Cultural Tourism Programme
Welcome to the extensive plains around
Longido mountain, where you can expe-rience all facets of traditional Maasai
culture and spot rare birds and animals.
Experience real Maasai culture through:
walks to the refuge of colourful birds,
like weavers, sunbirds, barbets and turacos
a climb to the impressive Longido
mountain, through a dense natural forest
walking safaris through the Maasai plains
and over the slopes of Longido mountain
sip tea in a Maasai boma and gain insight
into the culture and daily life of the Maasai
visit to historic sites from German
The profit will be used to rehabilitate the
cattle dip in Longido. Your visit helps us to keep our cattle healthy.
When you are finished
reading this brochure, please pass it along to someone else who can use it.
cultural tourism programme
executed with advice from SNV B
the Netherlands Development Organisation and the Tanzanian Tourist Board.
Longido is situated 100 kilometres north of
Arusha on the way to Namanga and Nairobi. The town of Longido lies on the main
road, just at the foot of Longido mountain. The mountain rises up steeply from
the plains and forms an important point of orientation for people in the wide
On the mountain and the surrounding plains
Maasai warriors wander about with their cattle looking for pasture and water.
Once a week on Wednesday the cattle are herded to a crowded cattle market in
Longido town. Maasai families live in small traditional bomas scattered over the
area. In the early morning, women leave the boma to fetch water and collect
firewood. Young children play around the mud houses and start at a very early
age to take care of kids and lambs.
In the area there is an abundance of
colourful birds. The starling major, the red and yellow barbet, the masked
weaver, the silverbill and the secretary bird are some of the special species to
be seen. Longido is further well known for the presence of rare mammals that
cannot be seen in any of the national parks. The plains and the slopes of the
mountain form the refuge for the gerenuk, the lesser kudu and the klipspringer.
Among other animals that live around Longido are giraffes, zebras, gazelles,
buffaloes, mongooses and some silver jackals.
You can choose different modules that vary
from half a day to two days.
Half Day Module
In the half a day module you make a 'birdwalk'
on the Maasai plains from the town of Longido to the bomas of Ol Tepesi. The
Maasai guides will help you to spot many colourful birds and also show you trees
and plants that they use for making food and medicines. At Ol Tepesi, which is
the Maasai word for Acacia tree, the guides will invite you into a Maasai boma
and show their traditional way of life. Since it is known that the tourism
programme sponsors the cattle dip, you always get a warm welcome. Back in
Longido you can visit Mzee Mollel, a local Maasai who studied sociology abroad
and can explain to you all things you always wanted to know about Maasai
culture. Then you can enjoy a meal cooked by the FARAJA women's group.
Full Day Module
The one day tour adds a walking safari from
Ol Tepesi to Kimokouwa, along a narrow Maasai cattle trail, that winds over the
slopes of Longido mountain. In two hours' time you gradually climb from the
plains at an altitude of 1,200 metres to a hill top of 1,600 metres. On clear
days you first have beautiful views on Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, and once you
have arrived at the North side of the mountain you can oversee the Maasai plains
till deep into Kenya. The last hour you descend to Kimokouwa, where several
Maasai bomas are peacefully situated in the green "valley of wells".
Nearby you can visit a historic German grave and camp at a lawn near a Maasai
boma. In half an hours walk you can also reach a jeep road and drive back to
Tourists with strong legs longing for
adventure can the second day climb the steep Longido mountain. Guided by Maasai
warriors you leave Kimokouwa early morning and follow narrow footpaths through a
dense natural forest. After two hours you arrive at the marvellous "dawa ya
supu" (soup-medicine) viewpoint. From here you will follow trails created
by buffaloes to reach the top in another two hours' climb. With loud cries the
Maasai warn the buffaloes that
can spend the second day climb the steep
Longido mountain. Guided by Maasai warriors you leave Kimokouwa early morning
and follow narrow footpaths through a dense natural forest. After two hours you
arrive at the marvellous "dawa ya supu" (soup-medicine) viewpoint.
From here you will follow trails created by buffaloes to reach the top in
another two hours' climb. With loud cries the Maasai warn the buffaloes that
people are coming to avoid dangerous encounters. The views from the top are
simply unbelievable. On clear days you can look more than 200 kilometres far and
see all mountains of Northern Tanzania. The descent of the steep mountain is
another challenge. In three hours' time you can reach Longido town and enjoy a
meal of the FARAJA women's group. In the evening you can talk with Esto Mollel
and other Maasai about the unique experiences of the past days.
On Wednesdays you can extend your stay with a
visit to the bustling cattle market and it is always possible to combine your
tour with a game drive in the area.
On request other modules can be arranged
Our guides are all young Maasai who grew up
in the area. They speak some English and further use hand signs to show you the
beauty of the area. They know all attractions and dangers in the area and have
received special tourism training. On walking safaris Maasai warriors armed with
knives and spears always protect the tourists.
Mzee Mollel is a local Maasai who studied
sociology in Zambia and Australia. A serious accident partly paralysed him, but
didn't take away his pride and spirit. From his room he coordinates the tourism
programme and likes to receive you to answer all the questions you always wanted
to pose about the Maasai.
Cattle diseases are one of the main problems
the Maasai are faced with in Longido. Each year about 1000 cows die, mainly
because of tick-born diseases. Since Maasai life is centred around livestock,
this can create quite serious problems. A reduction of the herd size means less
work, less income and less food. Preventing cattle diseases is of major
importance for the Maasai. Regularly dipping will kill all ticks and eradicate
tick-born diseases. The only cattle dip in Longido is however out of order.
During socialist times the dip belonged to the whole community, and therefore no
one felt on really responsible for it and the dip became neglected.
Now the Maasai will establish a special
committee who are going to rehabilitate the dip. A part of the income generated
from tourism will be used for this purpose. Cement and cattle medicines will be
bought from it, so that the dipping fee can be kept low and will be payable for
all Maasai families.
When you are in Longido and our cattle dip
has been rehabilitated, feel free to visit the spectacular event of dipping our
Longido is situated 100 kilometres north of
Arusha on the way to Nairobi. From the main bus stand in Arusha, you can catch
one of the many buses leaving for Namanga and Nairobi. There are also shared
taxis leaving for Namanga from the bus stand which you can take. The fare by bus
is approximatey 1,500 TSh and 2,000 TSh by shared taxi. It will take
approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. In Longido, ask to be let off at the police
station on the main road. From here, please ask for directions to Esto Mollel=s house. Most villagers in Longido can direct you to Mzee Mollel=s house. All tours begin at Mzee Mollel=s
house where arrangements can be made upon your arrival.
For Further Information
contact your tour operator, the TTB Information Centre in Arusha (Boma Road,
Tel: 057-3842/ 3843)