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Maasai Encounter in Tanzania

This adventure provides a unique opportunity to study and film/photograph/record the traditional people and wildlife of the Maasai Steppe in Tanzania, East Africa. Our base is the Mkuru Camel Camp (pictured right) located in a wild and remote region of the Maasai Steppe (northern Tanzania) between Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro.

A unique itinerary is planned - see below- and all events are of course optional should you wish to have a rest day or do your own thing.Highlights include a camel trek, a day trip to the Tarangire National Park, a visit to a baboon cave used for Maasai ceremonies and climbing the pyramidal hill Ol doinyo Landare for spectacular views.

Accommodation will be in shared safari or camping tents on wooden platforms (sleeping 2, 3 or 4 - see more pictures of the camp and Maasai village at the bottom of this page). This is a relatively remote region of Africa and we will have the camp to ourselves with a local chef, drivers and other staff to look after us. But you will have to accept you will probably have to share a tent (unless you book as a twosome). Food will be freshly and simply prepared. Hot showers are available daily and toilets are of the pit-type but with western seats and private wooden cubicles (see photo at bottom of page). A fair amount of walking in the heat is involved so you must have a fair degree of fitness, although we always have vehicle back-up for emergencies.

Photos from the previous Masai Encounters - November 2005 - November 2008
See below for films from previous trips

Itinerary

Day 1
London Heathrow to Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta) Kenya Airways KQ 101 Take off 1900 (Recommended flight)

Day 2
Am: 0630 arrive at Jomo Kenyatta, Nairobi.
0800 Precision Air 6724 from Jomo Kenyatta, Nairobi to Kilimanjaro airport.
0850 Met at Kilimanjaro airport by four-wheel drive cars. Change money at the airport. Transfer to Kia Lodge (10 minutes) for breakfast. Drive to Mkuru (2 hours)
Lunch in camp
Unpack, relax and explore the camp. Before dinner there will be a short meeting to introduce the group and discuss the week’s activities.

Day 3
Walk from Camel camp to Mkuru Training camp (1.5km)
Lecture about the Oikos projects in the area:
- Economic development and environmental rehabilitation of Maasai pastoral areas in Arusha and Meru District.
- Bringing Energy Services to Tanzania Rural Areas.
- Improvement of the water supply and development of Water Master Plan.
- Conservation of the natural resources of the northern area of Mt. Meru with two projects:
1 Maasai Women Empowerment Programme
2 Mkuru Community Based Tourism Programme
Lunch.
Lecture about Maasai culture
Visit to Maasai Boma in the late afternoon when normally all livestock return to their Boma. Walk back to camel camp.

Day 4
Climbing the pyramidal hill Ol doinyo Landare for spectacular views.
Lunch at the camp.
1300 drive to Tarangire National Park (3 hours drive) with a brief game drive in the park en route to Tarangire Safari Lodge where we will have dinner and overnight.

Day 5
Morning and afternoon game-drives in Tarangire with lunch in the lodge. You may wish to rise early and have a game-drive before breakfast, returning to the lodge for a late breakfast before resuming activities. Depart the park mid-afternoon and drive back to Mkuru Camel Camp.
Tarangire Park is the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem. Wildlife you are highly likely to see include elephants, lions, wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, hartebeest, eland, oryx, gerenuk, kori bustard, ostrich, ground hornbills, lovebirds and many more.
Dinner at camp.

Day 6
Walking safari to Baboon cave.
Lunch at the camp.
Visit to Mkuru dam. Walking in Mkuru area and, with the help of some Maasai, choose and buy goats for the special Maasai dinner.
Traditional Maasai dancing with Nyama Choma prepared by young Morani.

Day 7
Full day camel safari. You will visit the different life style of Meru people and learn about the colonial time listening to the history from the local meru living now in the houses of colonialists.

Day 8
Visit to Mzee Elias Boma, traditional healer of the Mkuru village.
Visit to Cultural Boma (MWA Project is a special place where the cooperative of about 120 mamas of Mkuru is selling traditional Maasai handcraft).
Afternoon: Visit at the Mguru (a natural amazing archeological place where Maasai of Mkuru are collecting water, 2-3 hours walking).

Day 9
Final day of film, photography, exploring and interacting with the Maasai.

Day 10
Am: Pack
Lunch in camp
Depart for Arusha for shopping and early dinner
Travel to Kilimanjaro airport for 1940 flight to Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta)
2030 arrive Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta)
2350 Kenya Airways KQ 102 to London Heathrow (suggested flight for those returning directly to London)

Day 11
Arrive London Heathrow 0545

Personnel

Team Leader: Piers Warren - (pictured right with Isaya Chaquet) Principal of Wildeye - conservationist, writer, photographer and teacher of wildlife film-making. Founder of Filmmakers for Conservation, Executive Producer of wildlife-film.com and Editor of Wildlife Film News. Author of Careers in Wildlife Film-making and Go Wild with Your Camcorder - How to Make Wildlife Films.Through Wildeye, Piers leads wildlife tours and training expeditions around the world

Isaya Chaquet - Village leader, chief of the Maasai local guides and Mkuru Camel project coordinator

Ahimidiwe - Mkuru Camel Camp manager

Mzee Pello - Chief of one of the Maasai villages we will be visiting

Mzee Elias - Mkuru traditional Maasai healer; very well known throughout the Maasai steppe.

Travel Information

Visas: Required for Tanzania:
From UK: Cost UK£38. For a visa application form download via www.tanzania-online.gov.uk/visa.html
From US: Cost US$100. For a visa application form download via www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org/tzevisa.html

(Note - if you are leaving Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi to see the city, or taking an extension in Kenya, you will also need a Kenyan visa)

Immunisations: Check with your health clinic and Fit for Travel or MASTA (www.masta.org).
Advised to be in date for; Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis A.

Malaria: Protection recommended - check with your health clinic
See Travelpharm.com for travellers' medication and health supplies

Insurance: You are legally required to arrange your own travel insurance.

Dates: Dec 2010/Jan 2011 (not confirmed)

To be informed of future courses please add your email address in the column on the right to receive Wildeye Bulletins.

Costs:
UK£1,500 or US$2,200 per person (not confirmed) - includes all local travel, accommodation and full board, activities, park fees.
Does not include international flight to Kilimanjaro, first breakfast and final dinner in Arusha, alcoholic/soft drinks, tips for Tarangire Safari drivers/guides.

Booking:
To check availability contact:
Wildeye - Email: info@wildeye.co.uk

If places are available you will be asked to pay a deposit of £200 or $400 per person to secure your booking.
Places are strictly limited - so early booking is recommended.


The Team of November 2008


The Team of November 2005


Mzee Pello and three of his wives

Safari tent for two

Safari tents

Dining area

Camping tents for two

Bush showers - hot water morning and evening

Click here for a short film made by Cayce Crown on the November 2005 trip
Video shorts from the Nov 2008 trip:

 

Comments from previous participants:

"Thanks for a great trip. It far exceeded my expectations. I would definitely be interested in doing it again next year, which
is pretty unusual for me."

"The trip was one of the best trips ever for me!"

"I really can't thank you enough for making the trip possible. Everything i think to say to you
is just silly compared to my feelings. Just know that my experience was profound, it lives and grows within me minute by minute, and i am very grateful to you."

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