Masai Village Visit Guide

When planning a visit to Masai Mara, don’t miss the opportunity to explore a traditional Maasai village. As one of Africa’s most iconic tribal groups, the Maasai inhabit the Southern regions of Kenya and are an integral part of the surrounding area of Masai Mara.

This nomadic and warrior tribe, who once held vast territories in pre-colonial Kenya, still proudly uphold their rich traditions and live harmoniously with nature, largely unaffected by modern civilization. Wondering why you should visit a Maasai village? Let me tell you. During this one-hour visit, you will have the chance to engage with the Maasai people, immersing yourself in their captivating culture, witnessing their unique way of life, and gaining insight into their fascinating customs and practices. It’s an authentic and enriching experience that shouldn’t be missed.

A visit to Masai Village:

Visiting a Masai cultural village is an exciting addition to any Masai Mara safari tour. Typically included as a brief excursion during a longer multi-day adventure, it offers a chance to interact with the Maasai community on the outskirts of the main game reserve.

The price, which includes a contribution to the village and return road transfers from your lodge or camp in Masai Mara, ranges from USD 25 to 50 per person. If you’re on a road safari with your own Driver-Guide, the fee is often lower and paid upon entry. On package safaris, the camp charges a higher fee of USD 50 per person. The specific price depends on the camp you’re staying at and the village you visit.

It’s worth noting that while at the village, you might encounter some Maasai villagers who may try to sell you handmade craft items. While not mandatory, it’s good to be prepared for these offerings. While some may find this aspect of the excursion slightly bothersome, we believe it’s a minor inconvenience that is outweighed by the overall positive experience.

The Masai people are a proud and hospitable tribe, so visitors to the village should be aware of basic cultural etiquette. It’s recommended that you take off your shoes before entering any hut or home in the village and always remember to ask for permission before taking photos, as some Maasai do not allow their pictures to be taken.

The visit will usually begin with a short presentation from your local guide who will introduce you to the Maasai way of life. You’ll then be welcomed into one of the huts where you may observe traditional dancing and singing, join in with women as they process milk, or help the warriors tend their cattle herds. If you’re lucky, you may even get to sample some delicious traditional food!

As you wander through the village, you will be able to explore the various huts and compounds, as well as observe the everyday activities of Maasai life. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and learn more about their culture, rituals, customs and beliefs – from marriage ceremonies to age-old medicinal practices.

These visits offer a rare insight into the diverse Maasai way of life and are a unique opportunity to engage with an ancient African culture, making it a truly captivating experience.

How Masai villages look like;

The Masai people reside in structures called “Manyatta,” which are low-height dwellings made of mud, cow dung, and wood. These huts have a single entrance and minimal side windows. A group of Manyatta huts that form a homestead or village is called a Maasai “Boma.” Multiple Bomas can unite to create a larger village.

The individual Manyatta huts, or manyattas themselves, have tiny windows that limit sunlight, resulting in dim interiors even on sunny days. The image above showcases a typical Manyatta hut, with a Maasai woman standing in front of the rear of the manyatta. The image below offers a glimpse inside a Manyatta, featuring an earthen stove and firewood used for cooking meals. These traditional Maasai villages lack access to piped water, electricity, or gas.

It is worth noting that these specific manyattas or villages are located deep within Narok, in close proximity to the reserve. While the reserve itself and the more developed part of the Narok district have power and piped water, the traditional Maasai villages continue to exist in this manner.

Here are 10 fascinating facts about Masai Villages:

  1. Women play a central role in building the villages – The Masai people are renowned for their strength and resilience. However, one of the most intriguing aspects of Maasai villages is that it is the women who take charge of constructing the traditional mud huts. While men may lend a helping hand, it is primarily considered women’s domain.
  2. The color red symbolizes courage – In Maasai culture, the colour red symbolises courage, strength and beauty. As a result, many Maasai people adorn their bodies and clothing with bright red beads and ochre body paint.
  3. Livestock are the main source of wealth – The Masai rely on livestock such as cows, goats and sheep for food, security and status. In fact, it’s not unusual for a family to own more than 200 animals!
  4. The Maasai people are warriors – Historically, the Maasai were fierce warriors who defended their land and cattle from enemy tribes. Even today, the Masai are legendary fighters, known throughout Africa for their bravery and strength.
  5. Maasai diet is mainly vegetarian – Despite the fact that the Masai rely on livestock for their livelihoods, their diet is largely based around vegetables and grains. Meat only forms a small portion of their meals, with some families only eating it two or three times per month.
  6. The Maasai speak a distinct language – The Masai people speak a unique language called ‘Maa’. It is part of the Nilotic language family and has several dialects, varying from region to region.
  7. The traditional lifestyle changes over time – Although many Masai villages still remain close to their roots, some aspects of the traditional culture are beginning to disappear due to increasing external influences.
  8. Maasai jewelry is symbolic – The jewellery worn by Maasai people is not only decorative — it also has a deeper, symbolic meaning. Each piece of beading and ornamentation may represent an achievement or milestone in the wearer’s life.
  9. The Maasai practice circumcision – circumcision is an important part of the Maasai coming-of-age ritual, with boys typically undergoing the procedure at around 14 years old. It’s a rite of passage that marks the transition into adulthood.
  10. The Maasai still practice rituals and traditions – Despite external pressures, many Masai villages still adhere to their ancient beliefs and customs. Rituals such as the Eunoto — a ceremony that marks the transition of warriorhood — are still carried out today.

What to expect during a Visit to Masai villages?

During the visit, you will get an opportunity to learn about the local customs and practices. The Maasai will show you around their village and explain their traditional way of life. You can expect to observe activities such as churning milk into ghee (clarified butter), weaving baskets and mats, grinding grains for flour, and attending to livestock.

Your local guide will also be on hand to help you understand the Maasai way of life – from their spiritual beliefs and customs, to their marriage ceremonies and medicinal practices. As with any visit to a community, it is important that you show respect for the Masai people and their culture.

Visits to Masai villages are an excellent way to gain insight into African culture and traditions, as well as engage with the local people in a meaningful way. Plus, it’s a great chance to see how this ancient people have adapted and survived despite outside influences.


  • Are the villages safe to visit?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to visit Masai villages. Your guide will be able to advise you on the protocol when visiting a Maasai village and answer any questions that you may have regarding the safety of your visit. Masai warriors care deeply about making guests comfortable and you can be assured that your will be taken care of.

  • Can I take photographs in the village?

Yes, you may take photos in the village, but it is important to ask for permission before doing so. It is respectful and also ensures that locals are comfortable with their image being captured and shared online.

  • Is there a dress code for visiting Maasai villages?

No, there is no strict dress code when visiting Masai villages, but it is important to be respectful of the local culture and customs. Women are advised to cover their shoulders and knees out of respect for this traditional African tribe.

  • What should I bring with me for the visit?

Most Masai village visits are self-guided, so you won’t need to bring anything special. However, it is always good practice to come prepared with water and snacks in case of any delays or unforeseen circumstances. You may also want to bring a camera if you wish to take photos during your visit.