Local Living Kenya—Masai Village

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 9th, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

For ages, the Masai people of East Africa have preserved an authentic way of life that includes training warriors, communicating with wild animals across the plains and developing native medicines. Now it’s your turn to get a taste of this unique lifestyle. This short, five-day trip takes a dive right into the daily life of the Masai, where you’ll learn how to make traditional beaded jewelry, milk cows, throw a spear and identify different animal tracks. You’ll get a firsthand look at bush survival skills as you live with the Masai people in their village, learn the beliefs of the Masai and enjoy a ceremony on your final night to cap off your experience.

  • Learn survival skills from Masai warriors
  • Participate in day-to-day life in a remote Masai village
  • Listen to warrior stories around the campfire
  • Witness a traditional Masai ceremony.
Duration: 5 days
Start/Finish City: Nairobi to Nairobi
Service Level: Camping
  • Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
  • Camping most nights with some hotel stays to start and throughout
  • Private transport to out-of-the-way places in order to keep your gear stowed and secure
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Local Living
Intimate adventures deep inside great destinations

Always dreamed of renting a villa but thought you couldn’t afford to? You can now. Unpack once at your Tuscan farmhouse, Burgundian river barge or community homestay in the Amazon and interact meaningfully with your temporary home alongside like-minded travellers and a CEO who knows the area best.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Local Living Kenya—Masai Village (DKML)

Day 1 Nairobi

Arrive to Nairobi and make your way to the joining hotel. Attend a pre-departure group meeting with your CEO scheduled for the evening.

Day 2 Maji Moto/Masai Village (1B,1L,1D)

Transfer to a Masai camp at the foot of Loita Hills. Get to know your Masai hosts and spend the afternoon with the women, learning about their traditional beadwork, cooking, and day-to-day responsibilities. Visit a local school after hours to learn about the education system and how education is being integrated into traditional cultural practices.

The village we are staying in is approximately 1.5 hours from the Masai Mara National Reserve. The reserve and other nearby conservancies are unfenced, meaning that the village's land is in the path of the animal migration. There are fences around the community for protection, and the Masai people have learned the best methods of safety and protection on the savannah from years and years of living on the land. While the included activities focus mostly on cultural interaction and learning about the land, many animals share the land with the Masai people, and it is possible that you will see zebra, gazelle, monkeys and sometimes even ostrich or giraffe. You can opt to do a game drive during your free time in the evening.

Your accommodation will be in tents while you are in the village. Sleeping mats and bedding are provided. There is limited space available in traditional manyattas (mud huts) that can be booked in advance as an upgrade for the two nights spent in the community. Thanks to a nearby hot spring, a warm shower is only a bucket away and available in the private outdoor shower. There are also sinks and toilets on site.

Meals provided are a mixture of Western and African cuisine prepared with locally grown food when available.

Approximate Distance: 175 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs

Day 3 Warrior Training/Bush Camping (1B,1L,1D)

Set off for an overnight bush survival trip. Learn about plants and animals in the bush, practice throwing a spear, and learn to light a fire without matches. Overnight in the bush under the stars with local Masai warriors watching over the camp for any unwelcome guests as you hear the distant sounds of wildlife during the night.

You will need to bring a daypack with personal gear, but all equipment will be carried by porters and your local guides.

Day 4 Maji Moto/Masai Village (1B,1L,1D)

Return to the village by foot, learning more about survival in the African bush along the way. Enjoy a traditional ceremony at night and be sure to sample the local brew – honey beer. An evening of dancing and celebration will cap off your final night of learning the ways of the Masai people.

If you have pre purchased the traditional manyattas (mud huts), second night on Day 4.

Day 5 Nairobi (1B,1L)

Spend the morning at the camp, then transfer back to Nairobi where the trip finishes upon arrival in the early evening.

Approximate Distance: 175 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs

What's Included

Three days in a Masai village, learning about day-to-day life and survival skills. Overnight bush camping excursion with Masai warriors. Transport between destinations and included activities.

Highlights

Learn survival skills from Masai warriors, participate in day-to-day life in a remote Masai village, listen to warrior stories around the campfire, witness a traditional Masai ceremony.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Group Size Notes

Max 14, avg 10.

Meals Included

4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners.

Meals

Most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available - we would like to give you the opportunity to explore a bit and test the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your CEO will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.

Meals provided in the Masai community are a mixture of Western and African cuisine prepared with locally grown food when available.

Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note 3 litres of drinking water will be provided per person per day while at the Masai village. Additional water will be available for purchase from nearby villages.

Meal Budget

Allow USD30-50 for meals and drinks not included.

Transport

Van, walking.

Solo Travellers

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt), camping or manyatta (mud hut) (2 nts, depends on option chosen at time of booking), bush camping (1 nt).

About Accommodation

Your accommodation will be in tents while you are in the village. Sleeping mats and bedding are provided. There is limited space available in traditional manyattas (mud huts) that can be booked as an upgrade for the two nights spent in the community. Thanks to a nearby hot spring, a warm shower is only a bucket away and available in the private outdoor shower. There are also sinks and toilets on site.

Joining Hotel

Hotel Boulevard
Harry Thuku Rd
P.O. Box 42831
Nairobi
Kenya
+254 20 2227567

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
-Personal clothing appropriate for the weather (See also "What to Take" and "Local Dress" sections of this dossier)
-Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
-Windproof/waterproof jacket
-Towel
-Sleeping bag
-Comfortable shoes
-Small travel pillow
-Sport sandals
-Sun hat
-Sunblock
-Sunglasses
-Watch or alarm clock
-Water bottle
-Purification tablets or filter
-Pocketknife
-Flashlight or headlamp (extra batteries and bulbs recommended)
-Money belt
-Toiletries (biodegradable)
-Hand sanitizer gel/sanitizing wipes
-Toilet paper
-Camera and extra memory card/film
-Extra batteries (recommended)
-First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin , Malaria pills, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items
Reading/writing material
Binoculars

Laundry

We recommend you bring enough clothing for your trip as laundry service is not available. The joining hotel has a laundry service for a fee.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The local currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES, or KSH).

Shillings can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will dispense local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour.

The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the USD; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, USD notes that are older than the year 2006 are not accepted in Africa. Large notes (USD50, USD100 etc.) can be difficult to change in some places but will gain you the best exchange rate.

If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you.

Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.

Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. It is harder to find machines for Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.

Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.

Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD30, usually included in most international air tickets.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure.

Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor for travel in East Africa. Be aware that Kenya has many regions where malaria is present. We thus recommend that you take malaria medication; your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics. Travellers should also carry a basic travel first-aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. An important item to include is a liquid or gel hand sanitizer and/or alcoholic/sanitary wipes, as they will aid in personal cleanliness and hygiene throughout the trip. The local tap water should not be consumed, so any water treatment tablets (ex. iodine), drops, etc, would help. Three litres of bottled water will be provided per person per day while at the Masai village, and additional water can be purchased at nearby villages if needed. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, you must inform G Adventures prior to the purchase of the tour, and upon arrival, to the CEO so he/she can be prepared to help you.

East African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness):
This is a serious parasitic disease that is always fatal without treatment. The disease is spread by the bite of tsetse flies, found only in parts of Eastern and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent African trypanosomiasis.

Sand flies and Mosquitos:
Are found in the areas visited. Mosquitos are more prevalent in areas that receive more rainfall, and sand flies, though generally found on the coast, can also be found in dry & dusty conditions inland. Both tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings.

Malaria:
This infectious disease is transmitted by mosquitos carrying the parasite. These mosquitos are found at altitudes of under 1,800m, and thus can be found in most areas that we visit on this tour. You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor at or health clinic.

Precautions against insect bites:
* Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants at all times.
* Wear khaki or olive-colored clothing. Tsetse flies are attracted to bright and dark colors.
* Use bed nets.
* Inspect vehicles for tsetse flies before entering.
* Avoid bushes. Tsetse flies are less active during the hottest part of the day; they rest in bushes and will bite if disturbed.
* Use insect repellent. Although repellents have not proven effective in preventing tsetse fly bites, they are effective in preventing other insects from biting and causing illness.

Sun:
It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day when it feels cool as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.

Hydration
Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of two litres of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when travelling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.

Diarrhoea:
It is normal for people travelling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Planeterra is G Adventures’ non-profit foundation created to make a positive difference in the communities where G Adventures takes travellers. Planeterra supports sustainable social and environmental solutions in destinations travellers love to visit.

As travellers, it’s natural to want to give back to the places we’ve come to love. But to truly impact poverty, we work to build self-sufficiency, not dependency.

Planeterra partners with grassroots organizations with firsthand knowledge of local culture and true community needs. This ensures that solutions come from the people we support. Then G Adventures brings travellers to visit, fuelling sustainable local income in these communities. This model is helping many rural and marginalized communities on their way to self-sufficiency because they are harnessing the power of the tourism industry as a force for good. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit planeterra.org.

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Fifty percent of our planet lives on less than $2/day. For the price of a coffee, you can make every day of your trip count by giving back to the communities you visit through Planeterra.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking).

Feedback

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