Masaai Village (from Klein’s Camp in the Serengeti)
We paid $40 total for my husband and I to visit this village. The money goes directly to the family whose house you visit. We went late in the afternoon (probably arriving around 4:30 pm), and we got to go inside one of the small bomas. There were three teeny-tiny rooms, if you could call them that: the mother’s bed, the father’s bed, and a small common area where there’s a fire and where simple meals are eaten. I think that the children sleep in the father’s bed when he is not there, for when the father does visit and spend the night, the children are sent elsewhere (men have more than one wife, and all wives live in the same cluster of bomas). The most astounding part of the house is that half of it is taken up by a cattle pen filled with calves. This is to keep them warm and safe. Despite the close quarters, I thought that the house and pen were neatly kept and did not smell. Amazingly, the animals were absolutely quiet while we were inside--there was no “mooing”, and had I not seen them through a tiny window, I wouldn’t have even known that they were inside right next to me. The local women all rush to the area in hopes of selling their crafts (mostly beadwork and carved wooden objects; there were no textiles or paintings, which I was interested in buying). Prices seemed fair. The tour is a good opportunity to see the local people (or rather, the women and children). We also visited the newly-established clinic and passed both the primary and secondary schools and the town center (surprisingly, there was a satellite dish, and people were dressed in traditional Western clothing). Some Masaai seem to adopt modern conveniences when they choose to (we saw D cell batteries on the mother’s bed), but for the most part, they live an authentic lifestyle and it’s worth seeing.