Original Maasai Lodge – Travelling and Doing Good

Massai Men

In the Realm of the Massai

It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience: the great migration in the Serengeti National Park, when hundreds of thousands of wildebeests, zebras and buffaloes move through the endless expanse in search of grazing grounds. A trip to Tanzania is worth it for that alone. But the East African country has much more to offer. For example, a visit to the Massai, who still maintain their traditional customs in the 21st century. In the Original Maasai Lodge, you get an insight into the life of this charismatic people and at the same time support aid projects in the region.

The Original Maasai Lodge

Main Building
Double room

The Original Maasai Lodge

Even the two-hour drive from the city of Arusha is an adventure. Our Toyota Land Cruiser rocks over the potholed road like a steamship in a storm - but the strain is worth it. Because the Original Massai Lodge (on the plain between the Meru volcano and Kilimanjaro) is not only a great place to relax, but also a unique tourism project. Built by Maasai, the lodge feels like a boma, a traditional Maasai village. You sleep in traditional mud huts with western comfort, including your own terrace, in front of which zebras graze in the morning, if you are lucky. The facilities also include a swimming pool, sauna, massages and full board.

Massai group gathering for a dance
Massai man with his javelin

Javelin Throw, Dancing and MTV

As the setting sun bathes the volcanic landscape in golden light, the Maasai women and men of the lodge gather for a traditional dance. Earthy rhythms, whooping exclamations and sounds of an unknown language are lost in the vastness - a moment that touches us deeply. The aim of the Maasai Lodge is to offer visitors a small insight into the Maasai way of life. Apart from the dance, this also includes the fun "International Javelin Throwing Competition", where we compete with the young men in javelin throwing - and lose grandly. The day ends with a round of "MTV", Massai Television: we sit around the campfire and listen to stories from Massai life.

Massai and his goats
Massai carving a toothpick

On Foot into the Wilderness

Guide Lucas never tires of emphasising that no animal wants to harm us here in the hilly plains: there are no lions and no Cheetahs. Maybe there is a hyena sneaking around, but it is a scaredy-cat. Lucas took us on an instructive walk in the surrounding area. We learn which plants help against nausea and which stems can be used as toothbrushes. We meet Maasai with their herds of cattle and goats and spot zebras in the distance. A brilliant two hours! The guided walk is one of several activities visitors can do. Others include handicraft workshops, bicycle tours, market and festival visits.

Woman of organisation
Bricklayer apprentices

Improving Life

Behind the Original Maasai Lodge is the aid organisation Africa Amini Alama (AAA), which was founded in 2009 by the Austrian doctor Christine Wallner. The aim is to provide a better life for the local Meru and Maasai population. The project is now managed by daughter Cornelia Wallner-Frisee and supports women and children in need in medical, social and educational areas. AAA runs various primary and secondary schools as well as training centres for carpenters, bricklayers, car mechanics and tailors. Another focus is on the care of orphans and the support of women. The proceeds from the Maasai Lodge benefit the projects.

Africa Amini Life

Photo credits

  • All photos by Christian Bauer