The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes and distinctive customs and dress. The Maasai speak the Maa language. Except from some elders living in rural areas, most Maasai people speak the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English. The Maasai population has been reported as numbering 841,622 in Kenya in the 2009 census, compared to 377,089 in the 1989 census.
Many Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their villages to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle, in return for a fee. It is a chance to interact with the Maasai and get a glimpse into their culture, jumping skills, unique way of life and see first-hand some of their customs and practices. It should be noted that once at the village, you may be expected to buy some curio or souvenir from the villagers, though this is not mandatory having paid an entry fee. Nonetheless, be prepared for determined efforts from some of the Maasai villagers to try and sell you what are inexpensive handmade craft items.
This nomadic, warrior tribe which once held vast swathes of pre-colonial Kenya, still retain many of their traditions as they live largely untouched by modern day civilization in areas surrounding Masai Mara.