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Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

I'm looking for some feedback on the Maasai Cultural Heritage Center, located near Amboseli. I read that it is "nearby" but unsure just how clost in terms of drive time . . . and whether or not it is a worthwhile side trip.

Our travel itinerary has us coming to Amboseli from Lake Nakura, and departing after two nights, enroute to Lake Manyara (TZ).

Maybe we'll have other opportunities to see and experience the Maasai culture and this would not be a necessary addition to our safari plans.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Just for you TSV.

<<The Cultural Heritage Center is located along the Emali-Loitokitok highway on the way to Amboseli National Park. The center is 23 kilometers from Emali town and 50 Kilometers from Amboseli National Park at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro.>>

You may not use that road if coming from Nakuru unless your Lodge is east of Amboseli.

As to whether it is worth a visit go to

www.maasai-association.org and judge for yourself. Follow the links to cultural centre. Or maybe Center. They seem to use the American spelling.

If you miss it there is another one in Arusha and lots of smaller places.

Edited: 5:24 pm, August 05, 2011
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Thanks Mfuwe . . . I had seen/read all of that :) I am trying to figure out if it is a worthwhile excursion based on the visits by others. . . . their personal opinions of their experiences.

We are staying at Oltukai. From what we've been provided, we will be coming from Nakura, with a lunch stop in Nairobi on the way to Amboseli. (Not sure if that helps and since I couldn't really look at these places all on a road map, I was at a loss for how it may or may not work out "on the way".)

UK
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for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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3. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Not sure where you got that description from Mfuwe, but it does sound like a standard souvenir emporium (sorry if that sounds a bit cynical).

I believe almost all Amboseli-bound traffic from Nairobi is using the Emali pipeline road these days, as it's brand new, rather than the still partly rough Namanga route.

You can check all this on google maps.

Richard

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Hi Richard,

I cut and pasted straight from the "Cultural Sales Emporium Centre's" Website.

Timeshare did not ask for my opinion on it but if she had I would have to agree with you. She will have a harder time keeping her driver out of such places than persuading him to stop.

Far better just to do a spontaneous village visit if you get the chance.

As the Emali road. That is good to know as I shall be using it with time constraints next month. OL Tukai is to the west so if you had not said I think I would have suggested coming in from Namanga road.

UK
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for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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5. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Yes, and not just the Athi River to Namanga stretch, but for the terrible washboard from Namanga to the (formerly main) Meshanani gate.

Richard

Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Have they not finished the Athi-Arusha road yet? What is it, four years now?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Thanks Richard.

Mfuwe sorry I wasn't clear, as when I was asking for "feedback" I thought that would indicated I was seeking "personal opinion" based on experience. I'll try to be better in my questions in the future. I do appreciate your response, to thank you as well.

Isle of Man, United...
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8. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

I understood fine and never offered it in #1. No worries.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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9. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

Mfuwe you were right - - drivers loved stopping in the roadside Maasai gift shops. Seems the best toilets were there too :)

I was able to get the cultural experience I had hoped for at a Maasai Village near our lodging in the Mara. Guests (for a $25pp fee) were treated to a tour of their village to include a Maasai home. We learned a lot about how they live and about their society. Afterwards, we were then taken to their "shop" (a circular set up area with tables of a lot of beaded items, masks, and other souvenirs) where there was what we found to be the "usual" amount of pressure to barter and buy. I did purchase a nice mask for my sister.

10. Re: Maasai Cultural Heritage Center

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