.

We did visit another tribe 1 hour from Arusha that we loved, it was real day by day, no show, no selling, just nice people really sharing their culture.

Written March 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WorldGlutton
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia20,428 contributions
Sep 2016 • Friends
On the drive to Serengeti National Park, our Safari Rangers told us that we shall be visiting the Masai Village, although it is not in our itinerary of our trip, we are eager to meet these nomads to experience their life style so far away from civilisation.
We were required to pay US10 each to meet these Masai people.
Upon our arrival, we were given a welcome dance by the village men & women all dressed in their bright coloured chequered tartan pattern clothes. We are then assigned to a member of the tribe and was invited to visit his house. He encourages us to ask many questions , to take many photographs as we like. The house is very
small , we basically had to crawl in, the smell is unbearable inside as they were boiling some food stuff. Same chamber are used for sleeping with a calf too. He explained their culture & lifestyle . Next he insisted that we visit the children school. The kids were about 4-10 years old. We made a donation and left, but he took us to the rows
of open air stalls where handicrafts made by Masai women for sale. After much
persistence, we purchased a Dream Catcher. After this visit, we felt total disappointment that this Masai tribe is not at all about culture or tradition but all driven by monies.
Written April 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nimisha P
Iselin, NJ86 contributions
Jun 2016 • Family
Do not pay and go to see the tribe, they sell items which are over priced and not worth it. My husband gave so much money for items we will throw out. They tried to sell and sell, I was not happy after we left the Tribe.
Written August 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Masai Tribe (Ngorongoro Conservation Area) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go