The Longido area is known for its heavy concentration Maasai people still living a very traditional way of life. They are easily the most recognizable group of people in East Africa. The tall friendly Maasai are readily identifiable by the colourful red “shukas” or blankets they wrap around themselves. They continue to live in extended family groups in “manyattas” or mud huts scattered throughout the countryside where they graze cattle. However, times are changing and it is not uncommon that Masaai are moving into villages like Longido because of opportunities for work and education.
The backdrop for Longido is Mount Longido which overlooks the semi-arid, beautiful wide open landscape of northern Tanzania. On a clear day, hikers on the mountain can see Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in the distance. The area is dotted with acacia trees and many indigenous plants that provide medicinal herbs used by the Maasai. It is not unusual to see a Maasai man leading a herd of cattle or goats to graze or a Maasai woman returning home with a bundle of firewood or jugs of water. Colourful birds abound in this region and the trees are alive with weaver, finches, hoopoes, hornbills, beeaters and many more. It is a true birdwatcher’s paradise.
Longido has one of the best cultural programs in Tanzania. Local, experienced, English-speaking Maasai guides introduce you to the rich culture of the Maasai and the natural beauty of the environment. Highlights of the program include:
- hiking Mount Longido
- visiting the Saturday Maasai market
- visiting a traditional Maasai boma
TEMBO Guesthouse staff can help make these arrangements when you arrive in Longido. Contact the TEMBO Guesthouse manager for more information.