Real Life Adventure Travel

Cultural Adventures

Maasai Trails: Donkey Trek through Tanzania’s Maasailand

Highlights include:

  • Walk the paths of the regal Maasai, joining them in their day-to-day activities
  • Be welcomed warmly into the Maasai villages, as your guides take you to visit their homes in the African countryside

The Longido region in northern Tanzania is ancient Maasailand. Real Life Adventure travel has worked hard to build a strong bond with the regal, proud Maasai people who inhabit this area. For travelers looking to dig deeper, moving beyond the staged tourist village experience, this trek across Longido is an experience of a lifetime. On this safari you will walk from village to village, not as voyeurs but as warmly welcomed friends. While the following is a basic itinerary to visit this part of Tanzania, each itinerary is uniquely crafted to meet your specific interests and according to our Maasai friends’ vast knowledge of their land and their people. Your safari will remain flexible to incorporate ceremonies, traditional markets, or opportunities to meet Maasai elders such as a Laibon (holy medicine man) along the way.

This safari across Tanzanian Maasailand offers you a chance to connect with your Maasai guides as they interpret the flora and fauna of Africa which they have lived hand in hand with for centuries. These cultural encounters are authentic and moving.

Your days are spent walking through rolling woodlands, meeting with Maasai along the way at various bomas (villages). A herd of donkeys is used for porterage, carrying all the water, camping and cooking gear, and food. Camps are set by your crew of Maasai moranis (warriors) who also tend the donkeys. Camping throughout this safari is lightweight but comfortable. Camp is set for you each evening when you arrive from your trek. After bush showers, enjoy sundowners around the campfire followed by hearty, mouthwatering meals prepared by our chef.

Day 1: Naiborsoiti Campsite This morning transfer from Arusha (or another staring point) to begin your journey through Maasailand. Your Maasai guides will have loaded the donkeys, and this crew will set off ahead of you as you begin your trek west from Longido to Naiborsoiti. Today’s trek is about 7 hours, walking at a relaxed pace. Along the way you will likely encounter giraffe, zebra, impala, gerenuk, dik dik, and other antelopes, as well as ostriches and many other birds. The walk is mostly under the shade of acacia woodland. Arrive at Naiborsoiti, enjoy a hot bush shower and then settle in around the campfire.

Day 2: Imamen Campsite After breakfast, trek from Naiborsoiti to Imamen, about 6 hours. Along the way you’ll cross paths with Maasai women and children, carrying water and other goods between villages. A smile goes a long way, and don’t be surprised if the children greet you with a bowed head – it’s a sign of respect to greet elders in their community this way. Simply place your hand on their head to return the greeting.

In the late afternoon arrive at Imamen camp. Kilimanjaro glaciers will loom above the clouds in front of you, and the jagged top of Mount Meru to the south.

Day 3: Oldorko Campsite Today’s trek, from Imamen to Oldorko, is about 7 hours. Again, you’ll walk side by side with Maasai woman as they go about their day. Maasai women play the central role in the home, being responsible for looking after children and the family; cooking; home building; preparing hides and skins; milking animals; taking care of young and weak livestock; collecting and transporting firewood and, critically, collecting water. This evening spend some time, through the interpretation assistance of your guide, learning about the Maasai Moran lifestyle as your camp crew joins you by the fire after dinner. 

Day 4: Oldorko/Departure This morning trek east from Oldorko to Kimokowa. a small Maasai village on the north side of Longido Mountain . Maasai come from miles to trade their goods and to water their herds of goats and cattle here. You’ll be met in the mid afternoon upon arriving at Kimokowa, and transferred to Arusha – lunch. Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your departure flight.

From $2,000 USD per person double occupancy min 2 persons